New British government regulations will allow haulage companies to choose HGVs with elongated cabs and aerodynamic features which help reduce fuel consumption.

A 2013 study estimated the aerodynamic improvements to HGVs could result in fuel savings of 7% to 15%.

Aerodynamic rear devices are flaps fitted on the back of trailers to reduce the vehicle’s drag without using up load space. They were previously not permitted for use on Britain’s roads in regulations that have been in place since 1986.

“I hope operators will make use of these new regulations, introducing vehicles with these features into their existing fleets to reduce fuel consumption and boost safety, as we build back better from COVID-19,” said Roads Minister, Baroness Charlotte Vere.

For his part Logistics UK head of Engineering Policy, Phil Lloyd, added: “Allowing the use of aerodynamic features and elongated cabs on HGVs is fantastic news for our transport sector, which is looking to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

“These features are vital in helping to reduce emissions and improve air quality and Logistics UK welcomes the design of elongated cabs that improve driver vision and provide drivers with much-needed additional comfort space.”

The Department for Transport has published practice guidance on the use of aerodynamic rear devices on HGVs in urban and rural areas.

This follows separate legislation last year to allow greener, longer goods vehicles to be rolled out as the government responded to its consultation on longer semi-trailers reducing mileage, congestion and carbon emissions.