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Gerry Brownlee

12 June, 2012

Simplified RUC system easier for all

Changes to the road user charges system set to take effect from 1 August will simplify the process for everyone who uses it, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

Regulations have been developed  to enable:

  • every heavy vehicle to be given a permanent road user charges weight and supplementary licences to be discontinued
  • removal of the time licence system
  • changes to the current exemption regime
  • a reduction in the administration fee payable when purchasing a road user charges licence

“These system changes will create a number of benefits including reduced compliance costs, time savings for all transport business operators through the simplification of licence purchases, and less complex roadside enforcement checks,” Mr Brownlee said.

Currently a vehicle operator has to estimate the maximum laden weight of their vehicle for a journey, and purchase a corresponding road user charges licence.

“Moving to a permanent weight system with weight bands will greatly simplify this process,” Mr Brownlee said.

“These changes will also encourage the most efficient use of vehicles and remove the opportunity to purchase road user charges licences for less than the actual weight of the vehicle.”

Removing supplementary licences and time licences will also result in compliance cost savings.

Most vehicles currently required to purchase time licences will be exempt, while changes have been made to the exemption regime to more closely link exemptions to the suitability of a vehicle for regular road use.

In addition, the government has extended the current exemption for light electric motor vehicles from the requirement to pay road user charges, from 2013 to 2020.

Overweight vehicles will have the option to purchase additional road user charges for individual loads, or obtain a type H road user charges licence, designed for vehicles that run overweight most of the time.

While changes are intended to recover the same total amount of revenue for the National Land Transport Fund as under the current system, changing vehicle weight definitions means that all vehicles will have a different charge.

“The charge for some individual vehicles will be greater and some lesser than at present.

“For lighter vehicles the effect is relatively minor, but as there is more variation in the current charges for heavier vehicles the effects of simplifying the charging scale for these vehicles will also be greater,” Mr Brownlee said.

Road user charges rates will also be affected by an increase of 4.1 per cent (on average) on 1 August 2012.  This is equivalent to the two cent per litre increase in petrol excise duty that will occur on the same day.

Questions and answers about road user charges regulations, petrol excise and road user charges increases are available on the Ministry of Transport website www.transport.govt.nz.

The new vehicle types, weight bands and road user charges are also available on the Ministry website www.transport.govt.nz.