Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids to start paying road user charges from 1 April 2024


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

Electric vehicles will pay $76 per 1000km plus an admin fee, and plug-in hybrids will pay a reduced rate of $38 per 1000km plus an admin fee (recognising that they also pay tax in the price of their petrol).

Tara Macmillan, Head of Strategic Regulatory Programmes at NZTA, says the quickest and easiest way to buy RUC is online. 

“From 1 April, 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,” she says.

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

“While we encourage people to get onto buying their first licence as soon as possible after 1 April, there is a two-month transition period is to allow time for people to make the change.”

Anyone who hasn’t bought their first licence by 31 May 2024 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’ll 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,” Ms Macmillan says.

More about RUC

When you buy RUC, you pre-pay for the distance you’re going to travel, in units of 1000km.

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 (known as fuel excise duty) while others such as diesel vehicles pay distance-based road user charges.  

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have been exempt from paying road user charges since 2009, but with around 100,000 of these vehicles now on our roads, the decision was made to let the exemption end. The end of the exemption means that EVs owners will contribute to the costs of the transport system in the same way as the owners of other vehicles.  

More information

RUC for electric vehicles

About RUC