Off-Road RUC Rebate Made Simple with GPS

A GPS tracker and reporting system make it easy to record off-road mileage and provide evidence to the NZTA to support RUC refund.

Posted by Jaleh Benson on 5th October 2017

If your company operates diesel vehicles you will know only too well that you must pay Road User Charges (RUC) based on the mileage your vehicle has used. What some people don’t know or are unable to provide evidence of is that if you diesel vehicles also operate off-road you can claim a rebate from the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA).

A GPS tracker and access to a GPS reporting system make it simple to record off-road mileage and provide evidence to the NZTA to support RUC refund applications.

For some customers the RUC rebate on their vehicle pays for the GPS system so they essentially have free use of the GPS system for their business operations, vehicle maintenance and health and safety management.

What counts as off-road?

The NZTA states that: Off-road travel is defined as distance travelled by the RUC vehicle when it was not used on a road or was used on a road that the RUC collector/NZTA is satisfied is not maintained by public funds.

In practice this can include private land and worksites, farms and farm accessways, orchards, forestry blocks and roads maintained by forestry companies, beaches or other public lands without roads, and new subdivisions or roadworks sites that are not roaded.

How to apply for a rebate?

To apply for a rebate you need to complete an application form -

  • Total the off-road milage used during the RUC license period
  • Note the method used to record the mileage used
  • Your claim must be for $20 or more
  • Claims can only be submitted on RUC licences that have expired (i.e. all distance covered by that licence has been used, or if the vehicle has been sold or deregistered)
  • Off-road claims must be received within two years of the issue date of the RUC licence which the claim is for.

How does a GPS tracker help?

A GPS tracker constantly tracks the movements of your vehicles so you don’t need to worry about keeping track of when it was on-road or off-road. When it comes time to get a new RUC license for your vehicle you can run a report on your GPS system to calculate the total off-road milage, add this to your rebate application form and you’re done.

You will need:

  • a GPS tracking device that records all movement to get accurate mileage
  • a GPS system that has capability for you to determine which milage occurred off-road - typically this involves adding geo-fences (boundaries) around off-road sites
  • A GPS system that enables you to run a historic report for each vehicle over the period of your RUC license across off-road locations to give you the total mileage

A GPS tracker fitted to your vehicle means you don’t have to ask staff to record hubometer/odometer readings on paper or in their phones each time you enter and exit an off-road site. You don’t need to chase your employees up for these readings and keep a spreadsheet going for each vehicle until the RUC license is used up.

The NZTA stipulates that “records of the off-road distance must be maintained and made available on request to any authorised officer. These records must be sufficient to validate the claim”. With data stored in your GPS system you can run the report anytime it is requested.

Fleetpin offers rugged devices suited to vehicles operating off-road and a GPS system with straightforward geo-fencing capability and an off-road RUC report. Get in touch if you’d like to see this in action - info@fleetpin.co.nz 0800 110 820.