Government introduces new HGV tax rules to fight pollution

From February 2019, trucks that don’t meet the latest emissions standards will pay extra tax. Lorries that meet the new Euro 6 emissions standards will be eligible for a 10 per cent reduction in the cost of the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) levy. Lorries that don’t will be expected to pay 20 per cent more in their HGV levy1.

Currently, the HGV levy is up to £10 a day or £1,000 a year, depending on the vehicle’s size and weight. However, the amount of emissions will also determine the tax sometime in the future.
These new regulations are part of the government’s programme to improve air quality and reduce emissions, as lorries with the cleanest emissions produce 80 per cent less nitrogen than dirtier ones, according to the Department for Transport’s research2.

What are the Euro 6 Standards?

The Euro 6 standards apply to all new cars registered after 1 September 2015 and defines acceptable limits for exhaust emissions. The limits are as follows:


  • Carbon monoxide: 1.0 g/km
  • Hydrocarbons: 0.10 g/km
  • Nitrogen: 0.06 g/km
  • Particulate matter (direct injection only): 0.005 g/km
  • Particulate matter (direct injection only): 6.0x10^11/km 


  • Carbon monoxide: 0.5 g/km
  • Hydrocarbons and nitrogen: 0.17 g/km
  • Nitrogen: 0.08 g/km
  • Particulate matter: 0.005 g/km
  • Particulate matter: 6.0x10^11/km

Who will be affected?

Companies operating HGVs will be most impacted, especially if vehicles in their fleet were manufactured before 2015. Vehicles built after September 2015 should meet emissions standards already.

How can you comply?

If a vehicle fails to meet the emissions standards, there are a few options available to help reduce the amount of emissions produced by the vehicle.

  • Have the vehicle regularly serviced.
  • Install in-cab technologies that monitor driving and provide performance feedback to help encourage driver behaviours that lower emissions.
  • Encourage your drivers to drive more smoothly, which helps increase fuel efficiency and thus reduce emissions and costs.
  • However, one of the most effective methods to ensure that a vehicle complies with emissions standards is to install a selective catalytic reduction system, which reduces nitrogen emissions. Another option is injecting fuel tanks with cerium each time you refuel the vehicle, which helps optimise the diesel particulate filter. 



1 Zywave, News Brief: Most Efficient Lorries Will Pay Less Tax in 2019
2 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/665/66504.htm