Since 1 April 2014 all HGVs at or above 12 tonnes gross weight using UK roads have been required to pay the ‘HGV road user levy’. The levy ensures all such HGVs contribute to the costs of UK road maintenance and removes some of the inequality UK hauliers feel when paying to use many roads abroad. The levy costs up to £10 per day or £1,000 per year. I am pleased to announce that the HGV levy has proved to be a great success in its first year of operation. It has raised a total £192.5 million in receipts, with £46.5 million from foreign-registered vehicles and £146 million from UK-registered vehicles. Receipts from foreign vehicles are significantly ahead of the projected £21 million.
For most UK-registered HGVs, vehicle excise duty (VED) was reduced by the same amount as the levy, and is conveniently paid alongside VED to keep administrative costs to a minimum. Over 160,200 foreign vehicles have been registered on the levy payment system. In total 1.9 million levies were purchased for foreign HGVs:
- 91% were ‘daily’, ie covering only 1 or a few days
- 3% were weekly
- 5% monthly
- just 1% annual
despite the discounts available on long duration purchases.
This predominance of more expensive daily levies is a major factor in our original estimate being exceeded. Even so, in terms of revenue raised, 18% (£8.5 million) came from annual levies and 48% (£22.3 million) from daily levies. The number of levies purchased was greatest for Polish registered vehicles (27%), followed by Romania (12%), Spain (9%) and Hungary (7%). The levy has also been a success in terms of efficient digital delivery and customer service. The
vast majority of transactions 97% are made through an on-line portal using registered accounts. The remaining 3% of sales have been through assisted digital point of sale terminals on ferries, at truckstops and through agents. This has all been supported by a multi-lingual customer service call centre.
Effective roadside enforcement has been provided by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland, and the police. This has contributed to a levy compliance level for foreign vehicles inspected by DVSA at roadside check sites in Great Britain of 95%. Officers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland have issued over 3,000 fixed penalties for levy offences during its first year raising more than £900,000 in fines.
DVLA has enforced the levy alongside VED for UK registered vehicles, and over 99% compliance has been achieved.