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Guide to the HGV road user levy

According to Sky News, there is an 'unprecedented demand' from people wanting to become HGV drivers.

Every HGV driven in the UK is subject to the HGV road user levy. The levy was introduced in 2014 as part of the HGV Road User Levy Act 2013. From February 2019, greener, less-polluting HGVs have received a reduction to the amount they need to pay.

The HGV levy is separate from vehicle tax. You may already know how to check if a vehicle is taxed, so here’s our quick guide to the HGV road user levy for all HGV drivers.

What is the HGV road user levy?

The HGV road user levy is set by the UK government and needs to be paid by all businesses and owners who operate trucks on the UK’s roads. The levy is designed to cover the cost of wear and tear on roads and to create a level playing field for road haulage operators.

Who needs to pay the HGV road user levy?

All vehicles that weigh more than 12 tonnes have to pay the HGV road user levy. Vehicles that weigh less than 12 tonnes are exempt. 

The levy applies to UK and non-UK HGVs. If a truck is entering the UK from abroad (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), the levy needs to be paid in advance of arrival.

How much is the HGV road user levy?

Depending on the situation, the levy can cost up to £10 a day or £1,000 a year. Within the levy, there are different bands based on weight, axle configuration, levy duration, and vehicle type.

Lorries that meet the latest Euro VI emissions standards can claim a 10% reduction, while Euro Class V and older vehicles pay up to 20% more.

What is the current situation with the HGV road user levy?

HGV drivers are essential to keeping the country running – especially in the current difficult times. They play a key role in supporting the UK’s economic recovery and growth. 

In August 2020, the UK government suspended the HGV levy to help the Covid-19 recovery efforts. That means between 1st August 2020 and 31st July 2021, the levy does not apply to UK or non-UK registered HGVs. You will still need to pay vehicle tax during this time. It’s easy to check if a vehicle is taxed.

How do I pay the HGV road user levy?

From 1st August 2021 when the suspension is lifted, UK hauliers can pay the levy at the same time as paying their vehicle excise duty (VED). Both payments can be made via the online payment portal. Non-UK registered hauliers can pay electronically or by bank transfer, debit card, credit card or fuel card.

Do other charges still apply?

If the HGV road user levy applies to your vehicle, you still need to pay other charges – for example, road tax, VED and the congestion charge. You can check if a vehicle is taxed on the government’s website.

What is the penalty for not paying the HGV road user levy?

It is a criminal offence not to pay the HGV road user levy. The penalty for non-payment is a fixed penalty fine of £300. When an HGV enters the UK without paying the levy, the relevant authorities are automatically alerted and the vehicle is stopped. If the driver is unable to pay the fine, the vehicle will be impounded.

Can I transfer the HGV road user levy between vehicles?

No. The HGV road user levy is not transferable between vehicles and each vehicle levy should be paid separately.

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