The Road User Charges Act 2012 brought about the most significant changes to the road user charges (RUC) system since its establishment in 1978. Cabinet agreed that these changes be evaluated in three cycles, both to test the effectiveness of the changes, and to guide the fine-tuning of the new system.
The first evaluation completed by Allen & Clarke in August 2013 found that changes to the RUC system have been relatively successful in simplifying the system and reducing opportunities for evasion.
Allen & Clarke completed the second stage evaluation in October 2014. The second evaluation focused more on the medium term effects of the changes for transport operators and the Government. Earlier findings regarding greater administrative simplicity and reduced evasion have been confirmed and the new RUC system is also supporting productivity gains through increasing uptake of high productivity vehicles permits and electronic RUC payment systems.
The second stage evaluation also includes a particular focus on how the RUC system works for light diesel vehicles. The evaluators found that light diesel vehicles owners have relatively limited knowledge of the RUC system and identified that it is common for this group to overrun the distance covered by their RUC licences.
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