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Agency issues RUC warning

Registered owners of cars with charging plugs must pay charges by May 31.
Posted on 01 April, 2024
Agency issues RUC warning

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi is reminding owners of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) they need to start paying road-user charges from April 1.

The fees are $76 per 1,000km for EVs and $38 per 1,000km for PHEVs, which recognises they also pay tax through the price of petrol. There are admin charges on top.

Tara Macmillan, head of strategic regulatory programmes at the NZTA, says the quickest and easiest way to buy road-user charges (RUC) is online.

“Just go to the NZTA website, click on ‘Online services’ then ‘Buy a road user charges (RUC) licence’ and follow the instructions. You’ll need to give your odometer reading when you buy your first licence and keep your RUC up to date going forward.”

Macmillan says people with EVs and PHEVs have until May 31 to buy their first licence.

“While we encourage people to get onto buying their first licence as soon as possible, there is a two-month transition period to allow time for people to make the change.”

Anyone who hasn’t bought their first licence by May 31 risks being penalised and receiving an infringement notice.

“It’s an offence for a RUC vehicle to not have a current and valid RUC licence. We hold details of all EVs and PHEVs in our system, so we’ll know who hasn’t bought their first licence and will be following up directly. 

“Every time a vehicle goes for a warrant of fitness, we also get the odometer reading, which means we can match that to any unpaid RUC. So, buy your RUC licence if you want to avoid any large bills.”

When you buy RUC, you pre-pay for the distance you’re going to travel in units of 1,000km.

Anyone who uses New Zealand’s roads contributes to the cost of their upkeep in some way. Most pay through levies paid at the petrol pump. Others, such as owners of diesel vehicles, pay RUC

EVs and PHEVs have been exempt from RUC since 2009. But with around 100,000 now on our roads, the decision has been made to let the exemption end. This means EV owners will contribute to the costs of the transport system in the same way as those who own other vehicles.