Changes To The UK Highway Code You Need To Know About

When it comes to road safety, you can never be too sure and safe about the rules. Some rules are permanent fixtures while others can change or be updated on occasion, leading to confusion and sometimes a lack of adherence to the rules due to not being in the know on changes. Driving is serious stuff, so you want to make sure you do it right and do it safely. Did you know that over 150,000 people are injured every year in the UK due to road traffic accidents? That’s why with the help of Kwik Fit, we’ve come up with this easy to read list of some of the latest driving rule changes so you can be sure you’ll be safe on your next road trip when you’re #Drivingin2019.


There are five updated categories for MOT tests, which range from Dangerous to Pass. Dangerous ratings suggest that something in your car is a serious potential to cause an accident or enormous problem in the workings of your car. An example of this would be inoperative brakes, which is a potentially catastrophic issue. A ‘major’ rating means that something in your vehicle is operating at below standard, such as your exhaust causing too many emissions and putting people or the environment at risk. Minor ratings can include things such as windscreen wipers not operating correctly and won’t cause your car to fail the MOT, but should be looked at, while an advisory rating is a heads up as to something that could become problematic in the future. A Pass rating is exactly that – a pass with no further action necessary.

It’s important to know that with the changes to MOT testing, if your car receives a ‘dangerous’ rating, you will no longer be able to drive it away. You will be expected to have all fault repaired and your car will be deemed not legal for the road. You could receive hefty fines of over £2,000, points deducted from your license or be entirely banned from driving.

New MOT Tests

Not only are there new MOT ratings, but there are new things that will be tested during the MOT as well! These include checking if tyres are underinflated, that your brake fluid isn’t contaminated, that there are no leaks in anything that could cause environmental damage and brake pads are intact and working properly. Daytime running lights for cars used from 2018 will be tested, and for older cars used first from 2009, headlight washers and reversing lights will be checked as well, so be sure they’re in good condition with light bulbs and such replaced in advance!

Driving Test Changes

Testing has changed with independent driving parts of the test now taking 20 minutes with the learner driver having to follow directions from a satnav. Likewise, there is now a graduated licensing aspect of being awarded your license, with lower speed limits, mandatory P plates for 2 years, and a limit on passenger numbers as well as a curfew for being out on the roads.

Pricing and Additional Changes

There will additionally be price increases on various aspects on driving, including insurance, and higher car taxes and parking charges on diesel cars. On top of this, the highway code

has been updated for changes relating to overtaking cyclists and driving in closed lanes. Driving in closed lanes will now come with a £100 fine. Overtaking cyclists will now require at least 1.5 metres (or around 4 feet) of space between the vehicle and cyclist. Failure to adhere to this new change will also result in a £100 fine.

So there you have some of the most recent additions and changes to driving in the UK. It’s important to make sure you’re up to speed on these changes so you don’t get caught out and land yourself in hot water with mounting fines! So have a read of the new highway code legislation to familiarise yourself with driving in the UK in 2019. Good luck!