Driving Law - Changes

2018 sees many new driving laws come into force, while other established laws are set to change. Staying on top of changes could help you avoid breaking any laws in the future.

Changes to tax on diesel cars

From April 2018, motorists buying a new diesel car will pay more road tax. It is part of the ‘UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations’, published in July 2017. Nitrogen dioxide is the damaging gas that diesel cars produce more of than petrol cars. It’s expected that this tax increase will raise an extra £125m in 2018-2019.

Smart motorways

Smart motorways (which used to be called managed motorways) are the ones that run over four lanes with gantry signs overhead. They provide real-time speed limits to better regulate the flow of traffic. The fourth lane can be opened and closed at discretion to relieve congestion further.

The new law applies to anyone driving in a closed lane on a smart motorway. It is already illegal, but the new law carries a new fixed penalty for drivers who do drive in a closed lane.

Learners on motorways

From 4 June, learner drivers can drive on the motorway. They’ll only be allowed with their instructor as long as they’re in a vehicle with dual controls. This will pose a new risk for other road users that could affect underwriting considerations in the future. It’s at the instructor’s discretion to take a learner on the motorway, and won’t be included on the test.

New MOT tests

In May, significant changes are now here for MOT tests. Test results will be categorised into dangerous, major and minor. These changes could make it more difficult for a vehicle to pass its MOT. If a vehicle receives a dangerous or major fault, it’ll instantly fail. If it receives a minor, it’ll pass, but be noted on the certificate. As well as this, diesel particulate filters will also be included in the test for the first time. This particular change could have huge ramifications for commercial drivers, as most commercial vehicles run on diesel.


Another new idea that could become law is banning new drivers at night. If this were to come into force, it could affect many drivers who rely on driving at night for work. It’s not guaranteed to happen yet, but we’ll endeavour to keep you posted with developments.




Insurance Act 2015-       What it means to you

Insurance Act 2015- this became law on 12/8/16 and is much more user friendly than the old law which applied- there is a seperate FACTSHEET on the website for you to check if you follow the 'read more' link above. As always, if you have any doubts, call John Sweeney on 07900 692163.


Cyber Cover-                 Protect yourself online

Online crime is at an all time high- the culprits are clever, and employ sophisticated and professional methods to defraud you- cyber Cover is readily avaliable, quick and cheap- please contact us for details. 



Fail to Prepare               Prepare to Fail!

Recent HSE prosecutions continually quote that UK Companies must plan their jobs professionally with the safety of their workforce at the core their thinking- again, call us for advice and if we cannot help,we happen to insure several very good Health and Safety Practioners who could help you. 



Life Insurance                     Don't gamble with your life

You don't have to panic and go on the internet, not really knowing what you are wanting. We are completely independent and can sit down with you and discuss things- whether it is a simple 10 year Term Assurance or KeyMan Cover, lets talk.



Home Insurance                 Try Us!

You will be very pleasantly surprised- AXA, in particular, have a superb Home Insurance Contract- good cover backed by a quality insurer- you may not get a free pen or a cuddly toy.


But, what you will get is a very good policy and when the chips are down, our Managing Director will come to your home and sit down over a cuppa and conclude your claim professionally. 



Private Medical Cover           What's new?

We can arrange both individual and Group Schemes, many of which can be extended to include Family members and/or key members of staff. As always, happy to pop out and explain things for you. 



Cost of insurance set to rise in June 2017 with IPT increase

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is set to increase to 12% in June 2017. This is the latest of a number of recent increases to IPT and means that the tax on insurance premiums will have doubled in less than two years:

  • November 2015 - IPT rose from 6% to 9.5%
  • October 2016 - IPT rose from 9.5% to 10%
  • June 2017 - IPT rose from 10% to 12%

What's IPT?

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) was first introduced in the UK in 1994, and is a tax on general insurance premiums (including home, travel and mobile phone insurance). There are currently two bands, with 10% being the most common rate. A higher rate applies to travel insurance, appliance insurance and some vehicle insurance - which are all at 20% (the same as VAT).

Clearly the larger the insurance premium, the more significant the effect of the recent IPT change will be. So this will hit customers of home and motor insurance the most.



A very warm welcome to our new look website! 


Within these pages we'll do our best to reassure you, as insurance is not complicated. It's about getting the right balance. Cover, cost and quality of insurance company are among the factors you need to consider. 


Here at Sweeney Insurance Associates you will find straight answers with no waffle. We are legally bound to tell you how it is, warts and all. Hopefully we will cover most things, if not please call us. 


  • Established in 1988 at our Teesside Offices. 


  • Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority- Reference 310183. 


  • Members of British Insurance Brokers Association.


  • We hold the prestigious QUALITY MANAGEMENT award QMS ISO9001. We are independently audited to ensure our systems and controls meet the strict ISO9001 standard. 


  • Registered in England and Wales, registration number 2271457. 


  • NEBOSH qualified- John Sweeney.


  • IOSH qualified- John Sweeney.


If you are browsing through, enjoy the site- we will try and keep it fresh, topical and lively- we'll also try and be informative. 


If you need a second opinion on your insurances, please call or e-mail- Contract details are on the menu to the left. Thank You. 


J. A. Sweeney (Managing Director) 

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© Sweeney Insurance Associates •Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority- Reference 310183.•Registered in England and Wales, registration number 2271457.