This page contains information relating vehicles exempt from road user charges.

What vehicles are exempt from road user charges?

A motor vehicle is exempt from road user charge if it:

  • is a light or heavy vehicle whose motive power is wholly or partly derived from an external source of electricity. Light electric vehicles are exempt until 30 June 2021 while heavy electric vehicles are exempt until 31 December 2025. Light electric vehicles are exempt under section 37 and heavy electric vehicles under 37A of the Road User Charges Act by Order in Council: 
    • Road User Charges (Exemption Period for Light Electric RUC Vehicles) Order 2012.
    • Road User Charges (Exemption Period for Heavy Electric RUC Vehicles) Order 2017

  • belongs to a class of vehicles whose purpose or design means it is unsuitable for regular road use and the compliance costs associated with collecting RUC from the vehicle are disproportionate to the likely amount of road use (section 38). Examples of such vehicles include tractors, forklifts, and bulldozers.

What about other vehicles suitable for regular road use but operated almost exclusively off-road?

An owner or operator of a light vehicle may also apply to the NZ Transport Agency for an exemption to pay road user charges if the vehicle is operated almost exclusively off-road. The full requirements for an off-road exemption are set out in section 40 of the Road User Charges Act 2012. Visit the NZ Transport Agency website(external link) for details on eligibility criteria, cost, and application processes for an exemption. 

Other exemptions

The NZ Transport Agency may, by notice in the Gazette, grant an exemption from the requirement to pay road user charges if satisfied:

  • the exemption is necessary because the purpose or design of the particular vehicle means that it is unsuitable for regular road use and
  • requiring road user charges to be paid in respect of the particular vehicle would impose compliance costs that are disproportionate to the likely amount of road use by the vehicle.

To see the list of vehicles, please see the Specification of Road User Charges Notice 2019(external link).