Beat late payment of the Dartford Crossing charge

Have you forgotten something? Sadly you could be one of the 300,000 drivers who forgot to pay their Dartford Crossing charge in one month alone – racking up potential bills of around £21m? Make sure you swerve the fine with APH.com here.

Beat fines at the Dartford Crossing: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Underwater_tunnel_(Dartford_Tunnel,_UK.)_(5944296794).jpg" target="_blank">image credit"</a>

Beat fines at the Dartford Crossing: image credit

The new payment system for the crossing has removed toll booths and relies on motorists remembering to pay the toll through a variety of mechanisms by midnight the following day – or face fines of up to £108 for each direction. Find out what you can do to beat the Dartford fines right here.

Here’s what we’ve got for you

How to pay the chargeHow to beat the fines

Why do I need to read this?

If you’re driving to one the South East’s major airports – such as Gatwick, Luton, or Stansted – there’s a good chance you’ll need to use the Dartford Crossing – and its new charging system.

Arriving at the crossing, you’ll probably expect to be met by barriers where you can pay a toll and be on your way. This is no longer the case. On-the-spot payments have been abolished and replaced by a new scheme called Dart Charge.

The new system puts the onus on drivers to logon, or call a payment line, to settle their bill by midnight the following day or face a fine of up to £108.00 for each crossing. Figures show 300,000 drivers failed to do this in one month alone.

How to beat the fine

It's all-change at the Dartford Crossing: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2014_Dartford_Crossing_approach_from_south.jpg" target="_blank">image credit</a>

It’s all-change at the Dartford Crossing: image credit

Motorists using the Dartford Crossing since the system changed have complained about poor signage and a lack of information on how to pay. Many drivers have also complained the system is heavily biased towards those with online access.

Payment and dissemination of information does appear to favour those with internet access, but there are easy ways for non-connected drivers to pay up and beat the fines. Here are the main Dartford Crossing payment methods.


1) Set up a pre-pay account:

Set up a pre-pay account: This will need to be done in advance and will require you to pay in at least £10.00 when you register. You can manually top up the account or set it to add funds automatically. This is the cheapest way to pay, with registered cars costing £1.67 per crossing compared with the new price of £2.50 for those who pay in other ways.
Set up a new pre-pay account here
Change an existing Dart Tag account

A word of warning about the Dart Charge account… read this now

Reader James sent the following comment on the £1.67 Dart Charge account-holders have to pay each time they use the Dartford Crossing – and how it appears loaded to generate more fines for non-payment…

Comment: Topping up my account with £10, [and travelling] three times over and back leaves me 2p short on the sixth crossing [with a total grand total of £10.02 required] – a great way to collect fines it seems.

It should cost £1.66 per crossing, not £1.67!

Luckily I have spotted this, but how many wont?

As you can see from the comment above, three round trips will cost Dart Charge account holders a total of £10.02. Most occasional users will simply add £10.00 at a time – leaving them open to receiving a fine for their final crossing.

What the Highways Agency says about the charges…
Asked about the charging levels, a Highways Agency spokesman told APH.com:

The charge is calculated to the nearest penny based on a one third discount on the standard charge of £2.50 – there is no other reason than that. The discount means that for many people the crossing is now cheaper, as well as being faster, than it was before the introduction of the new system.


2) Pay online:

Pay online: Pay for an individual crossing online by heading here before midnight the following day.
Pay here.


3) Pay in advance for a one-off crossing:

Pay in advance for a one-off crossing: If you only use the crossing occasionally, for trips to the airport etc, then paying a minimum of £10.00 into an account is not a good use of your money. This option lets you pay for pay for individual crossings up to 12 months in advance. Simply book your parking with APH, then book your crossings at the same time (don’t forget to book pay for your return trip, too). Leaving this until you get to the airport could result in it getting forgotten as you battle your way through a busy terminal and queue-clogged check-in procedure.
Pay in advance here


4) Over the phone:

Over the phone: Those without internet access will be pleased that you can pay for the charge by phone. You will need to do this by midnight the following day.

However, don’t leave this until the last moment, because we phoned the number only to be informed it was too busy to take our payment.
Pay by phone (if it’s not too busy): 0300 300 0120


5) Payzone retail outlet:

Payzone retail outlet:This is where you can pop into a local store and pay for the charge by cash or other means. Simply use the store locator below to find the outlet that’s closest to you. Use the top drop-down option to select ‘Transport and ticketing’ then ‘Dart Charge’ in the next options list. Then input your postcode to find the nearest payment centre.
Find your nearest Payzone retailer here


6) Pay by post:

Pay by post: If you really don’t like using new technology, then Luddites will feel at home with this err… handy pay-by-post option. You can only pay in advance and must send your cheques to:

Dart Charge Customer Services
PO Box 842
Leeds LS1 9QF

Help improve the Crossing experience

Help improve the Crossing experience: image credit

Please take a few seconds to take this poll and tell us how you’d improve the new charging system..

How to appeal your Dartford Crossing penalty charge

Appeal and win... 8 out of 10 drivers do

Appeal and win… 8 out of 10 drivers do

The Automatic Number Plate Recognition system that triggers a charge against your car has been found wanting when it comes to reading certain letters – such as C and G – causing incorrect fines to be issued. With a freedom of information request confirming more than 80% of appeals were accepted by Highways England in the first six months of the new system, it’s clear problems go far beyond mis-reading number plates.  Here’s how to appeal if you’ve feel you’ve been issued an incorrect or unfair penalty charge.

In total, 37,751 penalty charge notices (PCNs) were challenged and 30,521 of those were accepted by Highways England

How to appeal: Challenge the penalty by contacting the issuing authority within 28 days of the notice being served. Quote your charge notice number and explain why you believe the penalty is wrong.

Appeal to the independent adjudicator: If your appeal is one of the few that are rejected, you can take it to an independent adjudicator. Information on how to do this will be included in the original rejection. You must appeal to the adjudicator within 28 days of the Notice of Rejection is received. Delivery is usually deemed to be 2 working days after the date on the notice.

Reasons for appeal to the independent adjudicator must fall into the following:

You were not the registered keeper of the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred
The vehicle was taken without the owner’s consent
The owner is a vehicle hire firm
The road user charge was paid on time and as required
No user charge or penalty is payable
The penalty exceeded the amount that applied in the circumstances
There has been a procedural impropriety by the charging authority
Compelling reasons

Start your appeal here
Click here for further information on starting your appeal to the independent adjudicator

How to make sure you don’t forget to pay the Dartford Crossing toll

Beat the fine with APH.com: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartford_Crossing#mediaviewer/File:Dartford_crossing_approach.jpg" target="_blank">image credit</a>

Beat the fine with APH.com: image credit

Now that you know how to pay, it’s just a case of making sure you remember to do so. Heading on holiday can be both exciting and stressful in equal measure, making it easy to forget banal chores such as paying for your trip over or under the Thames… Here are some suggestions to help ensure you don’t come home to a big fine.


Get an extra 14 days to pay: Nearly 3.5million motorists have failed to pay the Dartford Crossing toll since the new system was introduced, however, first-time ‘offenders’ will be given a 14-day grace period when the charge notice is sent out. This allows them to pay the original charge rather than the full fine.

A spokesman said: ‘The first penalty charge notice issued for any vehicle for non-payment of the charge will offer the driver an extra 14 days to pay – and pay for any crossings they have made since.

‘This measured approach strikes the right balance between being clear to drivers they need to pay Dart Charge and giving them every opportunity to do so.’

The additional 14-day period will help most drivers escape fines of up to £216 for a return trip, but please remember, this applies only to the first charge issued to any single vehicle.


Register a Dart Charge account: This will simply take cash from your account for crossings you make – without the need to log on and make individual payments. However, this is best for those who use the crossing on a regular basis, because users have to pay £10.00 to join. This is then used to pay for crossings, but occasional users will have dead money left in the account. See the section above for more details, or join up here.

Set up a new pre-pay account here
Change an existing Dart Tag account


Don’t get scammed: Just like services such as buying road tax and applying for passports, the new Dart Charge payment system – as it is officially known – is likely to be targeted by scammers with copycat websites. Not only will these sites leave you out of pocket for the toll, but they’ll also leave you facing a fine of up to £125.00 for non-payment.

To show how easy this is, a fake site has already been built by digital marketing expert Richard Summers. While his Dartfordcrossingtoll.com site is not asking for money, it’s likely that some won’t be for built with such innocent intentions.

Summers was infuriated by roadside signs sending drivers online to search services such as Google for the payment website – opening up the potential for scammers to take advantage of confusion over the correct website address.

He said: ‘Rather than directing drivers to the official payment website, the signs invite users to use Google. They are practically inviting fraudsters to target people who may not be the most technically savvy to get scammed.’

Don’t pay at any website other than https://www.gov.uk/pay-dartford-crossing-charge

Case study: Click here to see how copycat websites are costing you cash

Case study: Here’s how copycat websites are costing you cash

Drivers are being charged up to 60% more to use the Dartford Crossing by unofficial websites taking advantage of confusion surrounding the new payment system since toll booths were axed in 2014.

Here we look at one such unofficial website – named dartfordcrossingcharges.co.uk – that’s recently launched…

How it works
There is no suggestion this website is operating illegally, but it certainly doesn’t clearly state on the homepage that it is nothing to do with the official site – or that you’ll be charged an extra 60% for something you can easily do yourself.

In addition to the cost hike, sites like Dartfordcrossingcharges site have no way of effectively checking your details – it even fails to ask what vehicle you are paying for, making it impossible to highlight mistakes when entering the registration mark. The official Dart Charge site will confirm the make and registration before allowing motorists to pay.

Unofficial sites will simply take your money, pocket the admin charge and pay the outstanding toll on the public Dart Charge site – regardless of vehicle details.

It’s also clear the site is targeting millions of foreign drivers who use the crossing each year, with the website offering versions of the payment system in 18 languages.

How to pay the official site:

If paying online, make sure you save cash and get an official receipt by heading here – otherwise you could be left with no proof of payment or means of appeal if something goes wrong.
www.gov.uk/pay-dartford-crossing-charge

Comment: The new remote payment system and poor signage has resulted in almost 3.5million fines being issued since the Crossing’s toll booths were axed in 2014.

This is not due to more motorists attempting to avoid payment, but an abject failure of the system to ensure occasional users and foreign visitors know how to pay.

Signage on the M25 urges drivers to ‘search online’ without giving a website URL. It’s this confusion that is costing motorists cash and helping unofficial websites profit from desperate motorists attempting to beat the payment deadline – without the correct information readily available.

We will continue to press for a change to the information and signage informing motorists how to pay.


Set a reminder by location on your phone: Have you got an iPhone? There’s a great feature that will let you specify a location for a reminder to be triggered. So, if you’re booking a holiday and will need to use the Dartford Crossing as you head to our Gatwick park and ride car park, for example, set the reminder to go off as you arrive at our facility. This will give you plenty of time to pay before you fly. You can then do the same for your home address to cover the homeward trip.

The following graphic shows how this smart feature works. Remember to set it when you book your parking with APH.com

graphic

location reminder

1. Open your iPhone’s reminders app – it is standard on the handset
2. Make a new reminder to pay the Dart Charge
3. Hit the ‘i’ button and choose ‘remind me at a location
4. Enter postcode of the tunnel or your destination – where you can pay. Choose ‘when I arrive’
5. The phone will remind you to pay as you arrive at the your destination or crossing
6. Set an identical reminder for your homebound trip – using your home postcode
7. Enjoy a worry-free journey and don’t return to a big fine

There are plenty of ready-made apps that do the same thing for Android users too. Try this…

Android
Geobells Location Reminder…
Alert yourself when you reach or pass a certain location.
Get it here


Warn visitors from overseas: With open borders in Europe, many more people will come to visit the UK from overseas – whether on holiday or to see friends and relatives. Many will arrive through the Port of Dover and go on to other parts of the UK by using the Dartford Crossing. This could leave them open to fines because it has been reported that the smartphone-based payment system cannot handle foreign credit cards. This will result in many tourists being hit by charges through no fault of their own.

If this happens to you, make sure you use the telephone system – which will accept foreign cards – to pay the toll. Don’t expect to get away with fines because the car is registered abroad, either, pan-European collection agents will chase you.


Register with DartSave: This is a company set up to prevent you being fined if you forget to pay the Dartford Crossing charge. Signing up will also extend the time you have to pay from midnight the following day to seven days after using the crossing.

Register for free and Dartsave will pay the toll for you, then send an email reminding you to reimburse them within seven days. If this is not done, the firm will send another email with a £5.00 admin charge attached – still much lower than the £70 fine the Government would levy after just one day – even if you don’t get the email until you get back from your holiday.

Remember – like Transport for London and its Congestion Charge, you will not be reminded to pay your toll by the operating authority, which makes this a great service.
Join up here: www.dartsave.co.uk


Pay both ways: It might sound obvious, but don’t forget that payment is due for each crossing you make… both on your outward and return journey.

But has the new system improved journey times?

Yes. Despite the confusion surrounding the new payment system, removing the toll booths has resulted in significantly faster journey times for drivers using the Dartford Crossing.

Highways Agency statistics show reveal average journey times between 7am and 7pm have been cut by more than 9 minutes southbound, and more than 4 minutes northbound when comparing the first two weeks of December and the end of November.

Read our full guide to Dartford Crossing changes here.

294 comments for “Beat late payment of the Dartford Crossing charge

  1. November 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    This system has to be one of the worst conceived forms of moronism in whole government. Anyone know who is in charge of this?

    John

  2. Judy
    July 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Amazing phone call to Dart Charge … on day 8 I remembered I haven’t paid.. ring to pay my first offence. Im told, nicely , that if its my 1st offence ,often they only ask for the £2.50. .. so Im delighted and offer to pay. Then they ask for £37.50. (!?)
    I say Whoa! what happened to the £2.50? ..DC- You have to wait for the penalty notice to see if you are offered the £2.50. then pay it. ..Me.. When will that arrive? DC- It should arrive within 2 weeks. Me.. but Im going on holiday and that will take me over the 14 days… can’t I just pay now? -yes £37.50 please. Re-roll whole conversation and stale mate. Rely on GPO getting your letter to you within 14 days and hope for £2.50 or pay £37.50 to make sure it isn’t going to rack up astronomically !

    • Pete Barden
      July 25, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Unbelievable! Actually – completely believable.

  3. Dutch
    December 9, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    I believe this dartford toll system is just a huge government sanctioned extortion scam. As a foreigner who occasionally visits the UK i wasn’t even aware of the new toll system until i was coincidentally tipped off right before my next visit. So i registered for an account at the website and deposited some money via creditcard(no other payment methods, how convenient), so far so good. For one of my next visits i tried to top-off my account but got an “expired creditcard” error, even though i had to fill out all my recent creditcard data during the payment process. Contacting support they explained to me to first select automatic payment and do a zero payment with my new creditcard data. Then switch back to manual top-off and again fill out all my new creditcard data to deposit the money. Just fix the bug in your application to update and use the new creditcard data during the manual top-off payment alright! How can you expect less tech-savvy foreigners or with a poor grasp of the english language to understand any of this?

  4. maria amanaki
    November 7, 2016 at 3:04 am

    My husband forgot to pay the charge until 2 hrs after the midnight deadline – it’s his first time. I am the registered keeper and had been given a PCN before and as a first time, I was allowed to pay just the fee for crossing. I paid the £5 anyway and when the PCN arrives will try to appeal it citing that I paid, albeit just after the deadline. Do you know where the leglislation says that they can enforce the deadline of midnight the next day? Surely as a statutory body they have a duty to act fairly and it seems grossly unfair to have such a tight deadline. Will I win an appeal on such grounds. please advice.

  5. Josh
    October 30, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Just came back from a weekend in Hythe. The DART signs are NOT clear, why not put up simple signage explaining the toll is NOT free, and payment required.

    YOU REALLY NEED CLEAR SIGNAGE 10 MILES OUT ON BOTH SIDES – The only reason we noticed coming back was there were no tolls to pay !! really poor direction to the general public on what to do.

    The red C is not enough – put up some signs, feels like a honeytrap to catch people

  6. Peter
    October 22, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I am a British Citizen but resident now in Canada. In August my wife who is a Chinese Citizen also resident in China and for whom Mandarin is her first language was caught up in the motorway closures when the M20 was closed when a lorry got stuck under the bridge. She inadvertently crossed and recrossed the dart crossing by accident. She did not understand the toll charge system. I have seen photographs of the sign which seems quite confusing.
    We subsequently received two penalty charges. This is the first and only time the vehicle has crossed. We were not offered the 14 day grace period neither was any allowance made for the poor signage and her language difficulties. We paid both fines and we have receipts.
    We are still being pursued by dart Charge for ever increasing amounts. The appeal system does not allow for attachments so we cannot attach the receipts. we have phoned twice and received apologies with the blame being put on their computer system, but we just got a third increased charge notice.
    I am going to call again Monday but I would urge everyone damaged by the system to use some kind of passive resistance.
    My company has been insured at Lloyd’s for over 10 years at approx $2MM premium a year, we have never had a loss. Lloyd’s would pay the UK Govt taxes on their profit for this sum so I decided this year to none renew my business with the UK. I know the UK Govt doesn’t care but at least I feel I had a way to strike back!

  7. Michelle Shelly
    October 22, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Okay so I’m receiving penalties for a man who doesnt live at my house! We rent so he may’ve lived here in the past but hant for the last two years… what do I do!? I keep returning to sender yet they still come….?

  8. tom
    October 17, 2016 at 9:41 am

    The whole system has been designed and set up to catch out motorists. I have used the crossing several times and remembered to pay later that day but forgot one time and remembered 3 days later. I called their ‘help’ centre and was informed that I couldn’t make the payment and will get a penalty for £70.00, no if’s or but’s, just tough luck.

    This was on 22nd May2016 and I received a penalty on 14th Oct 2016, nearly 5 months later!

    However, there was another letter with the penalty notice that stated if I pay within the next 2 weeks i can just pay the original £2.50 crossing fee that I offered to do 3 days after the ‘offence’. What the hell are they playing at. Could it be that rather than just send the warning letter asking for £2.50 they also send the penalty notice hoping I’ll pay the by mistake?

    Why they just wouldn’t accept my attempt to pay a few days later is beyond me if they are willing to spend time and money asking for the same fee 5 months later.

    Very dodgy the way this business is run, pure money making outfit trying to scam honest people.

  9. Joel
    October 14, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Hi I’m hoping you can help. I’ve just received 2 letters from JBW claiming that I owe a total of just under £400 for crossing the Dartford crossing on the 28/6/2015. This is 16 months after I crossed the bridge. No correspondence has ever been received prior to this ‘notice of enforcement’ (honestly not sure if I paid or not, though think I did).
    Can you please advise on what I should do?

    • Neil
      November 8, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Joel – I’ve just had JBW come round to my house, after visiting my place of work, informing me I now have a CCJ against my name and owe them over £400 from a crossing I made on 6th Jan – and paid for on the 8th. Its a lease car, so I’ve never heard a thing since from either them, or the lease company… Completely unaware

      Call 0300 123 1059, and explain your situation to them and they’ll send you some appeal forms, I just hope they’re successful

      How this can be a fair, or cost-effective process is beyond me… having never had som much as a parking ticket in my life, taking me to court for paying a £2.50 a day late is ludicrous…

  10. James
    October 13, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I paid the £5 but entered the number plate incorrectly (KN06 when it should have been KM06) so they are trying to fine me. Do you think I would win an appeal? After all they have actually had the £5 for my crossing, even if my fat fingers caused me to mistype the number plate. They have asked I pay another £5 or they will charge me the fine of £70 if I delay (aka appeal).
    What should I do? I’m too poor to take a political stand, I just what your opinion of if you think I should pay the extra £5? Seems like robbery to me.

  11. donna
    September 27, 2016 at 12:13 am

    I have an account I thought I had enough to cover my return journey but when I Checked my balance I was -0.37 surely I won’t get a fine will I? Both journeys have been paid but has just left a small debut of -0.37 I have topped up the account

  12. Sheelagh Dixon
    September 22, 2016 at 10:12 am

    My son used the Dartford Tunnel a few weeks ago. He called me to ask me to pay, I put his registration in and it was confirmed the make, model and colour of his vehicle. I paid for a return journey.

    A few weeks later we received a letter from the Dartford Tunnel telling me that the return journey had not been paid and enclosing a fine.

    I telephoned the Dartford Tunnel to be told I had not paid enough for a return journey and that I still had to pay for the return trip. I informed them that their computer system had told me what to pay (5.00 return) and that I had paid it. The lady told me that because my son’s vehicle “had a bit on the back” (usually called a pickup) that he should have paid more!!!!!!! It was their computer system that told me what to pay after entering his registration number!!!! When I asked “why would I pay £5.00 for a return trip instead of just £3.00 for a single trip” the operator told me that she thought I had just paid them extra!!!!!! I am not in the habit of paying the Government a bonus!!!!!!

    I now had to wait 56 days to receive their response. It’s not the extra £3 that they asked for, it’s the principle of the fact that it was their computer system that told me what to pay.

    • Pete Barden
      September 22, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Hi- Thanks for sending your story. Let’s hope the prospect of an inquiry announced today – after people power forced it – might look at such issues as well. Too many people like you are being hounded for doing no more than the ‘right’ thing.

      • Philip Scholer
        September 29, 2016 at 10:05 am

        Hi Peter!

        Thanks first of all for your very helpful website!

        I have received a Penalty Notice from Dart Charge after using the crossing not knowing I had to pay for it on my holidays this summer. See my comments below. The Notice says, you have to pay a penalty of 70 Pounds, but if you pay within 14 days, you only have to pay a reduced penalty of 35 Pounds. Is this now common practice? I was expecting a lighter treatment, as per the words of a Dart Charge spokesperson, quote:

        ‘The first penalty charge notice issued for any vehicle for non-payment of the charge will offer the driver an extra 14 days to pay – and pay for any crossings they have made since.

        ‘This measured approach strikes the right balance between being clear to drivers they need to pay Dart Charge and giving them every opportunity to do so.’

        Do you know if they have abandoned that practice? Hope to be keeping you up to date on the current practice if they have. I also would like to know if this may be a valid complaint to include in a represention, as well as my other issue with the PCN:

        And that is, I have received the Notice sometime after 17th of Sept., while absent from my address for 9 days. The letter said, it was issued on 5th of Sept. They calculate 5 days for delivery at the most ( receipt by the 10th, which is out of the question ), which made the reduced penalty payable by the 24th – too late when I got back home on the 29th.

        Very annoying.

        With my best wishes for always evading the Penalty Voodoo,

        Philip

        • Pete Barden
          September 29, 2016 at 10:47 am

          Hi – Thanks for your post. If the penalty was your ‘first offence’ you should still be offered the opportunity to pay the original £2.50 (if in a car) charge. I have not heard this policy is changing. I will look into it to confirm the situation.

          • Mark
            October 14, 2016 at 10:13 am

            They dont tell you in the letter you can pay £2.50 you need to know this. It is not setup and an honest way, more like a cowboy clampers style. It is owned by a French company so everyone beware or simply drive round the other-side of the M25 where possible.

          • Simon
            January 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

            Is this still in practise, I’d happily pay the fee but not the fine as I tried to PST and couldn’t get through.

          • Pete Barden
            January 9, 2017 at 12:56 pm

            Apparently it is, but you need to wait for the charge notice to be sent.

    • Lor
      July 10, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      I have this today and went to go work and my car has been clamped and I have spent all day sorting it and got wait see what the court says.the debt company won’t respond and the dart people told me I have wait.even thou I paid next day and proved bank street ate me too!! Wot the hell,they also put a bill of £475 on car.

  13. Patrick
    September 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    My wife forgot to pay the charge until a day after the midnight deadline – it’s her second time. It’s easy to forget if you only use the crossing once in a while and it is very unfair to refuse to take payment before the fine has been issued. I rang to pay first the first thing the following morning but they refused to apply the payment against those crossings and said we would receive a fine. I paid the £5 anyway and when the PCN arrives will try to appeal it citing that I paid, albeit just after the deadline. Do you know where the leglislation says that they can enforce the deadline of midnight the next day? Surely as a statutory body they have a duty to act fairly and it seems grossly unfair to have such a tight deadline and to refuse to accept payment before the fine has been issued.

  14. Philip Scholer
    August 30, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I am from Germany. I have just returned from travelling in the UK in my car. I have used the Dartford crossing 3 times, last on 24th of August. The last time I crossed, I noticed the big “C” on the road, which I had seen in London. This led me to the conclusion, that I needed to pay a charge for using the crossing. After checking with the TfL website, entering “QE II bridge”, the name that is given for the crossing on Google maps, I could find no evidence for a charge. By chance, I have today found the relevant information on the web. It seems, that I will soon receive notification of a large penalty for crossing and not paying on time. Now there is no way for me to avoid the penalty! I do want to pay, but was not aware of the strict timeline and penalties. Just to give you an impression of why I perceive of these regulations and timelines as too strict and unfair, I would like to point out how the road toll is handled in Auckland, New Zealand, where I travelled this spring. The vehicle is electronically registered on the Motorway, and you have to pay within 5 or 6 weeks´ time on the website. If you don´t pay, they send you a Toll Payment Notice, which costs you 5 NZD. All this makes sure, everyone can pay up! Why not give all motorists a fair chance of understanding what to do? Thank you!

    • Alan
      August 30, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      It’s a money-making scheme. The arbitrary £35 fine is proof of that. There is very little information around the toll area itself and by putting the onus on the road user to pay, rather than them to collect, they ensure that many people will innocently forget to pay the toll or simply not know. Nobody seriously tries to get away without paying the small toll fee and would pay it were they reminded that they’d forgotten on a certain occasion (maybe even a little extra for the inconvenience). The arbitrary (and disproportionate) £35 fine is only there to generate money.

      • Philip Scholer
        August 31, 2016 at 11:22 am

        I´d rather believe that it is the result of a form of beaurocratic thinking which is removed from the lives and the needs of the people. I hope the agency wakes up to reason and to making the best use of modern technology- to the benefit of all.

      • Adrian
        September 8, 2016 at 7:25 pm

        I completely agree. This is a return to the days of King John. The time given for payment is way too short and the fines are out of all proportion. This is the sort of initiative that makes people feel that authorities are working against them rather than providing them with a service and supporting them.

      • Tracy Fly
        October 30, 2016 at 9:33 pm

        Couldn’t agree more

      • David
        April 24, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        Yes, I fully agree with you Alan. Although one does see reminders after the toll point as well as a notification before that it is by midnight the next day. But midnight the next day is far too tight if one is, for example, going on holiday and has no online access whilst there.

    • Freddie
      October 17, 2016 at 9:49 am

      The ‘C’ logo is one of the tricks designed to catch out foreign and non regular users. The idea being that you pay the Congestion zone charge which you don’t use and then get a fine for the unpaid crossing charge. Win, win for them. This system stinks of corruption and tricks to get your money. Appeal and you will probably just have to pay the original fee. At least waste as much of their time as possible with phone calls and letters, after all they are wasting your time.

  15. shirl
    July 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    there was chaos when we went through the tunnel northbound as a vehicle was causing a hazard in one tunnel. we saw the big C and a time underneath but there was not signage saying anything about payment. saw the sign for this ON OUR WAY SOUTH 2 DAYS LATER, thus realised you had to pay something but not how much or method.
    as first timers on this route since it has all changed were able to pay 2 crossing charges now we are home. (Last journey 2011)
    again an easy way of getting money out of the driving public. the crossing took just as long as before with the toll booths

  16. Antony
    July 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    You say that “Get an extra 14 days to pay … however, first-time ‘offenders’ will be given a 14-day grace period when the charge notice is sent out. This allows them to pay the original charge rather than the full fine. A spokesman said: ‘The first penalty charge notice issued for any vehicle for non-payment of the charge will offer the driver an extra 14 days to pay – and pay for any crossings they have made since.”

    However I used the crossing on 11 July, paid on 14 July (the first 2 times I tried to pay, the website didn’t want to accept my number plate). But on 20 July they posted me penalty charge notice, with no mention of a 14-day period!

    • Pete Barden
      July 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Hi – You will need to give them a call. Is it possible that someone else has used the car at the crossing?

    • mark
      July 28, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      First and only time we made a return trip we forgot to pay. Remembered 10 days later so went on website and made a one off payment of £5. Receive 2 PCN’s 3 days after paying. I big bold letters the covering letter stated that as a first timer the penalty and all other penalty issued within the last 28 days would be cancelled if we paid for all crossings within the next couple of weeks (a specific date was given). We thought great that’s okay as we have already paid a few days ago. As per their letter the fine is cancelled. Today we received another letter demanding £215 stating that the 2 PCN’s remain unpaid! The £5 we paid is just sitting on an account to be used against future crossings. Why would the do that?!?! Surely common sense would be to apply the payment to the only crossing we have ever made….ie the one they are fining us for not paying. Having now read up on line it seems would shouldn’t have been so honest and hasty in paying. We should have waited until they fined us so we had an IA number then paid using this number. Instead we are now facing a £215 fine when we should have be exempted under the first offence rule. Anyone had the same situation and recommend next course of action? Thanks.

      • Vicki
        October 8, 2016 at 1:45 pm

        Yes I have had the same – I remembered 6 days later (busy time with family etc – sorry I have a life!). No penalty notices have been issued until today we receive the notice demanding £107. Husband phoned them up and the guy basically said tough you will have to appeal it. Instead they have £10 of my money ( I paid for 4 trips in error!) which they can’t use against the payment owed? Outright thievery! Have appealed but not holding out much hope. FML!

      • Martin
        October 13, 2016 at 1:31 pm

        Had exactly the same problem – phoned and was told it was “not possible to pay after midnight on the day after the crossing”. I pointed out that there is no request for even the date of the crossing to be included when you pay and therefore it is possible to pay. He just said you have not paid so you will be fined. I have appealed and await the response.

      • R.Lumb
        October 26, 2016 at 7:49 pm

        Exactly what has happened to me, I have appealed attaching all the payment slips/ receipts/ emails.
        I also paid before getting fined, well you do when you suddenly remember after a holiday!!
        I see the £2.50 still sat in the account after checking when I got another letter today demanding 105 + another 2.50.. WHY I ask. What computer are they using on the system, A sinclair spectrum ….

  17. Matt
    July 15, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I have emailed a request for some leniency today as I changed the registered address of the vehicle after the crossing and before as PCN was received. I am happy to admit I forgot to pay (its a first offence) but by the time I got a PCN the fine had risen to £107.50 each way :(

    I’ve added the fact I was distracted because I was on my way to a meeting with Essex social services representing a friend who is applying to adopt.

    I’ve asked them to roll back the charge or wave it on the basis of a first offence, I have no idea if they will but its worth a shot. I’m more angry with myself than anything else :(

    According to the chap on the phone the process of escalation is halted when you make a representation so the most I’ll have to pay is £250 for both crossings even if its rejected but its a hell of a lot of money for a young family!

    • Pete Barden
      July 15, 2016 at 10:47 am

      It is a huge amount that you’re being asked to pay for a system that is flawed. I wish you the best of luck and let us know how you get on with this. Let’s see if they are human.

  18. waleed
    July 12, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I forgot to pay and just was late an hour before I actually made a payment, Really what a scam and stupid way as there are no reminders or anything and they expect you to pay the very same day. this is so bad as no time is given whatsoever, now I will have to pay for the penalty despite already spending £5. pathetic service !

  19. Tommy
    June 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I paid the Dart Charge 5 days after the midnight dateline, but one week before receiving the PCN. Anyone know how to write a representation to avoid payment? :(

    • Will
      June 15, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      Tommy,
      Go to dart on https://www.gov.uk/pay-dartford-crossing-charge
      click on Start Now button
      Choose Pay or challenge a PCN (Penalty Charge Notice) then click Next button
      Find the bit that says
      Challenge a penalty charge notice
      If you believe you should not have been issued a penalty charge notice, you can challenge it by making a representation.
      lick on the underlined words Making a Representation
      At the bottom of the next page is a button with Make a representation written inside. Click it.
      Put your PCN number and vehicle reg in on the next page etc.
      Just keep following through pages.
      Add a copy of your payment (email if online or scan it/take phone piccie and save first) in the next box and write a quick blurb to say it was paid.
      finish form.
      Job done
      Will

  20. Clive
    June 11, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Was in a non fault accident, paid 250 excess, other driver has lied and didnt pay a penny as its a company lorry. I then was given a courtesy car. I drove to work 5 times, that made 10 crossings. the hire vehicle company also charging me 35.0 for each incident. So i now face paying a total of £1050 for this oversight. I have an auto top up account on my own vehicle, but didnt know I had to pay for hire vehicles. The hire company said im responsible for all fines, which I took to mean speeding, jumping lights etc. They never said if you use dartford crossing, remember to register this vehicle! That one sentence could have saved me the suffering and stress and shock. Two months after the incidents.

    Vehicle hire company said we dont know where you work, or what roads you use. Its my responsibility. Now I see how they make easy profit.

    I’m doing the representations x10 . I can only hope and pray. Else good bye £1050

    • Pete Barden
      June 13, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Sorry to hear that. The signs really need improving. Good luck.

      • Kellie Hart
        August 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm

        hey all wanted to let people know have an account with dart charge for my 18 year old son who worked in dagenham I was OD by £1.00 for 1 day in Dec 15 and the charge could not be paid i had no idea my account had ben cancelled I have called hand written twice with no reply to any of my correspondence Yesterday I received a bill now for £3790 for 14 days even though they had reinstated my account and continued taking money for any charges and crossing used. I am at my wits end Pls anyone within advice thanks Kellie

        • Pete Barden
          September 1, 2016 at 11:47 am

          That sounds horrific… can you send the full story?

          • Cc
            January 8, 2017 at 9:53 pm

            I have the same issue. ~£1500.
            Just been wheel clamped even though I have an active dart tag account in credit !

    • Simon Yale
      October 17, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Yes, unfortunately the hire companies and leasing companies are also using this money making system to scam you. They charge an ‘Admin’ fee! which is also a disproportionate amount of money. The whole world out scam each other and the UK Government back it. What hope do we have.

  21. May 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I’m a second-time “offender,” having simply forgotten to pay the charge on two separate occasions. The first time, when I called the Dart Charge number, it was waived as a first “offence.” The second time, I forgot again but woke up in the middle of the next night remembering I hadn’t paid. So I paid the £5 return charge around 4:30am, so four and a half hours late, and hoped for the best.

    But no, today I received the 2 PCNs. I called Dart Charge and pleaded for leniency but of course was told my only option was to make a representation (2 representations, actually). So I’ve done that online and now I wait and see. I think they have 56 days to make a decision.

    There should be a clear distinction made between people who have paid the charge before a PCN is issued (ie. people who clearly forgot to pay) and those who don’t. The latter may also have made an honest mistake or may not have understood the system and the appeal system is there to sort them out from the chancers.

    • Kiran Premnath
      May 18, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      I’m in a similar position. I paid the Dart Charge online after the midnight dateline but before receiving the penalty notice. Do let us know what the outcome of your representation. I’m about to do mine. Have 4!

  22. Helen Ford
    April 5, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I’m really shocked by this system. We went through the crossing on holiday last week. There are no signs anywhere to say how much the charge is, and anyone who has never used the crossing before could easily miss the payment signs, which are vague in the extreme.
    We did manage to pay the following day (with difficulty) on my husband’s phone, but we almost forgot, and I don’t use a mobile, so if I had been on my own I would have been completely stuck and unable to pay.
    This system is only OK if a reminder letter is sent out to non-payers before imposing fines (which would be too expensive of course, so it will never happen). Otherwise there should be a lane for optional on-the-spot payment, with clear signage, including the amount of the fee!

  23. jim
    April 5, 2016 at 11:02 am

    I used the crossing on the 1st of Feb which i paid over the phone. i then used it on the 8th of Feb 2015. My friend had a dart account so paid for it there and then for the 8th of Feb crossing. On the 16th of May 2015 i recieved a letter from them saying i hadnt paid and as it was my first offence would only charge me £2.50. I sent them a copy of the reciept and heard nothing more. Until the 31st of March 2016!!! i have recieved another letter stating i havent paid and now have a fine of £107.50. Nothing on the letter to dispute this so i called them up. Advised them i had already done this and sent proff of payment made on the 8th of Feb. He then said no you paid on the 8th of Feb for a crossing on the 1st of feb. when i advised this was incorrect he said that the fine is for non payment on the 1st of Feb. i advised quite clearly his letter stated the 8th of Feb and i had never recieved anything regarding the 1st Feb. He claimed this was sent to me on the 3rd of Feb. When i then queried how could the fine be for the 1st of Feb when you just told me the payment made on the 8th of Feb was for the 1st of Feb and the fact of the matter it is not possible to make a payment a week later for a crossing guess what. They hung up on me….As i have never recieved a fine for the 1st of Feb and as far as i was aware it was paid do they have a certain time limit to send something to me cheers jim

  24. Willow
    March 22, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Used crossing on Sat 27th Feb & again Sun 28th Feb. In a lease van. Lease co have forwarded 2 x penalty fines. We tried to pay morning of 28th Feb for both crossings online but must have done it wrong as no payment taken. As fine went to lease co first it is outside the 14 days for first offence….is there anything we can do please?

  25. Nik Bird
    March 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    The company that runs the crossing are just a bunch of con-artists. It is set up for you to fail. Why? They are a business and they are making huge amounts of money because we the drivers make the odd, honest mistake. We either forget to pay and they do not send a reminder, or we pay only to find that we should have paid twice, once for one way and once for the other. This is never made clear.

    It’s a French company so all that money being ripped off honest people who are just trying to get from A-B, happy to pay a charge, is going abroad. Someone is laughing.

  26. Simon
    March 6, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I have a slightly different issue, I went through the tunnel on the 19th February but knowing I had to pay I set up an account when I arrived in Essex. I didn’t spot the paragraph saying I had to pay for crossings I’d already made, and assumed setting up the account within 24 hours would work. I checked my account the next evening to see I’d been charged for my return journey but not the original one. I called the number to pay but was told I couldn’t pay beyond 24 hours, so I would be receiving a PCN. I’d already been sent a PCB when I forgot to pay the first or second time I went through over Christmas, and paid the £2.50 then, so as my second fine I assume I’m going to be hit with a £35 fee on top of £2.50 charge. Do I stand a chance in hell of succeeding if I appeal, or will they just say no and add another £35 onto the fine since it will take me over the two-week period when the fine is £35 instead of £70?

    I frankly can’t be bothered with using the crossing again even if I do succeed in appealing, it’s about the same length of journey round the M25 if I go north or south, and I can’t for one second believe the toll booths were removed to alleviate congestion considering everyone still has to pay the £2.50 charge, plus a huge number of people – a lot being occasional users – must be getting fined for getting it wrong.

  27. Giulio Canova
    February 17, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Hello to you all from a desperate Italian vacationer.
    I’m writing from Italy with the help of a friend translator
    as sorry, I’m not in condition to write well in English myself.

    This is my story.

    On 9 Jan 2016 I received by mail a notification from EPCPLC, dated 19 Dec 2015
    where they asked me for a payment of the DART CHARGE
    about my passing through there on 25 Sept 2015.

    I was travelling with my family on holiday, and a part that I didn’t know any thing about new rules
    to pay the Charge, thinking to pay at some toolbooth,
    when I passed there, coming from the North, I remember we found the tollbooths open,
    no barriers, no man at the tollbooths and I can’t remember any sign over there
    to inform me clearly I need to pay in advance or after, and please, NOTE as here in Italy
    we can found a tollbooth open, with no barriers and no charge, only in case of some strike or dismission,
    I passed over, thinking of that.
    If I had known that I had to pay, I would have definitely paid!

    Any way, this EPCPLC mail was delivered to me exactly on 9 Jan 2016
    so AFTER 21 DAY from the date written on the notification 19 Dec 2015 !!!
    I don’t know why, I only can assume that along the Christmas festivities
    the mail services goes slowly, and they were in late with the deliveries.

    Any way I promptly payd on 9 Jan 2016 the charge of Eur 3.61
    though they asked for this payment within 7th January (14 days from the notice), so I was only 2 days in late,
    but it really was not my fault that I received the notification so in late.
    I also received their email payment confirm receipt for the Eur 3.61.

    I didn’t send them any appeal as I was sure to pay the right charge
    and I was tranquil about.

    Unfortunately, on 11st February I have received
    a further requirement from EPCPLC of Eur 151.73 to pay within 27th February
    but I was not able to pay on time the previous payment
    as I received too in late their notification!!!

    It is not right that I have to pay more because of mail delay.
    Now I just have sent an appeal to the EPCPLC and also to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal
    but their response will be within 40 and 50 days so I really don’t know what to do now.

    Please, do someone of you know what can exactly happen to me
    if I will not pay within the 27th February?

    Or what I have to do more?

    Please, I need your help. I look forward to your reply as soon as possible.
    Thanks and regards from the disperate Italian vacationer (family included).

  28. madhu GANTA
    February 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    hi ,

    i was travelling from Cardiff to Grays RM20 3AS ,

    i dont even know i have crossed the Dartford crossing on 16/01/2016 ,but i don’t know any thing about the crossing charges.

    now i received the penalty Charges notice of 35£.
    can any one help me how to wave this charges.

    i can pay mim charges.

    this is very first time please help me thanks

    • Pete Barden
      February 17, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Has the charge notice included the offer to pay £2.50 within 14 days? It should have done for a first offence.

      • Lewis
        May 12, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        We’ve had a similar notice for a first offence. And the only offer they’ve given us is to pay £35 if we pay within 14 days. It’s scandalous. The signs were very unclear – they say “Dart Charge: find us online, pay by midnight tomorrow.” There’s no info saying *who* actually has to pay these charges, nor indeed how much they are. There was an odd-looking letter C on another sign, so we assumed it was something to do with the congestion charge. As somebody else has commented, the whole system seems designed to trick you into having to pay an extortionate charge.

        • Bjorn
          November 1, 2016 at 8:59 am

          I simply cannot believe this is allowed to continue, it’s a scandal. I’ve just missed my midnight deadline by a few hours and as such, I am now forced into a locked system whereby I simply have to wait for my PCN to come through. Its my first time. Why won’t they let honest people pay and make it right?

          Not giving you the option to pay the normal fare when its your first time? Scandal.

  29. Lucy
    February 12, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I live in Ireland and hired a car from airport to travel to Kent. I had no idea of the changes regarding Dartford crossing and subsequently forgot to pay for journey down on 6/2/16 and back on 8/2/16. Traffic backed up at least 2 miles on way back as bridge was closed due to high winds, so was worried I would not get to airport in time.

    I contacted the hire company who said I would need to contact Dartford crossing. I wanted to pay today but it transpires that I will have to wait until Penalty Charge Notice is received by car hire company who will then give dartford my address (at a cost of £42 admin fee). Dartford will then send me PCN.
    Any advice on what to do would be appreciated, thank you.

    • Pete Barden
      February 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Lucy, I am sorry to hear about your experience at the Dartford Crossing… you certainly aren’t alone. I would suspect you’ll be charged the £2.50 crossing charge – as it’s your first ‘offence’ when the penalty is sent out, however your hire car company will still charge what is clearly a very high ‘admin’ charge. They must be making a lot of cash from the new booth-free toll system. £42 is a lot for any hire car firm. Try appealing to their better nature – and when that fails – sorry ‘if’ – send the name of the company through and we will add it to our hall of shame… or should that be haul or shame! Let us know and sorry I could not be of more help.

      • Lucy
        February 12, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        Hi Pete, thank you for your reply.

        I am really frustrated by the fact that I want to pay the crossing charges but am unable to do so either by phone or online as it is after the midnight deadline for both. I do not feel that this is made clear enough at either side of the crossing and hope that Dartford will just charge me the crossing fees. I will let you know how I get on with the car hire company, although they haven’t been to helpful so far!

        • Pete Barden
          February 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm

          Best of luck Lucy – and make sure you let us know how it works out. We all share your frustration on this one. We are pushing to get better signage on the motorway, too.

      • Giulio Canova
        February 16, 2016 at 3:18 pm

        Hello to you all from a desperate Italian vacationer.
        I’m writing from Italy with the help of a friend translator
        as sorry, I’m not in condition to write well in English myself.

        This is my story.

        On 9 Jan 2016 I received by mail a notification from EPCPLC, dated 19 Dec 2015
        where they asked me for a payment of the DART CHARGE
        about my passing through there on 25 Sept 2015.

        I was travelling with my family on holiday, and a part that I didn’t know any thing about new rules
        to pay the Charge, thinking to pay at some toolbooth,
        when I passed there, coming from the North, I remember we found the tollbooths open,
        no barriers, no man at the tollbooths and I can’t remember any sign over there
        to inform me clearly I need to pay in advance or after, and please, NOTE as here in Italy
        we can found a tollbooth open, with no barriers and no charge, only in case of some strike or dismission,
        I passed over, thinking of that.
        If I had known that I had to pay, I would have definitely paid!

        Any way, this EPCPLC mail was delivered to me exactly on 9 Jan 2016
        so AFTER 21 DAY from the date written on the notification 19 Dec 2015 !!!
        I don’t know why, I only can assume that along the Christmas festivities
        the mail services goes slowly, and they were in late with the deliveries.

        Any way I promptly payd on 9 Jan 2016 the charge of Eur 3.61
        though they asked for this payment within 7th January (14 days from the notice), so I was only 2 days in late,
        but it really was not my fault that I received the notification so in late.
        I also received their email payment confirm receipt for the Eur 3.61.

        I didn’t send them any appeal as I was sure to pay the right charge
        and I was tranquil about.

        Unfortunately, on 11st February I have received
        a further requirement from EPCPLC of Eur 151.73 to pay within 27th February
        but I was not able to pay on time the previous payment
        as I received too in late their notification!!!

        It is not right that I have to pay more because of mail delay.
        Now I just have sent an appeal to the EPCPLC and also to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal
        but their response will be within 40 and 50 days so I really don’t know what to do now.

        Please, do someone of you know what can exactly happen to me
        if I will not pay within the 27th February?

        Or what I have to do more?

        Please, I need your help. I look forward to your reply as soon as possible.
        Thanks and regards from the disperate Italian vacationer (family included).

      • paul from lancashire
        March 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm

        we are a small hire company in Lancashire. We used to have customer who regularly cost us parking tickets, and they ran up a debt. We charged an admin fee each time. They also damaged the vehicle. We ended up in the small claims arbitration process. We were advised that the admin fees were not recoverable. Don’t know if that helps, and you may not want the stress involved.

  30. TrevC
    January 23, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Clearly looking through the comments and elsewhere on the internet, there are problems with the system. I received a Charge Certificate in the post yesterday (22/01/2016). The issue date on the certificate was 12/01/16 and requested payment of £108 within 14 days of the notice, (£105 for the PCN and £3 crossing fee).
    Amazingly this certificate related to a contravention on the 3/06/15, had detailed the fact that I hadn’t responded to previous letters etc. I have been hours going back through credit card and bank statements as I was sure I had made payment. Like many I remember crossing the bridge last year and had forgotten to pay when I arrived home, but at some point I do remember paying them something, but just couldn’t find any evidence – I certainly haven’t received any letters which they have suggested.
    I managed to speak to someone on the phone this morning and surprise! Their records show I had paid and this charge certificate has been sent out by mistake.
    a) There has to be a problem somewhere with a system that is issuing Charge certificates/invoices) whatever you like to call them) when payment has been made.
    b) The warning on the letter said that if not paid within 14 days it may be registered with County Court and a Court Order raised against me. This may have been enough to push some people to have just gone ahead and paid without question.

  31. TopCat
    January 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Received a PCN for a one way journey we made 5 MONTHS AGO! We forgot to pay immediately, as we had a very long journey the other side of the bridge but did pay when we remembered a week later. Now being told that the £2.50 is being held as a credit. I do not live near the bridge, do not need a credit. If the system is investigated, they will see we have only ever crossed once, and made one payment.

  32. john
    December 28, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Christmas night I’ve crossed dartford and forgot to pay the charge. 4 days after Christmas I remembered and paid the charge trough the net but I wonder if I’ll get a penalty or not. It’s a f** up system riding on the notion that many people will forget or not know about the charge and they make a tonne of money off of them. I think it should be extended to at least two weeks, or since they have the car’s data in their database send a letter or an email reminder to the owner of the car automatically. I see no other reason then a money making scam for using it to make more money in fines. The system is unreasonable to all motorists who does not have an account that automatically takes the money out of their account.

    • Yvonne
      January 16, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Despite my willingness to pay, all my attempts failed and a simple slip of memory has cost me dear.

      Furthermore to avoid this happening again we have now tried to pay in advance for a further trip (due 17th /18th January). However, having completed the whole of the online form, the process suddenly ended just as before, as I tried to pay the £10 advance payment. When I tried to ring on 030003001200 to pay, no one answers. The message tells me ‘access via the website’. So the cycle begins again. This is the third time this month that we are caught in your ineffective and time consuming communication system. All to no avail.

      It seems we can’t pay after using the crossing, nor in advance. This appears to be an unhelpful, punitive system not in the public interest, apparently designed to maximize cash generation rather than provide a public service. If you want online payments you should set up a system that works.

    • sal
      January 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Hi John did you ever get a PCN ? I made a crossing 2 days ago and only paid for one as when I called the automated answer “lady” said I only has one outstanding payment (silly me). But called to ask asI found out going through the tunnel means I have to pay too (thought you only paid while going through the bridge) but the man I spoke to said I now have to wait to receive a pcn as he can’t take the payment. Don’t know if it is worth paying for it online?

  33. LYNDA BOLT
    December 21, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    My family went over dartford crossing in August on holiday no signs saying when or how to pay didnt even know you had to wasnt till we visited fiends a few days later that we found out went online and paid for both journeys payment was accepted now 4 months later been sent a PCN for £14:50,really annoyed after they’d taken my payment.Mine is a lease car so fine sent to lease company they paid the fine,then took it from my wages, now Ive got to try and claim it back

  34. Robert
    December 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Just like many of you I did not pay for crossing. I was driving there first time and until now I’ve had no clue about any payment requirements. I got the penalty but the problem is that is already second letter with £105 fine. What can I do ? And is there any chance to claim that I did not get the first original letter where I was able to pay only for crossing in 14 days ?

  35. Rachel
    December 7, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I have used the crossing several times lately but have forgotten to pay by midnight the following day as this is a super busy time of year for me but I’ve paid as soon as I have realised my mistake – within two days of making each crossing. Using their automated telephone service, I have been told that the money has been taken for the registered crossings I have made. I have recorded the voice stating that the payment has been taken for the outstanding crossings.

    Reading these comments I am now worried I will receive a load of penalty notices in five months time demanding vast sums of money. Surely, they can’t accept the payment and still issue a fine?

  36. Dirk
    December 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Hi, I received today a penalty as I didn’t pay the charge when driving in the Dartford tunnel and 2 weeks later using the Dartford bridge. As a foreigner we were not informed about the charge. Furthermore at the passing times, the traffic was so dense I even didn’t see there was a charge to pay or somewhere mentioning a website. As we have very often in our country the toll booths are open when the traffic is to dense, which we believed was here the case too. I would like to complain as I can’t agree to pay the penalty. I don’t have any problem paying the toll charge itself. How can we complain? And will they accept we will not pay the penalty. Furthermore by reading some information normally people are warned if they pay to late (after 14 days) which I never got.

  37. peter
    December 1, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Yes what a system we are from spain april gates open no warning no signs may again same september again same we dit not know becourse road works thinking free of charge than in late november recieved 4 finish of not paying we complain Saying where to pay when we recieved the finish we want to go again dartford crossing putting out van online but say can not find we try to phone after many times put nr this nr that etc line go dead i think this is made special to fuck us for the fines ridiculous how the british goeverment try to make money Now we drive around the m 25 to go to suffolk

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