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Changes to the HGV levy shift focus towards environmental impact

View profile for Paul Loughlin
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Guidance for vocational drivers

The Department for Transport (DfT) recently reintroduced the HGV levy following a temporary suspension during the Covid-19 pandemic. The levy, first introduced back in 2014, is aimed at making sure lorries make a contribution towards the wear and tear of the road network. As part of its reintroduction, the levy has undergone some changes.

Essentially, the amount paid will use each vehicle’s weight to broadly approximate CO2 emissions, and will also take into account the vehicle’s air quality emissions standard, and levy duration.

Who does the road levy apply to?

The DfT have said the levy will apply to any vehicle of 12 tonnes or more driving on motorways or A-roads. Zero-emission HGVs are exempted from paying the HGV levy, provided they are emission-free at the tailpipe and would also be otherwise exempt from vehicle excise duty (VED). This exemption does not extend to hybrid vehicles.

How much does it cost?

Rates vary from between £150 to £749 per vehicle, per year. The responsibility for paying the levy lies with the driver, the operator, or a booking agent. UK registered vehicles pay the levy at the same time and in the same transaction as vehicle excise duty (VED). Non UK registered vehicles must pay the levy before entering the country. Payments are collected by the DVLA.

What happens if I don’t pay the levy?

Failure to pay the correct HGV levy when entering or using the UK road network results in penalties. The UK enforcement agencies have been tasked with monitoring compliance and will issue a £300 roadside fine to offenders. Offenders will also still be required to pay the relevant levy for that day.

If you cannot pay the £300 fine, the vehicle will be immobilised and impounded until payment is made. You will then have to pay additional costs for the storage of the vehicle.

For legal guidance in relation to road transport law please call our specialist team on 0161 696 6250.