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New stuff: phone law and vehicle tax changes

Gather round, it's time for some lovely legislation updates!

1 March - phone penalties go up

Right now, the penalty for using your phone at the wheel is 3 points and a £100 fine. From 1 March 2017 - next Thursday - that doubles.

Drivers with less than 2 years on the road could automatically lose their licences as 6 points is the maximum a new driver is allowed on their record.

People haven't been listening about the dangers, so the penalty has to increase.

Just have a little think about what losing your licence would do to your life. The idea of returning to the mercy of the UK's rail network makes me want to weep.

1 April - vehicle tax rates change

Yep, April Fools is the date vehicle tax changes come along.

Your vehicle tax for a new car's first year will be based on its CO2 emissions - if you're buying a new car, that'll be in the specs as a selling point if it's low.

After the first year, your vehicle tax will depend on the car.

New vehicle tax rates:

  • £140 a year for petrol or diesel cars
  • £130 a year for hybrids, bioethanol and LPG cars
  • ZERO POUNDS a year for vehicles with zero CO2 emissions

Sadly, you used to get away with paying no vehicle tax if your car was low emissions but now it has to be literally zero. Kia Picanto, Citroen C1 - these popular new driver cars used to duck juuuuuust under the 100g/km limit for CO2 emissions. But no more.

It's the right thing to do, to incentivise investing in zero emissions cars. But it does take away that little saving for a young driver needing to pinch every penny.

Le sigh.

Honor Clement-Hayes

By Honor Clement-Hayes

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .