Road User Charges

You can pay for your Road User Charges at VTNZ and you will be issued with the correct Road User Licence for your vehicle.

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What are road user charges?

All users of New Zealand's roads contribute towards their upkeep. Most road users pay levies in the prices of their fuel. Others, such as users of diesel-powered or electric vehicles, pay through road user charges (RUC).

All the revenue collected from road user charges goes into the National Land Transport Fund and the Regional Land Transport Fund. To find out the costs of your RUC, please use this NZTA link.

Road User Charges used to be referred to as "diesel miles".

Who must pay road user charges?

The law says that owners of vehicles powered by a fuel that isn't taxed at source (eg, diesel, electricity), regardless of the weight of the vehicle, must pay road user charges. Vehicles with a manufacturer's gross laden weight of more than 3.5 tonnes (3,500 kg) also incur road user charges.

How do I pay for a road user charge licence?

To pay the charges, you can purchase a road user charges licence (RUC licence), based on the vehicle type and weight at almost all VTNZ stations. Click here for the VTNZ stations where you can get your RUC licence.

What type of RUC licence do I need?

Distance licence

If you own a diesel car, ute or van, you probably need a distance licence. A distance licence is purchased in 1000 km units (or multiples of 1,000). Your vehicle must be continuously licensed. This means that you must buy a new licence before you've driven all the distance covered by the previous licence.

RUC weight

Every vehicle has been allocated a permanent RUC weight.

The RUC weight of the vehicle is the lesser of the:

The RUC rates tell you how much you will need to pay depending on the permanent RUC weight of your vehicle.

Over the permanent RUC weight

If you have a permit allowing you to carry loads heavier than your permanent RUC weight, you can:

  • apply for an additional licence for the towing vehicle for each individual load that covers the additional weight carried under the permit, or
  • change your towing vehicle to an H RUC vehicle type and have an H distance licence. This option is designed for vehicles that run overweight most of the time.

 To change to an H RUC vehicle type, you need to complete a Road user charges application to change to H RUC vehicle type form (RUCCV-H) (PDF, 2 pages, 80 KB) and send it in to the NZ Transport Agency.

Where should I display my RUC licence?

Your RUC licence details must be displayed at all times on the inside of the passenger's side of the front windscreen. The face of the licence, which shows the registration plate number, must be visible from outside the vehicle. If a supplementary licence has been issued, both the distance and the supplementary licence must be displayed.

Get your free RUC licence holder at your local VTNZ station.