Bottom falls out of RUC purchases

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 15, 2020

Road User Charges data supplied to New Zealand Trucking from the New Zealand Transport Agency shows, as expected, the bottom fall out of RUC purchases for April. The most significant fall is across Type 1 (cars, vans, utes and light trucks that use fuel not taxed at source), and most likely reflects the drop in activity across trade, courier, and maybe camper van users. 

It is interesting to note that a drop in overall purchases has been apparent since January. However in March there was a clear release of the gas pedal, and even more so in April.

Reductions are evident though across the majority of RUC types, showing a 50-odd percent drop in distance, and hence value, from March to April.

RUC Distance (km)

RUC Value

January 2020



February 2020



March 2020



April 2020



A concern must be that the reduction in RUC income is unlikely to be recovered, which means less money going into the National Land Transport Fund for roading. The longer this goes on the less money will be available in the future through the fund.

Given that RUC reflects forward purchases in anticipation of future activity, many operators may have simply held off purchasing until the economic picture became a bit clearer. It is expected we will get a clearer picture next month, which will be reported in a future issue of New Zealand Trucking.