From February 2019 lorries meeting the latest Euro 6 emissions standard will get a 10 per cent cut on the HGV levy, while those that do not will face a 20 per cent hike.
The HGV Road User Levy, introduced in 2014, was brought in as a first step to ensure lorries weighing 12 tonnes or more paid a charge to cover the greater wear and tear they cause to road surfaces.
Once the change comes into effect, the charge for Euro 6 standard lorries will reduce from £1,000 to £900, while Euro 0-5 lorries will pay £1,200.
More than half of UK lorries are expected to pay less under the new arrangement.
Making the announcement on 28 March, roads minister Jesse Norman said: “This government is committed to improving the air we breathe and delivering a green revolution in transport.
“Heavy goods vehicles account for around a fifth of harmful nitrogen oxide emissions from road transport, but they only travel 5 per cent of the total miles.
“That’s why we’re changing the HGV levy to encourage firms to phase out the most polluting lorries and bring in the cleanest ones.”