DURING this cost-of-living crisis, the last thing you need is to be slapped with a big fine. But you could face a £1,000 fine if you flout a little-known parking rule that bans parking on the wrong side of the road at night. 

Most drivers know about double yellow lines and clearways, but it is often the less known rules that catch us out. Highway code rule number 248 states that motorists should always park their vehicles facing the flow of traffic at night so as not to confuse other drivers.

Cars reflect red light from the rear and white from the front and seeing the wrong colour on your side of the road at night can confuse. If you get caught flouting the rule, you could be fined £1,000 for a car offence, rising to £2,500 for a goods vehicle and buses and minibuses with eight seats or more.

Don’t risk the safety of others, and don’t get fined. Is your driving licence in date? A Freedom of Information request by the Press Association has highlighted that thousands of motorists are at risk of a £1,000 fine for driving with an expired license.

Around 2 per cent of road users are driving with licences that ran out in August this year. While some of those road users will have simply stopped driving without notifying the DVLA, a greater number are likely to be using their vehicles not knowing that their licence has expired.

The DVLA reported that anyone who renews after the expiration date of their licence will not be fined, neither would those who have made an application in the system. The DVLA are supposed to contact you 56 days prior to your licence becoming expired, but that doesn’t always happen, and if you haven’t renewed you will be at fault and risk that fine.

So check your licence now, look on the front of your photocard driving licence and look at the line marked ‘4b’, this date is the expiry date of your driving licence. If that date has passed and you haven’t renewed, get your renewal under way immediately. 

Also, be aware that if you are involved in a road traffic accident driving with an expired licence, it is almost certain that your insurance company will refuse to pay out. Driving licences have a shelf life of ten years until you reach the age of 70, from then on you must renew it every three years.

Don’t be caught out, check your licence right now.


Be in no doubt: petrol/diesel engines will disappear

BECAUSE of a recent conversation I had with some like-minded car friends, I conducted some fresh research into the future banning of Internal combustion engined (ICE) cars, i.e. petrol and diesel engines. 

Some of those friends think that electric vehicles will never replace ICE vehicles, but that is simply not true. Such a view harps back to the Luddites of the 1800s who were opposed to new technology or ways of working.

The European Union has just announced that all new ICE cars will be banned from 2035 after a deal was struck between the union’s three key institutions and negotiators from EU member states. That aligns with the 2030 ban imposed by the UK government meaning no ICE cars can be manufactured or sold in the EU or UK after that date.

The decision means car makers in the EU will be required to cut their CO2 emissions by 100 per cent by 2035, signalling the end of new ICE cars in 27 countries.  New cars sold from 2030 will also be required to cut CO2 emission output by 55 per cent compared with the performance of cars sold in 2021, this was agreed in 2018.

There will be exemptions from the regulations until the end of 2035 for car makers that produce between 1,000 and 10,000 cars a year. Firms that produce fewer than 1,000 new registrations a year will free from regulations for the foreseeable future.

This means car makers such as Lamborghini and Bentley will effectively be given a one-year delay on reaching targets due to their limited production runs. Jan Huitema, the European Parliament's lead negotiator, said: “With these targets, we create clarity for the car industry and stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. In addition, purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers. 

“I am pleased that today we reached an agreement with the [European] Council on an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and supported a 100 per cent target for 2035. This is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and make clean driving more affordable.” 

I hope this provides clarity for all of us. Anyone who thinks the banning of ICE cars is a joke or a bluff will have to think again.  Next week I will be conducting a road test on a newly developed hybrid electric vehicle and will report in this column the following week. Happy ICE motoring till then. 


Verstappen doesn’t let up to claim victory in Mexico City

THE eleventh different pole-sitter in eleven years at the Mexican City Grand Prix saw Max Verstappen line up at the front of the grid for what turned out to be an intriguing if not exciting race. 

Max cruised to a record-breaking win ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Pérez, with the Dutch driver delivering a flawless drive to the flag from pole during which he gave up the lead only during his sole pit stop. 

It was his ninth win in a row and his 14th win of the year, surpassing the previous record held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. At the race start, Verstappen got away well on soft compound tyres to take the lead ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell and Hamilton, who both started on medium tyres.

As the Mercedes pair jockeyed for position in the first corners, Russell went wide in Turn 3. That gave Pérez the chance to attack and pass to take third place. The race settled into a bit of a procession before the final stint became a tactical battle, with the Red Bull pair looking to nurse their medium tyres to the flag, while Mercedes banked on the durability of the hard tyres to give them a late advantage.

The advantage didn’t materialise and Verstappen and Pérez managed the pace well to the flag. And so, it was Max Verstappen first (right) from a hard charging Lewis Hamilton second, in third was homeboy Sergio Pérez ahead of George Russell.

In fifth was Carlos Sainz just ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc; Daniel Ricciardo was seventh collecting the Sky viewers’ vote for ‘Drive of the Day’. Esteban Ocon was eighth, Lando Norris ninth with Valtteri Bottas taking the last championship point and rounding out the top ten. 

The penultimate round of the championship is Brazil in two weeks’ time.