2020 vision: changes that will affect the Fleet Industry this year.

2020 Vision

It is the start of a new year, and there are a number of changes to be aware of if you are managing fleet.


Brexit is still arguably the main issue weighing on the minds of the UK’s fleet managers, with big question marks over how Britain’s divorce from the European Union, which is currently expected to take place at the end of January, will impact driving rules on the continent amongst many other things.

Set to usher in some of the biggest changes to our economy in half a century, Brexit will remain top of the agenda for Fleet Managers across all industries in 2020.

2018 saw the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which aims to deliver more accurate real-world test results for electric and combustion-engine cars.

In April 2020, the European Commission will convert today’s (NEDC-based) CO2 targets to specific WLTP-CO2 targets of comparable stringency. These new WLTP targets will apply for monitoring car fleet compliance.

Last year saw the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) come in to effect in central London, seeing drivers with older, more polluting vehicles pay more to drive in London.

On 26 October 2020, the London-wide low emission zone will be brought in to effect for larger vehicles & the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) emission standards will become tougher for heavier vehicles.

TFL have launched a calculator that enables you to check if your vehicles will be affected by these standards, and what you would need to pay https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/low-emission-zone/changes-to-the-lez.

Penalty charges for vehicles affected by tougher LEZ emission standards will also change from 26 October 2020.

Also from 26 October 2020, if you drive an HGV over 12 tonnes in Greater London at any time you will need an HGV Safety Permit to show that your vehicle meets the new Direct Vision Standard (DVS). Vehicles without a permit will be subject to a penalty charge notice. Applications for permits are free and are available now here https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/deliveries-in-london/delivering-safely/direct-vision-in-heavy-goods-vehicles

The final phase will extend the ULEZ for all vehicles to cover most of Greater London from 25 October 2021.

In July 2019, the Treasury made the decision to scrap the previously published BiK tables for 2020/21 and create two new ones — one for those driving a company car registered from 6 April 2020 and one for those driving one registered before that date.

The purpose of this is to separate cars that had their emissions tested under the old NEDC (New European Drive Cycle) criteria from those tested under the new WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) requirements, which tends to produce a higher CO2 reading. Typically, cars registered from 6 April 2020 can expect to see their BiK rates cut by two percentage points in 2019/20.

Perhaps the biggest effect of the changes was the introduction of a zero per cent BiK rate for EVs registered from 6 April 2020, rising to one per cent in 2021/22 and two per cent in 2022/2023.

The zero per cent rate also covers all-electric company cars registered before 6 April 2020, as well as hybrids registered after that date that emit 1-50g/km of CO2 and have a pure electric range of 130 miles, though at present there are no such cars on the market.

From 2023/24 onwards, the two tables will merge to become one again, realigning the rates following the implementation of WLTP. And while a two per cent surcharge on diesel company cars is remaining in place, models that prove to be RDE2 compliant will be exempt.

Mobile phone driving legislation

As announced in late 2019, legislation on using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving is to be tightened up. The current legislation prevents drivers from using a hand-held mobile phone to call or text whilst driving, but the law is set to be updated in spring 2020 to reflect advancements in smartphone technology. The revised law will include using hand-held phones to browse the internet, film, take photos, or scroll through playlists.

The original law around driving with mobile phones was put in place 16 years ago, before smartphones were widely used.