Costs & Regulation

Costs & Regulation

Making it easier for businesses to do business through lower costs and simpler regulation.

Rising costs have placed thousands of small hauliers under huge financial constraints. This has been exacerbated by an acute shortage of drivers, technicians, vehicles, and parts.  

Over the past 12 months, the total cost of operating an HGV has increased by 10%.  

As a direct result of rising costs, many operators are running at a loss with margins wiped out by cost increases. Despite the continued freeze and 5p cut for fuel duty within the Chancellor’s Spring Budget which was an important step to support Britain’s drivers, more needs to be done to support hauliers and coach operators.  

Recently the government have frozen the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rate for HGVs and announced that electric vehicles will now be liable for VED.  

While the personal electric vehicle market is well established, that is not the case for HGVs and coaches. The market is still not at a stage where it can support a significant shift to zero emission vehicles. The costs are prohibitively expensive and the technological solution is not yet clear and the risk of a stranded asset is high. 

Whilst we welcome action to freeze VED, we are concerned about the recent reintroduction of the HGV levy and its focus on CO2 emissions. Given the progress the industry has already made in reducing emissions, the lowering amounts of levy funds recouped as fleets modernise will also need to be addressed by an updated system of road taxation. 

Some have proposed the introduction of Road User Charging (also known as “Road Pricing”). The RHA does not believe that Road User Charging is a viable option to replace lost tax as we switch to electric vehicles.  

We believe that a simple single national system of road taxation must be maintained, and that system should be based on the two current proven road transport taxes. 

Unified Speed Limits for HGVs  

We believe that the speed limits for HGVs should be the same across the UK. There are clear economic benefits for logistics companies who move freight by road in England and Wales where the speed limit on trunk roads is set at 50mph for HGVs. Scottish companies are being denied these efficiencies and benefits of their competitors in the south by being restricted to a maximum speed of 40mph on the same standard of road. This constraint puts Scottish hauliers at a competitive disadvantage and later this year we will be carrying out a trial on the A75 with a view to sharing the findings with the Scottish Government and a full report advocating for unification of speed limits throughout the UK.  

Our key asks on costs and regulation are:  

  • Maintain the fuel duty cut and freeze
  • Continued freeze of Vehicle Excise Duty for HGVs
  • Increased Sleeper Cab Allowance 
  • A unified speed limit across the UK for HGVs
  • Review of road freight regulations which can be simplified and reduced