The start of September is set to trigger a number of changes for drivers, including the introduction of a new standard petrol – here’s everything you need to know
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The rules of the road are changing from Wednesday this week and drivers are being urged to get on top of new guidelines in good time.
New E10 petrol will launch on September 1 – and some cars may not be compatible with the new upgrade.
The new fuel contains up to 10% bioethanol, replacing E5 which has up to 5%, and is being introduced to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
However, those who fill a non-compatible vehicle with E10 petrol could find that it may cause damage to seals, plastics and metals over longer periods as a result of bioethanol’s corrosive properties.
From driving licence renewals to new fuel, here’s what you need to know.
1. E10 fuel launches on Wednesday
That means most vehicles that run on petrol will no longer see E5 in petrol stations in the UK.
The difference between E10 and E5 is that E5 contains just 5% of renewable ethanol, whereas the new edition contains 10%, reducing the amount of vehicle emissions produced.
E10 petrol is already widely used around the world, including across Europe, the US and Australia.
All cars made after 2011 should be fine to fill up with E10, as well as the majority of vehicles made since the late 1990s.
If your car is incompatible, you’ll have to look out for ‘super grade E5 unleaded’ instead.
2. The driving licence extension is ending
The DVLA extended driving licences which expired between February 1 and December 31, 2020 for 11 months at the height of Covid restrictions last year.
It meant drivers whose licences were due to end in October 2020 would instead be valid until late 2020 – however the deadline to renew many of them is now September 2021.
Motorists do not need to apply to renew their licence until they receive a reminder before their extension expires.
It all depends on when your extension started. For example, if your licence was due to expire in December 2020, you’ll need to make sure it is up to date by November 2021 .
Drivers who fail to renew their licence could be issued a £1,000 fine so have been urged to update it as soon as they can.
The DVLA says there’s currently a five month delay on new licences, but drivers can continue driving if they receive confirmation their application is being processed.
3. Changes to number plates
September’s number plate changes will see the new ‘71’ designs launch on brand new vehicles.
However, the new designs are not the only update for number plates as a new technical standard launches.
The old BS AU 145d standard, which had been used since 2001, will be replaced by the new BS AU 145e plates on September 1.
The new standards makes the new plates more durable.
And, under the new rules, number plates can only feature solid black lettering which makes it easier for ANPR cameras to read them.
This means two-tone digits will not be allowed on UK number plates from September 2021.
However, if existing plates meet the requirements of the olds standard (BSAU 145d) then they remain legal and do not need to be changed.
The new number plates will also include the supplier’s business address and postcode.