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Equine Council for Northern Ireland

Strengthening, developing and supporting our industry

HGV Road User Levy

Applies to all vehicles over 12 ton unladen

Department of transport Letter dated May 2015

ECNI Press Release 26 May 2015

Since 1st April 2014 the UK government introduced a HGV Road User Levy for all lorries over 12 Tonnes gross weight, this includes vehicles registered outside the UK and must be paid before entering the UK. This means all horse these lorries travelling to Northern Ireland or GB are liable for this levy. Lorries registered within the UK already pay this levy which is included in their VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) via the DVLA.

This new levy was brought to the attention of Equine Council for Northern Ireland as a number of horse lorry’s from Rep of Ireland, travelling in Northern Ireland, had been stopped without having pre-paid the levy and attracted a £300 fixed penalty notice, with a deposit taken at the roadside or risk of confiscation on the spot.

Due to the implications of this new levy on horse owners, the ECNI have written to Dept. of Transport seeking clarification on this matter with special regard to horse lorries. A spokesman for E.C.N.I. Hon. Secretary David Kirkpatrick said “I’m pleased to announce that although we have not been able to secure an exemption for horse lorries we have been able to get clarification on this HGV Levy”. In a letter from Dept. of Transport they explained that “Irish vehicles that are not used for carrying goods or burden in the course of trade or business, and in Ireland are registered and taxed as private vehicles rather than goods vehicles, are exempt from the HGV Levy. A vehicle claiming the HGV Levy exemption in Northern Ireland, but unable to provide documentary evidence of its private taxation status, may be issued with a fixed penalty. HGV vehicles of less than 12 tonnes maximum weight are exempt from the HGV Levy completely.” This means that drives of HGV horse lorries over 12 tonnes, which are taxed as private vehicles, should carry confirmation of their private status to avoid having to pay this tax or fixed penalty fine. “The Dept. of Transport letter can been seen on our website and perhaps a copy of this letter should be downloaded and kept in lorries, which this exemption applies to, for reference should they be stopped” said David.

Department of Transport Website links

Only vehicles registered outside the UK are required to pay the levy - if appropriate.

Background and more information

The aim of the levy is to ensure these vehicles make a contribution to the wear and tear of the road network amounts vary according to the vehicle’s weight, axle configuration and levy duration.
UK registered vehicles
From 1 April 2014, UK registered vehicles will pay levy costs at the same time and in the same transaction as vehicle excise duty (VED). Payments will be collected by the DVLA.VED has been reduced and, consequently, over 90% of HGVs will not see costs rise. The VED changes were announced by the Chancellor in the March 2013 Budget and have been made in the Finance Bill 2014.

Non-UK registered vehicles

Vehicles registered abroad must make levy payments before entering the UK (including Northern Ireland) and details about levy amounts are available (PDF, 900KB). Maximum rate £10 per day. The levy can be paid by day, week, month or year and discounts are available for longer levy periods.

Online payment of the HGV road user levy for operators completing journeys on UK roads is available now. The service also offers a ‘registered account’ and a ‘pay and go’ purchasing option.
‘Pay and go’ purchasing can also be completed:
• by telephone
• at a limited number of point of sale terminals on ferries and truck stops
The foreign operator payment system is operated by Northgate Public Services on behalf of the Department for Transport. Visiting HGV drivers and operators of HGVs registered outside of the UK can sign up for updates about how and where to pay levy. The latest update and previous bulletins are available along with a payment guide and frequently asked questions relating to the levy.
HGV drivers and operators should also take note that:
• there is no physical sign of payment through the display of a paper disc, sticker or similar item
• payment of the levy is recorded in a database using the vehicle registration as the unique identifier
• a public web based database is available to allow anyone to check the levy status of an HGV by entering its registration number
• the payment database enables authorities to identify and take necessary action where the levy has not been paid, or underpayment is suspected
• failure to pay the levy is a criminal offence, attracting a £300 fixed penalty notice – or in the case of foreign HGVs, a deposit taken at the roadside
• there are no caps to the value of daily, weekly and monthly levies that can be purchased for a specific vehicle