The UK government is introducing a road user levy for heavy goods vehicles of 12 tonnes or more. The levy will be time based and is aligned with EU legislation on road charging.

The theory is that money generated from this levy will go towards maintenance of the countries roads. How transparent they can make this we will have to see.

The levy will begin on 1st April 2014 and UK vehicles will have their payments collected from the DVLA.

More interesting is how the levy is going to be collected for foreign vehicles. The methods proposed and apparently in place are: by phone, on-line or through a small number of pay points at ferry terminals.

With the high volume of foreign vehicles on UK roads we expect many to be un-informed and fall prey to initial penalties of up to £300.00 with foreign vehicles being asked to pay up at the roadside.

We trust that with hauliers coming from further and further east that the government has considered a thorough awareness campaign in many languages.

There will be a public database which can be used to type in vehicle registrations to check the lorries levy status. We wonder if this may turn the general public into a nation of ‘levy spotters’ (I am officially claiming this term), however, in reality this is helpful for companies to ensure their hauliers are compliant with current legislation.

We’ll be rolling out an awareness campaign shortly as we watch how smooth the systems in place unfold. If you have any questions we have an in-house expert, Mr Gary Doyle, who will be more than happy to offer free advice to customers so please do not hesitate to call us.

In the meantime, watch this space!