UK hauliers will get what is being described as a ‘fairer deal’ thanks to new legislation.
The HGV Road User Levy Act means that foreign HGVs will be charged for using UK roads, in the same way that UK lorries are charged abroad. The charge, supported by UK businesses, will come into force in April next year.
Foreign trucks will be charged up to £1,000 per year, or £10 per day, to use UK roads. The charge applies to lorries weighing more than 12 tonnes.
However, since the scheme cannot discriminate between UK-registered hauliers and trucks from elsewhere in the EU, the charge will apply to all lorries. The government is telling UK drivers not to fear though, since any charge for them will be offset through a reduction in vehicle excise duty.
Penalties for not paying the compulsory charge will be severe, with fines of up to £5,000. Foreign trucks can pay daily, weekly, monthly or annual charges while UK firms can add on the charge to their normal Vehicle Excise Duty payments.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said, “”Every year there are around 1.5 million trips to the UK by foreign registered lorries but none of them pays to use our roads, leaving UK businesses and taxpayers to foot the bill. In contrast, when UK hauliers travel abroad then in most cases they have to pay to use the roads.
“This new Act will help the UK logistics industry remain competitive by making sure that operators from abroad are paying towards the cost of building and maintaining the UK’s roads as well as creating a level playing field for domestic operators.”