A 22% tariff on new HGVs could cripple hauliers

Speaking on BBC Radio Essex this morning, Tom Cornwell, RHA area manager, has attacked the government's plans for a 22% tariff on new HGVs coming into the UK from Europe after Brexit.

The plan could see a new HGV worth around £85,000, cost an extra £15,000 once the tariff is in place.

This seems to run counter to the government's desire for haulage firms to upgrade their vehicles to newer, cleaner Euro VI vehicles, would would now cost even more to purchase.

Tom said: "Companies on both sides of the Channel are increasingly worried about what could happen after a no-deal Brexit. Our members are coming to us at the moment, concerned at the lack of clarity from the government.

"We're limited in what we can do at the moment, until that clarity is there."

Tom also restated that the UK needs a transition period to ensure that businesses have the time they need to prepare for whatever changes come when the UK leaves the EU.

The proposed tariff would be hugely damaging to many haulage firms, who operate on incredibly tight profit margins. A price increase on trucks coming in from Europe would simply be impossible for many companies to pay.

Proposed clean air zones throughout the UK mean that many hauliers are looking to upgrade their fleets to newer trucks, in an attempt to avoid the hefty daily fines for non-Euro VI vehicles.

However, if the prices of new HGVs from Europe are to rise by 22%, firms may have to decide between risking bankruptcy by paying one hue traffic, or being bled dry by dozens of smaller payments to drive their existing trucks into clean air zones.

This lack of joined up thinking is simply bad for business, and bad for the economy as a whole.

98% of everything we consume is moved on a truck at some point. We're already facing a massive shortage of HGV drivers, but if we're to face a lack of HGVs themselves, it could quickly cripple the UK supply chain, and therefore the very economy.

The RHA would urge the government to rethink this tariff on new vehicles to keep the UK moving.