Driving Law Changes in the UK – How Do They Affect Your Car Hire?

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by Hertz - 10 March 2017

A number of new driving laws have been introduced that bring major changes to the way drivers use UK roads.

There are updates on child seat regulations, harsher punishments for those using their mobile phones while driving and, as of 24th April, there will be increased fines for speeding.

All drivers on British roads, whether visitors or residents, are liable to prosecution if they commit a driving offence.

The police can make drivers hand over cash on the spot if a foreign driver is caught committing an offence and cannot provide a permanent UK address. The money must be paid in pounds sterling.

The driver may decide to challenge the penalty in court, however if unsuccessful they could face a larger court fine.

There is a UK driver record that penalty points are added to – and ultimately motorists can be disqualified from British roads.

For more information on how these changes to the law can affect you when you are renting a car, take a look at the information below.

Mobile phone regulations

New rules in England, Scotland and Wales mean more severe punishments for those using their phones while driving.

As of 1st March, drivers caught using their phone at the wheel will now receive six penalty points on their licence and a £200 fine – double the previous penalties.

New drivers who have passed their test within the last two years will have their licence revoked if they are caught on the phone while driving.

The updated regulations also state that new drivers who have six or more points on their licence will have to retake their practical and theory driving tests.

In order to stay within the new regulations of these laws when driving your rental car, our advice is to not use your phone at all.

We also remind you that when you are hiring a car you are fully accountable for any breaches of road traffic rules, and will be charged for any costs incurred.

For more information on traffic fines and congestion charges in a hired car click here.

The law on child car seats

As of 1st March 2017, new laws have been implemented in order to try to prevent younger children using backless booster seats.

Backless booster seats can no longer be produced for children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22kg. 

Existing seats can still be used by families, but for safety reasons are not recommended. Guidance states that the safest option is for a child to sit in a high-backed booster seat for as long as possible, and certainly until they reach 22kg. 

The law states that children must be in an appropriate child car seat until they are either 135cm in height or 12 years of age – which ever they reach first. After this, they must then use an adult seatbelt.

To keep children safe and to stay within the law, you should use a booster seat in your hire car that conforms to these guidelines.

If you don’t have your own with you, we can provide you with a car seat that fits entirely within these safety laws.

To ensure your children have the safest possible journey, click here for more information on the new regulations and how to book a child seat with Hertz.

A rise in speeding fines

A new rule on speeding fines will come into effect on 24th April 2017 that will see a substantial rise in penalties, depending on the seriousness of the case.

The most serious speeding cases could result in a fine of 150% of the driver’s weekly income. This goes up to £1,000, or as high as £2,500 if drivers are caught speeding on the motorway.

Please remember that when you are driving a rental car you are entirely responsible for any fines or breaches of traffic regulations. This includes speeding fines under the new regulations.

Any costs incurred will be charged to you, plus an administration fee for the time we have spent dealing with the issue.

Please take note of all these law changes to ensure your UK car hire experience is both safe and enjoyable. 

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