RUC for electric vehicles

RUC now applies to light electric vehicles

If you have a light electric vehicle, you now need to buy RUC. Make sure you buy before 31 May 2024 to avoid penalties.

Anyone using New Zealand’s roads contributes towards their upkeep. Most road users pay fuel tax when they buy petrol, through fuel excise duty (FED). Others, such as drivers of diesel or light electric vehicles, pay through RUC.

Buy a RUC licence online

Types of electric vehicles that must buy RUC

About RUC

Buying a RUC licence

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

You'll also need to pay one admin fee for each licence bought. The admin fee is $12.44 if you buy your licence online, or $13.71 at an agent.

When you buy RUC you’ll need:

  • the vehicle’s plate number
  • the current odometer reading
  • a way to pay.

It’s quick and easy to buy RUC online.

Instructional video explaining how to buy your first RUC licence online

Buy a RUC licence online

If online isn’t an option, go to a RUC agent in person. 

RUC agents 

When you've bought the licence, you'll get a RUC label and a pouch to stick on your windscreen. 

Where to display your RUC licence

If you already use an electronic RUC provider for other vehicles, they'll also be able to cover your electric vehicles.

The types of electric vehicles that pay RUC

You need to buy RUC if your vehicle:

  • is powered fully or partly from externally supplied electricity, and
  • weighs 1001kg–3500kg GVM (manufacturer's gross vehicle mass). 

The amount you pay depends on the type of electric vehicle you have. 

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)

Powered exclusively by electricity, and plugs in to charge. 

You'll pay the usual light vehicle RUC rate of $76.00 per 1000km. 

Plug-in petrol hybrid vehicle

Uses both petrol and electricity, and can plug in to charge. 

You'll pay a lower RUC rate of $38.00 per 1000km. This is because you already pay some fuel excise duty when you buy petrol. 

Plug-in diesel hybrid vehicle

Uses both diesel and electricity, and can plug in to charge. 

You'll pay the usual light vehicle RUC rate of $76.00 per 1000km. 

Hybrid diesel vehicles

Uses both diesel and electricity, but can't plug in to charge.

You'll already be buying RUC and paying the usual light vehicle RUC rate of $76.00 per 1000km. 

Hybrid petrol vehicles

Uses both petrol and electricity, but can't plug in to charge. 

You don't need to buy RUC, as you already pay fuel excise duty when you buy petrol. 

Very light electric vehicles

These vehicles are powered solely by electricity, and weigh less than 1000kg (for example electric motorcycles or mopeds). 

You don't need to buy RUC for these vehicles. 

Why the exemption ended

Light electric vehicles were exempt from RUC since 2009. The exemption was put in place until electric vehicles reached around 2 percent of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet. This point has now been reached, and there are around 100,000 light EVs on our roads, so the government decided to let the exemption expire.

Light electric vehicles will now contribute to the costs of the transport system in the same way as other vehicles.

Road User Charges (Light Electric RUC Vehicles) Amendment Bill - Parliamentary progress(external link)

Electric vehicles to pay road user charges - Beehive press release(external link)

Road user charges system - Ministry of Transport website(external link)