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Why have I received a letter about debt collection?

Our records show there are tolls, from within the last 12 months, which you have not yet paid. We sent you a Toll Payment Notice about this around two weeks after you travelled on the toll road, and we’re now giving you another chance to pay before we refer the outstanding amount to our debt collection agency. We know that when people are reminded about their debt, they are more likely to pay it.

This is part of changes to the process we use when recovering unpaid tolls.

Why have you changed your process?

We received feedback from our customers that the process was complex and confusing. We’ve therefore streamlined and simplified it so there’s now a clear sequence of steps we take to ensure everyone pays their tolls. The new process is outlined below.

The new process is fairer, because customers get another chance to pay, we’re treating all debts consistently, and the extra costs added to the debt do not escalate as quickly as under the previous process. It will also reduce costs for the Transport Agency.

What’s the new process? What costs are added?

  • Once you’ve used the road, you have five working days to pay.
  • If you don’t pay, we’ll send you a Toll Payment Notice. (Note that we send this to the person whose name is registered to the vehicle, and regardless of who was driving that registered person is now liable for the unpaid toll) The amount due now includes an administration fee of $4.90 per notice.
  • If you don’t pay the Toll Payment Notice amount by the due date, we’ll send a Toll Payment Reminder Letter to advise that unpaid amounts will be referred to a debt collection agency.
  • The debt will then be referred to a debt collection agency at the stated time. Collection costs are added to the amount due (this is a percentage of the value of the debt, and on the average Toll Payment Notice this equates to less than $2).
  • If you still haven’t paid, a Toll Offence Infringement Notice can be issued for each unpaid toll. Each infringement notice carries a fee of $40 (in addition to the Toll Payment Notice amount still requiring payment). Unpaid infringements can be referred to the District Court and additional court costs added.

How can I ensure I know about unpaid tolls?

It’s important that you as a vehicle owner check and update the address details we hold. This ensures that you’ll receive toll notices – and other vehicle-related mail or emails such as vehicle licence (rego) reminders.

It’s easy to check your details – click on ‘Online services’ at nzta.govt.nz, or call 0800 108 809.

Am I still liable if I didn’t receive a letter/notice?

Yes, Toll Payment Notices are sent to the address held by us at the time the toll road was used. Vehicle owners are responsible for ensuring we have their current and correct address – it’s easy to check or update your address details online – see above for details.

Not receiving a Toll Payment Notice does not remove the obligation to pay a toll for using a toll road. Road signage clearly indicates that you are on a toll road, that a toll is payable and that you have five (working) days to pay it.

Why are you trying to recover debts that are up to 12 months old?

These represent a significant amount of money that should be going towards repaying the debt incurred to build the road, so the decision was made to actively seek to recover it. We owe it to all New Zealanders to ensure that everyone does the right thing and pays the amounts they’re responsible for.

In future we will ensure there is minimal delay between tolls being overdue and any subsequent recovery action.

Why are you using a debt collection agency?

We are treating all debts the same, because we need to ensure that everyone meets their responsibilities and does the right thing. Customers are given two chances to pay, and then referring outstanding debts to a debt collection agency is the most efficient way for us to recover these debts.

Why are you trying to recover small amounts of money?

It’s important that everyone pays their fair share and we are now treating all debts consistently. The total amount of these debts is significant.

Is there another way to pay if I can’t pay online?

You can call our contact centre on 0800 40 20 20. 

Will this affect my credit rating?

No, tolls are a statutory charge so unpaid tolls are not seen as a ‘credit default’ and are therefore not loaded against an individual’s credit rating once they’re sent to a debt collection agency.

Why do I have to pay tolls?

The Land Transport Management Act requires a toll to be paid for using a toll road. 

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