What you need to know
New Zealand’s system of road user charges (RUC) is unique internationally. It applies to all heavy vehicles and to all diesel-powered light vehicles, and on all public roads. All non-petrol powered vehicles, excluding vehicles powered by CNG or LPG, are subject to RUC. It was introduced in 1978 and the revenue is used to fund the operation, maintenance and improvement of our land transport system.
The RUC legislation was updated in 2012 — the most significant update since it was introduced in 1978. The changes made the system easier to understand and fairer for all those who pay RUC. The Road User Charges Act 2012 empowers the making of regulations to support the implementation of the legislation, including exemptions.
We have commissioned 3 evaluations of the changes made in 2012 — in 2013, 2014 and 2016. We continue to monitor the operation of the legislation and the road user charges system.
The work to date
Road user charges reduced between 21 April 2022 and 21 July 2022
Road user charges exemption for light electric vehicles extended until 31 March 2024
Evaluations of the Road User Charges Act 2012 undertaken
Between 2013 and 2016, we commissioned Allen & Clarke to conduct evaluations of the Act in 3 stages.
Road User Charges Act 2012 came into force
The Act came into force on 1 August 2012, bringing about changes to how the RUC system worked and allowing the making of regulations to support the implementation of the legislation.
Review group conducted independent review of RUC
The Road User Charges Review Group conducted an independent review of the RUC system and examined land transport cost allocations, options for improving the current RUC system and the merits of alternative methods of collecting revenue from diesel vehicles.