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The new year brings a lot of change, and 2020 in Oregon is looking a lot different for business vehicles. The state is turning its focus to commercial vehicles in its latest push to "Keep Oregon Moving" — which is a new funding program for transportation.

In an effort to generate more money for roads, bridges, and infrastructure, the ODOT will now be increasing fuel taxes. It will also charge more in vehicle registration fees for commercial vehicles that get better gas mileage, since these drivers are paying less in fuels tax. If the vehicle gets 40 miles per gallon or more, you can either pay the full (higher) fee or pay a smaller fee on top of a monthly charge for each mile you drive in Oregon. ODOT claims that this money will be used for highway maintenance, infrastructure for Safe Routes to School and sustaining jobs in local communities.

Heavier vehicles will face higher tax rates, as well. Vehicles between 26,001 and 28,000 pounds will pay $.0654 per mile. If a vehicle at this weight travels 1,000 miles, for example, you will pay $65.40. Vehicles between 52,001 - 54,000 pounds must pay $.1093 per mile, which is equal to $109.3 for 1,000 miles. Vehicles over 80,000 pounds will pay a large amount more. For a vehicle between 80,001 - 82,000 pounds, you would pay $.2221 per mile, which is $222.1 per 1,000 miles. Registration, title and trip fee changes also apply to electric vehicles getting more than 40 miles per gallon.

As far as insurance is concerned, commercial carriers must maintain $750,000 in property damage liability. There are different limits for interstate drivers, however.

Interstate drivers must carry:

  • $750,000 in property damage liability
  • $5,000,000 in liability for vehicles over 10,001 pounds and carrying hazardous material (over 3,500 gallons)
  • $1,000,000 in liability for vehicles over 10,001 pounds and carrying hazardous material

Washington State also has specific limits-based weight limits and carrying capacity:

  • $5,000,000 in liability for vehicles less than 10,001 pounds
  • $1,500,000 in liability for vehicles capable of carrying 15 passengers or less
  • $5,000,000 in liability for vehicles capable of carrying 16 passengers or more

As expected, any changes in commercial auto insurance requirements will affect the cost of your commercial auto insurance.

These changes are effective as of January 1, 2020. Keep these in mind while choosing vehicles and coverage for your business, as you don't want to be surprised by unexpected charges when registering, renewing or purchasing a trip permit. Speak with an Action Insurance Company agent about any questions you may have regarding possible changes to your insurance.

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