HGV Road User Levy


"We needed creativity and a responsive service. I got this and much more.”


Lisa Thompson

Campaign Manager

Northgate Public Services

Wylde was hired by Northgate Public Services (NPS) to create an identity package and 6 months of intense campaigning to support a large Central Government programme of works. They needed creativity and a responsive service, since the success of the programme depended on Foreign HGV Driver Compliance.


The Department for Transport (DfT) awarded Northgate Public Services (NPS) the contract to develop and implement the registration and payment infrastructure for the HGV Road User Levy before its launch in April 2014. Part of the contract entailed having to explain the details of the levy clearly in several languages to European haulage companies and HGV lorry drivers, and to build awareness up to and beyond the launch date.


The six-month programme took meticulous planning, exploring many ways to get quite a complex message across – in ten languages. To achieve this, we used a wide range of communications channels, involving social media, email campaigns, printed leaflets, monthly bulletins, and posters on ferries and in truck stops across Europe – all multilingual. There was also billboard advertising at the Eurotunnel port, at a prime location where HGV drivers could not miss it, and fuel pump stickers at one of Europe’s busiest filling stations.


Drivers and operators could sign up for updates on dedicated web pages, which also included a multilingual 20-page guidance document with FAQs covering everything they needed to know about the levy. A downloadable payment guide included a map of all the places where the levy can be paid and the methods of payment.


Promotional giveaways, such as 10,000 branded vehicle air fresheners, kept up interest among the audience, and competitions – with prizes such as branded hoodies – maintained awareness. Leaflets were available on ferry crossings and at truck stops which explained the payment systems.


A large part of the challenge was the logistics of spreading the word across Europe. So, over 250,000 leaflets in six languages were distributed, as well as bulletins and e-shots to almost one million contacts through 23 DfT partner organisations throughout Europe and beyond.


There are penalties for anyone who doesn’t keep up to date with their levy payments — on-the-spot fines and possible impoundment of their vehicle — so it was crucial that we clearly communicated their obligations and the consequences of non-compliance.


By March 2014, awareness levels had reached over 90%, and six months after launch figures showed that 96% of non-UK registered HGVs complied with the levy, way over the expected target, with more than 316,000 levies sold online.



• Brand identity

• Communications strategy

• Multilingual website

• Multilingual brochure, posters, billboard, newsletters and POS

• Social media branding

• E-shot design

• Promotional gifts.


Let's work together


 © Copyright 2021 Wylde Design Associates.