The government is planning trials of a satellite-based road tax system that will track the distance travelled by drivers and charge them for each mile.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued a brief to four IT suppliers.
They will test infrastructure that will enable authorities to charge road tax according to where a driver travels, how far they go and their time of travel.
A range of technologies, which are expected to make use of the Global Positioning System (GPS), will be under test.
The department is in the process of appointing the suppliers, who will start working on the trials later this year.
The trials, which will be voluntary, will involve drivers in different areas of the country.
The DfT insist this is not a trial for a national road pricing scheme, but is intended to help local authorities who are considering using the technology for congestion charges.
A DfT spokeswoman said, "People have legitimate concerns about a national road pricing scheme, and until those concerns have been addressed we won't be making any decisions."