Road Equivalent Tariff

​The Scottish Ferries Plan 2013 - 2022, published in December 2012, sets out the way forward for ferry services in Scotland until 2022 and Chapter 4 on ‘Fares’ provides further information about the Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) policy.

RET is a distance based fares structure, which underpins the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing one single overarching fares policy across Scotland’s entire ferry network.

RET for passengers, cars (including small commercial vehicles up to 6 metres in length) and coaches was rolled out across the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network as a series of pilots beginning in 2008 and concluding in 2015, fulfilling a key commitment of the Ferries Plan.

  • RET was introduced as a pilot on routes to the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree in October 2008
  • RET was rolled out to Islay, Colonsay and Gigha in October 2012
  • RET was rolled out on routes to Arran and Ardrossan – Campbeltown in October 2014
  • RET was rolled to all remaining Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services routes in October 2015

The RET formula for calculating fares is a combination of a fixed element (to ensure services remain sustainable and to cover fixed costs such as maintaining harbour infrastructure and vessels) and a rate per mile (calculated by Transport Scotland analysts using contemporary independent research by the RAC).

The RET formula is reviewed annually by Transport Scotland.

Monitoring and evaluation