Paying road user charges (RUC)

If you drive a diesel, another type of non-petrol fuelled vehicle or any vehicle weighing over 3,500kg (such as petrol-engined motorhomes), you need to pay Road User Charges (RUC). These charges go towards maintaining and improving the roading network.

Petrol vehicles contribute towards these costs through an excise tax on petrol. There is no tax on diesel, which is why these vehicles need to pay RUC instead.

RUC is charged according to how many kilometres a vehicle travels, and its type and weight. Vehicles pay a set amount for every 1,000 kilometres travelled.

Full electric cars are exempt from paying RUC until 2020.

How to pay RUC

You can pay your RUC at your local AA centre.

You can also pay your RUC online or at the following locations:

  • Postshops (Postshops do not process registration plate transactions, including cancellation transactions)
  • Vehicle Inspection New Zealand
  • Vehicle Testing New Zealand
  • Independent agents who display the NZ Transport Agency logo.

If you need help, call the RUC Contact Centre on 0800 655 644.

What RUC will cost

The RUC a vehicle pays varies depending on the type of vehicle it is and its weight. Heavier vehicles pay higher rates of RUC. This means a motorist driving the average distance of 12,000km per year would pay $576 in RUC annually. By comparison, the owner of a medium-sized petrol car consuming 10 litres per 100km would pay $606 in petrol excise (excluding ACC) over the same mileage.

See a full list of all the different RUC rates.

Making the RUC system fairer

The AA wants changes made to the RUC system so that diesel vehicles are contributing their fair share towards maintaining the roads and ensuring lighter diesel vehicles pay less in comparison to heavier vehicles, due to the difference in damage to the road that they do.

How the AA would like RUC to be changed.

Further information

Comprehensive information about all other aspects of RUC, including exemptions, types of licenses, distance recorders and assessments, is available on the NZ Transport Agency website.

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