Some drivers set to face extra charges to pay for upkeep of roads

HGV driver shortage 'will take years to fix' says McKenzie

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All heavy goods vehicles that weigh over 12 tonnes have to pay a levy cost for the wear and tear on the roads. The Government suspended the levy during the pandemic on August 1, 2020, but from July 31, 2023, charges will begin to apply again. 

It said that domestic and international hauliers, especially during the unprecedented coronavirus lockdowns, were essential to keeping the country running as the reason for suspending the levy.

The HGV Road User Levy can see drivers pay as much as £10 per day or £1,000 a year.

UK-registered vehicles pay levy costs at the same time and in the same transaction as vehicle excise duty (VED).

The levy amount varies according to the vehicle and is based on the weight, axle configuration and levy duration.

The levy was introduced by the HGV Road User Levy Act 2013 and began on April 1, 2014.

Since 2019, less polluting lorries have paid cheaper levies, with payments being collected by the DVLA.

The newest lorries generate 80 percent less nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than older ones.

So, lorries meeting the latest Euro 6 emissions standards are now eligible for a 10 percent reduction in the cost of the HGV levy. 

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Euro Class V and older vehicles – those introduced between January 2011 and September 2015 – must pay up to 20 percent more.

Earlier this year, the Government launched a consultation designed to seek industry views on how the HGV levy could be reformed.

The consultation, which ran for four weeks from June 20 until July 18, looked at two particular ways in which reforms could be introduced when the suspension ends in July 2023.

The first potential reform was to make the levy more reflective of the environmental performance of the vehicle.

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The levy would be restructured to be based on the weight of the vehicle, as an indicative proxy for carbon dioxide emissions.

If this reform were carried out, the majority of UK vehicles will pay less or the same as they did before the previous levy was suspended. 

The alternative would be to continue with the current structure and rates.

The Government’s second proposal was regarding the reform of the levy liability for foreign HGVs, such that they pay only when driving on major roads.

This is to clarify that the levy design is unambiguously in line with the Government’s international obligations. This comes as HGV motorists will see further changes to their driving requirements later in the year.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is implementing new legislation for tachographs in line with requirements under the EU Drivers’ Hours regime.

A smart tachograph 2 will need to be installed and used in vehicles registered for the first time on or after August 21, 2023.  

There are concerns around the supply of smart tachograph 2 but the European Commission is confident that any supply issues will be resolved ahead of the August 2023 date. The Department for Transport said it will monitor the situation closely. 

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