The DfT needed a cost-effective way to introduce the new HGV Levy. This required all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes to contribute to wear and tear on UK roads.
For UK-registered HGVs, the levy could be paid alongside Vehicle Excise Duty. Foreign HGVs needed a new GOV.UK digital service.
The amount paid varies according to the type of vehicle, including weight and number of axles. In addition, the system had to comply with EU charging legislation by offering a cash payment option and the choice of daily, weekly, monthly or annual levies.
We designed the payment screens to work easily on any device. For example, they feature content in six languages and make strong use of images.
Users can create accounts to manage their fleet and make advance or one-off payments. A multi-lingual contact centre then provides payment assistance.
The system matches payment records with records of HGVs that arrive or leave by ferry or the Channel Tunnel. The system also provides data to enforcement agencies such as DVSA in Great Britain, DVA in Northern Ireland and the police.
The foreign operator payment system went live on GOV.UK on 1st April 2014.
In the first month alone, 170,000 levies were sold to 59 different countries. Over 97% of payments were made digitally, compared to 20% for schemes elsewhere. More than 1.5 million levies were sold in the first year, averaging about 6,000 each day.
The levy generated over £46 million revenue from foreign HGVs in its first year of operation and compliance rates are high, at about 95%.
We took on the full risk of developing the system and are paid per-transaction. This meant the DfT could go live within 6 months without upfront fees.