Foreign road hauliers charged to use UK roads

Foreign road hauliers will be charged to use UK roads for the first time from tomorrow (Tuesday 1 April 2014).

This should help the UK haulage sector to compete more fairly with their foreign counterparts, as currently UK truck drivers working in Europe have to pay tolls and levies when delivering goods abroad, yet foreign trucks operating in the UK do not have similar charges.

The charge is part of the coalition’s promise of a fairer deal for UK hauliers, including lower duty on standard diesel than in October 2010, and no increase in HGV Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).

The levy is structured in a series of bands which reflect vehicle type, weight and number of axles. UK operators will pay the levy at the same time as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in one transaction for administrative ease.  At the same time as introducing the levy, the government is reducing VED, so much so that more than nine out of ten UK vehicles will pay no more than they do now.

From tomorrow foreign operators will have to pay the levy before using UK roads. Discounts are available for longer periods with charges varying between £1.70 and £10 per day or £85 to £1,000 per year.

The transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the HGV Road User Levy will “provide a massive boost for the UK haulage industry” and will “create a level playing field across Europe, giving UK firms a much better opportunity to win business.”

The HGV Levy is being brought in almost a year ahead of schedule.

“It is good news for the UK as a whole that we will now receive contributions from non-UK trucks using our roads,” said Simon Fraser, manager director, Lombard Shipping.

The government is also investing £3.3 billion in major road schemes which will provide over 500 miles of additional lane capacity to the strategic road network and £10.7 billion to add at least 400 miles of capacity on the busiest motorways.