HGV Road User Levy has earned millions since introduction

The HGV Road User Levy came into effect at the start of April 2014. It was recently announced that the new levy, introduced by the Department for Transport (DfT), has already raised £7.6 million through fees.

Overview of the levy

Making sure your driving licence, heavy goods vehicle insurance and various other documents are in order is important for any HGV driver. But as from April 2014 you have a new thing to remember in the form of the HGV Road User Levy.

The levy applies to HGVs of 12 tonnes or over, and the money raised will contribute to upkeep of roads across the UK.

Vehicles registered in the UK must pay the levy at the same time as they pay the vehicle excise duty (VED). However, because the VED has been reduced, the majority of UK-registered HGVs will not have to pay any more on an annual basis.

The levy must be paid either every six months or annually, and the payment is made to the DVLA.

The process is slightly different for vehicles registered outside the UK. The amount that has to be paid depends on the size of the HGV, and the full amounts can be found here.

The levy must be paid before entering the country, and it can be paid on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

The payment is then recorded in a database so the public can check whether the levy has been paid for a particular HGV, allowing the authorities to easily carry out checks.

Enforcement of the levy

The levy is being enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which was known as the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency until April 2014. Failure to pay will lead to fine of £300 for UK-registered HGVs. Drivers of foreign-registered HGVs will have to pay a deposit on the roadside.

Levy to earn £20 million a year

When the levy was introduced, it was anticipated it would raise around £20 million a year, so these initial figures (above) are encouraging. However, many operators will have paid in full for the year during the first month rather than on a weekly or monthly basis, so the amount earned from the levy so far is likely to go down over coming months.

In April, the DfT confirmed that some operators had been issued with fines for failing to pay the HGV Road User Levy in the first two weeks, with a total of 200 fines issued.

However, during that period, 92,000 levies were also bought, and 78,000 trucks were registered by operators from 56 countries.

Remember to pay the levy to avoid fines

The levy is simple to pay, so make sure you remember to pay it whether you drive a UK-registered or foreign-registered HGV to avoid fines. Check out the Gov.uk website for more details of the levy if you are unsure about how much you should be paying.