Dartford Crossing: How to pay the Dart Charge and what to do if you forget

Find out how much the Dartford Crossing costs to use it, how to pay and what happens if you forget.

Use the following links to find what you need.

How to pay the Dart Charge
Here’s how to pay for your crossing
How to beat the fines
How much and how to avoid them
Crossing on a bicycle
How cyclists can use the crossing
How much does the Dartford Crossing cost?
From cars to trucks and when it’s free
How to appeal a penalty
Start your appeal process right here
Find details on all UK toll routes
Never be left unprepared again

How much does the Dartford Crossing cost?

Along with the new payment system, the price of using the crossing has also increased from November 30, 2014. Here are the new prices and the discount received for those who have a pre-pay account.

Vehicle classVehicle typeNon-accountDart Charge account
N/ABicycleFreeN/A
AMotorbikeFreeN/A
BCars£2.50£1.67
CTwo-Axle Goods£3.00£2.63
DMulti-Axle Goods£6.00£5.19

Crossing is free to use 10.00pm – 6.00am

How to pay the Dart Charge – your questions answered…

Now the toll booths have been removed, we answer all your payment questions right here. Read on to find out how the system works, how much it costs – and how you can avoid being fined…

How do I pay: There are several ways to pay, with a pre-pay account the cheapest option. These are the payment methods on offer:


1) 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 won’t?

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

3) NEW: Pay As You Go account:

What is it: This is an ideal service for drivers who don’t want to tie-up cash in a pre-pay account, but still want the charge paid automatically whenever they use the crossing.
How it works: This system lets you register a vehicle without the need to make any initial payment and will automatically charge payments to a registered debit or credit card. However, this service will not offer discounted payments as the pre-pay Dart Charge account does.
What you’ll need: Anyone can sign-up for this account, including foreign-registered vehicle owners. This was confirmed by Dart Charge on June 19, 2017.
Best for: Occasional users who want to ensure they never get hit by fines.
Set up your account: Setting up an account is easy. Simply click here to join up

4) NEW: Pay with Pingit smartphone app:

What is it: Piingit is an app that allows you to link a bank account and make instant payments direct from your mobile. These can be to other mobiles, or businesses – such as the Dartford Crossing. It’s operated by Barclays, but you won’t need to bank with them.
How it works: Simply download the app – Android and iOS users – then link it to a bank account. You can then use the business directory to find the Dartford Crossing and pay for your crossing with the flick of a button.
Best for: Tech-savvy drivers who want to make payments with the minimum of fuss.
Set up your account: Simply download the app for your phone here https://www.barclays.mobi/BarclaysPingit/MP1242629610109


5) 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


6) 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


7) 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


8) 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


Are some vehicles exempt from paying the charge: Yes. If you are currently exempt from paying the charge, that will still be the case. This includes vehicles exempt from paying road tax because they are used for disabled persons. Please contact the DVLA to confirm if your vehicle is exempt.

Is it still free to use the crossing at night: Yes, the crossing remains free between 10pm and 6am every day of the week.

Why were the toll booths removed: The Government claims the new ‘free-flowing’ system will remove a bottleneck on the M25 and help ease congestion. The new system is also likely to raise a considerable amount in fines when people forget to pay on time.

What it I ‘forget’ to pay: So, you’re racing to the airport to catch your flight and have to pass through the Dartford Crossing to get there. Combine the stress/excitement of heading away, and you’ll most likely be lying on a sun lounger before you remember you haven’t paid. Anyone evading the charge will be hunted down using automatic number plate recognition systems and debt recovery firms. This will apply to vehicles from Europe, too.

How much will I be fined if I forget to pay: The penalty charges are as follows:
Non-payment after one day: £70.00
Reduced to £35.00 if paid in 14 days
Increased to £108.00 if not paid within 28 days
Penalty charge is payable for each use of the crossing, so a return trip could cost up to £216.00.

How to avoid paying the Dart Charge fine

Drivers must pay the Dartford Crossing toll (Dart Charge) before midnight on the day after using it. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £108 for each crossing. Here’s how to avoid it in the first place and what to do if you’ve already received one.


Use the crossing between 10pm and 6am:

It might sound simple, but many occasional users don’t realise it’s free to cross during these periods. Knowing this could help prevent a lot of unnecessary anxiety.


Charges apply in each direction:

You will need to pay for each crossing you make – be it through the tunnels or over the QE2 Bridge.


Set up a Pre-pay Dart Charge account:

You’ll need to do this in advance because it won’t cover earlier payments. The pre-pay account offers a discount of £1.67 per crossing – as opposed to £2.50. However, you’ll need to top it up with at least £10 and remember to manually add credit – or you could be fined. Create a Pre-pay account here.


Set up a Pay-as-you-go account:

The Pay-as-you-go account will not give you the discount on crossings available with the Pre-pay account above, but you won’t need to tie-up cash with an initial payment. Best option for those who use the crossing fairly regularly. Create a Pay-as-you-go account here


Pay in advance:

If you’re planning to use the Dartford Crossing for a one-off event – such as a trip to the airport – paying in advance is a sensible solution. You can pay up to 12 months in advance and won’t need to tie-up large amounts of cash, as with the Pre-pay account. Don’t forget to pay for your return trip, too, though. Pay for your parking in advance here.


Check a crossing payment has been accepted:

Problems with technology have resulted in payments not being received and fines being issued. Luckily, there’s an option allowing you to check your payment has been received. After making a one-off payment, make a note of your payment reference number then head to the link below. This will then tell you if your payment was recognised and for what crossing it was charged against. Check your payment here


Lodge an appeal:

The Automatic Number Plate Recognition system that triggers a charge against cars has been found wanting when it comes to reading certain letters – such as C and G – causing incorrect fines to be issued. Around 80% of appeals were accepted by Highways England in the first six months of the new system, so don’t let dodgy tech cost you. Here’s how to appeal if you’ve been issued an incorrect or unfair penalty charge.


Get an extra 14 days to pay the original £2.50 toll:

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.


Pay-up and save:

You might not be happy about it, but if you have got a fine that’s ‘correct’, paying it early will save cash. The fine of £70 will jump to £108 if not paid within 28 days, but be halved to £35 if paid within 14 days. However, wait until you get the demand before paying, as you might be a ‘first-time offender’ and only have to pay £2.50 per crossing missed. See above.


Read it in your own language:

Travelling from abroad – or have family or friends visiting the UK? Find out how to pay the charge and avoid fines with this multi-lingual leaflet covering French, Spanish, German and many other languages. Find the leaflet here.


Check your road tax, MoT, licence and car insurance is valid

Follow our guide to free online checking tools here

speed

Can I cycle through the Dartford Crossing – all you need to know:

You can’t physically cycle through the Dartford Tunnels or over the QE2 Bridge, but you can ask for a special pick-up vehicle to take you and your bike across in safety. Here are the details you need.

Do I need to book the service to get my bike over the Dartford Crossing: No. Providing your bike will fit on a car’s bike rack, you can simply turn up and use the service.

How much is it to transport bikes through the Dartford Crossing: It’s free.

How do I request the service to take my bicycle over the Dartford Crossing: Getting your bike over or under the Dartford Crossing is simple. Just follow these instructions…

1) Go to Kent Point or Essex Point. The addresses for these are as follows:

Kent Point is located at this address:
Crossing Offices Roundabout
South Orbital Road
Dartford, Kent , DA1 5PR
Essex Point is located at this address:
859 London Road
Grays,
Essex, RM20 3AT

Essex Point can also be found via the cycleway next to the entry slip road for junction 31 of the M25 (A282) clockwise.

2) Follow signs directing you to a yellow telephone.
3) Use the phone to ask for a pick-up vehicle. It’s a direct line, so need for a number.
4) Wait in the clearly signed designated area.
5) A vehicle will arrive to convey you and your bike through the crossing.

When does the cycle crossing service open: Cyclists can use the service 7 days a week between the following hours:

3am – 9am
10:30am – 2pm
3pm – 9pm
10:30pm – 2am

How long will you have to wait: Typically, it will take around 15 minutes for the special pick-up vehicle to arrive. However, this could be longer during peak hours or periods of congestion.

Can large groups of cyclists use the Dartford Crossing service: Contact Connect Plus in advance for groups of more than three cyclists. You should also call ahead if your bike won’t fit on a standard bike rack, for example: tandems or bikes with trailers.

Ways to pay the Dart Charge on video

New service: Confirm your crossing payment was accepted

It’s the service that drivers have been demanding… read on to find out how you can dodge fines by confirming whether or not you’ve paid for your crossing.

New service could help prevent fines

New service could help prevent fines

A big complaint from drivers using the Dartford Crossing is that they’ve made payments only to receive a penalty charge weeks later. This new service promises to help motorists beat these unfair penalties.

How it works: After making a one-off payment, make sure you keep hold of your payment reference number then head to the link below. This will then tell you if the payment was recognised and for what crossing it was charged against. The service is currently in Beta so let us know how you get on.

Confirm your crossing payment here

Download a multi-lingual leaflet here

Not from the UK? Not a problem – French, Spanish, German and many other languages are covered in this Dartford Crossing multi-lingual payment information leaflet.

Latest news: Get it here first

From closures to new charges and toll systems, check this rolling news coverage for the very latest information from the Dartford Crossing…

Dartford Crossing sees slowest motorway speeds in UK

 

New data released by TomTom reveals the average speed of motorists heading north at the Dartford Crossing has slowed to a crawl of just 11mph.

The figures show that the average speed – between 8am and 9am – signals a cataclysmic decrease from the 53mph clocked in 2008.

TomTom has confirmed these are the slowest average motorway speeds in the UK – despite motorists being assured the unpopular new booth-free charging system would cut journey times.

SAVE 10% ON AIRPORT PARKING

Enter your email here to save 10% on APH airport parking at at participating airports across the UK…

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 to be wrong.

Appeal to the independent adjudicator: If your appeal is 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 original Notice of Rejection being 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 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
  • Other compelling reasons

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

Make a complaint

Anyone who simply wishes to make a complaint about a Dartford Crossing-related subject can use this new complaints form. This is not for appeals, but general issues such as poor signage etc.

Lodge your complaint here

Tell us your view as number of fines hits 3.5million

Fines could total up to £189million

Fines could total up to £367million

Nearly 3.5 million drivers have been issued with fines for not paying the Dartford Crossing since toll booths were axed in November 2014.

Statistics also reveal that 745,000 fines have been issued to foreign-registered vehicles – around 25% of the foreign drivers who use the crossing.


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Rental car companies hit drivers in Dartford chaos

Hire car charges revealed for Dartford Crossing

Hire car charges revealed for Dartford Crossing

HIRE CAR FIRMS CHARGING £35+ ‘ADMIN’ FEE FOR PAYING £2.50 CROSSING

Drivers of hire cars are being hit by unexpected charges from rental firms amid confusion around the Crossing’s new cash-free payment system.

Motorists who forget to pay are offered a 14-day grace period if it’s a ‘first offence’, allowing them to satisfy the original fee (£2.50 for a car) within the two-week period and avoid fines of up to £125 for each crossing, but it seems this offer is not being passed on to hire car drivers.

Reports from drivers contacting APH claim rental companies are taking the £2.50 from their credit cards before adding big ‘admin’ fees on top.

While it’s understandable that rental firms require compensation for time spent paying the toll, making these charges clearer would help reduce confusion around the admin charge and £2.50 14-day grace period.

We asked major hire car companies to confirm their policy for clarity. Hertz and Sixt were the only ones to respond.

Hertz told us that in addition to the original fee, it charges non-payers an admin fee of £42 to cover time and costs of dealing with the payment. The company pointed out this is covered in its “rental valet, the rental agreement and online, under ‘Rental Qualifications and Requirements’”.

Sixt responded by telling us: ‘In the event that the fee was not paid within the 14 day time frame, the authorities will send a notification of the fine to Sixt who will then pay the penalty charge directly to the issuing authority and will charge the credit card associated with your hire for the £2.50 fine plus an administration charge of £36.00’.

What you told us…
We asked drivers to tell us about charges taken by hire car companies after forgetting to pay for the crossing, with responses showing charges of up to £73.50 from Europcar, £79.50 from Hertz and £35 from Enterprise. However, it’s not clear if these include multiple crossings.

Our adviceThe best advice is to pay the charge, but users of hire cars could be visitors to the area or even foreign tourists, so many won’t be aware of changes. When booking your hire car, we’d recommend asking for email confirmation of relevant admin ‘charges’. Picking a company, such as Hertz or Sixt, that has a responsive customer service team could also save lots of wasted time and frustration should you have any difficulties.

Have you been fined while using a hire car?

Have you been received a fine for non-payment of the Dartford Crossing while using a hire car? We’d like to hear about how you were treated by the hire company.

If you were charged for a crossing by the hire car provider, we’d be grateful if you could fill out the form below with a couple of details.

Please click below to reveal our short questionnaire. Please enter here if the form does not send on your mobile device.

Click here to take our short questionnaire

Drivers paying London Congestion Charge by mistake

Don't get caught out

Don’t get caught out

Confusing signage at the Dartford Crossing is resulting in drivers paying the London Congestion Charge by mistake.

This can leave them paying five times more than the Dart Charge for a single crossing and receiving a penalty of up to £125 for each crossing.

What’s the problem
Signage approaching the Dartford Crossing tells drivers to pay by searching for Dart Charge online, however the signage has no web address and uses the same red and white ‘C’ symbol as the London Congestion Charge.

Reports suggest drivers searching online have confused the two systems – because of the symbol – and paid the wrong one.

Surely that’s not possible
Sadly it is. The London Congestion Charge system can read your numberplate, of course, but rather confusingly it won’t stop you from paying even if you haven’t entered the zone – making it easy to pay the wrong charge.

What do the authorities think about this
Transport for London, which looks after the London Congestion Charge, is so concerned about the possibility of people mixing up its charge with the Dartford toll, that it’s devoted a webpage to it. Read it here.However, it has not changed the signage in any way to make the difference any clearer to motorists.

Latest traffic news

Here are the latest traffic updates for the Dartford Crossings.
This section will be active during periods of planned roadworks and closures.

Take the Dartford Crossing challenge: North and Southbound videos

Watch our driver’s-eye views of the northerly approach to the Dartford Crossing – heading through the tunnels – and southerly across the QEII Bridge. Watch the videos and decide if you’d know how to pay the toll and avoid fines of up to £108 each way. These are the all-new videos with toll booths and barriers completely removed.

Southbound over the bridge

Make the final approach bridge and see if you can work out how to pay the charge by using the motorway signage…

Northbound through the tunnels

Make the final approach to the tunnel entrance and see if you can work out how to pay the charge by using the motorway signage…


Looking for info on a different toll route?

Don't get caught out by toll routes ever again

Click above for our guide to all the UK’s major toll roads, bridges, tunnels and congestion zones

Along with Dartford, the UK has many other toll roads, tunnels, bridges and congestion zones to catch you out. Dodge the fines and inconvenience by using this guide to find all the payment costs and methods you need right here. Just use the dropdown menu below to find the toll you’re after.

Online payments being charged twice

Anyone paying online to use the Dartford Crossing should check their bank accounts to make sure they’ve not been charged twice for a single crossing.

The AA has backed up comments from users on this feature that new systems installed in place of tolls have been duplicating some payments.

Highways England (which oversees the system) said most payments were processed accurately. However, many drivers have contacted us complaining that extra payments had been taken from their account.

A spokesperson for Highways England said: “Given the scale of transactions from time to time errors will be made for which we apologise unreservedly.”

Drivers who think they’re due a refund should contact Highways England on 0300 300 0120

WARNING: Don’t pay more than you should by using unofficial websites

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 fails to 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 that Dartfordcrossingcharges 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.

SEND TO A FRIEND AND SAVE A FINE

Know someone that occasionally uses the Dartford Crossing? Send them this guide to the charging system using the share buttons below. You could be saving them from a big fine.

481 comments for “Dartford Crossing: How to pay the Dart Charge and what to do if you forget

  1. Syed
    September 15, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    I paid the toll charges after 3 days of crossing.. however I got a PCN 10 days later. Can I challenge the PCN?

  2. edward
    September 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I just think its a bloody cheek that they still have a toll on the bridge and tunnel and would be open to any campaign to stop drivers using it for a certain time and show that us drivers are being fleeced by such Tolls , everyone wants to make money , I have not been fined and always pay on time as I only use it sometimes but it is easy to forget to pay as I get that shudder the next day when I say oh my god the dartcharge . its not a good feeling so those who have forgot my heart goes out to them as the distortional fine that they get is served up by our legal system . so my only qualm is everyone stop using it and making them money because someone is making one hell of a lot of money somewhere .

  3. Jenny
    June 8, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    The website is NOT user friendly AT ALL. The telephone service is no better. I just telephoned after giving up on THIS WEBSITE and gave my registration number 8 times and you read it back wrong 8 times!!!!! I was then transferred to a rude Customer Service person RUBBISH SERVICE. I will be travelling to avoid this crossing in future.

    • Pete Barden
      June 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Obviously you are talking about the Dartford Crossing website, Jenny.

  4. Pickup Mick
    May 27, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I have a 1963 Chevy Pick Up Truck. It’s an almost mint condition classic vehicle with tax class of Historic Vehicle on the V5. It is not sign written and I don’t use as a commercial vehicle. I have had it on my Dart charge auto pay account since 2015. It has always charged me the private car rate of £1.67 per crossing. On 25 May 2017 it charged me £1.67 northbound at 10:13 but the goods rate of £2.63 for the south bound crossing 3 hours later. Pick Up Bed has a cover. Is a Pick Up Truck with historic tax on V5 classed as goods or Car on the Dart Charge system and where does Dart Charge pick up the vehicle type and has it just changed?

  5. Paul Williams
    May 25, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I just phoned 0300 300 300 0120 Dart crossing people. I have a Blue Card as I have a British war pension. I am told that I cannot get a free pass as I do not have a british car. The person said they can not register it. He then went on to tell me I could prepay up to a year before I travel. I asked how as he cant register my car, this they can do.
    I would like to know how they can treat Blue card holders different. Other places don’t in the UK I just have to send a copy of my card. I hope there prejudice isn’t with lots of different groups. I will post this on the different disable websites I can find as Dart website is misleading saying BLUE CARD HOLDERS ARE FREE. Get it sorted Please not every one can read all english properly.

  6. Fee
    May 21, 2017 at 1:35 am

    I went through on 6th April, very tied up with stressful family issues, tried two nights running to pay but the site was down for maintenance. Finally got on to the site when I got home on 11th and paid so now I have a penalty for late payment and they’ve turned down my appeal. This has to be some kind of criminal injustice, surely.

  7. Mark Termeer
    April 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    As someone who does not live in the area, as someone who was unaware that toll charge booths were removed, as someone who thought Bank Holidays were free….I am most distressed by the Dart Crossing Charges process.
    I went to visit family on 24th December till 28th December. On returning home 29th December, Paid what i thought were the charges and set up an account for future crossings with an extra £10. I then find I’m being harassed for non payment. The time frame in which to pay is obscene, and would not be legal in any other business. So why are they allowed to put a 24hr deadline even during public bank holidays?
    It is so obviously weighted to catch people out and make money. This was a bridge paid for with public money, how can they be using it to extort extra income?

  8. Jim
    February 1, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    I sold my vehicle and the driver drove through tunnel on way home to barking got the 2.50 fine I told them had sold the car and asked to re apply to dvla for new keepers details only to be told fine now 107.50 and going up 8.00 every further letter had to pay gonna chase and try to get it back not holding my breath though

  9. Nuria
    November 15, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I have just received the PCN notice from a company called Euro Parking Collection plc. I am supposed to pay 2.92€ because, since it’s my first time, they “forgive” my crossing without paying and are not asking for the full penalty. After reading some of the comments here, the “Charging Scheme” seems to me a refined and devilish system to charge penalties to distracted drivers (and tourists!). Let’s just hope authorities in my country don’t travel to the UK and get some ideas, haha!

    Now, my question is: how can I trust that this Euro Parking Collection plc people are really who they say they are, and not just scam? Who am I paying to? Seems a bit weird to pay to a back account in Germany, doesn’t it?

    And, last but not least, how can I avoid the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing in my next trip to the UK? Just in case!!

    • Paul Williams
      May 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      At the time of the strikes in france 2015 we were diverted from Holland to france to cross by ferry. On getting to the UK at 11,30PM roads were blocked also the motorway in places. Police sent us one way then another we had a sleep at a motorway services and the next morning was worse. We ended up on the M25 going over the bridge that we didnt know existed. All signs said pay at the toll booths, then toll booths closed. Forward in time. Just over 6 months and we got a bill and at the same time a fine from a swedish company who deals with bills from Dartford. This was the first bill, it takes this long and they add the fine on at once. I phoned Dartford crossing and talked to them and they said just pay the crossing . We paid this at once. now 18 months after they have stopped threatening letters and adding on fines. On at least 4 occasions they have said they will contact us and look to see if we have paid, we have sent copies of the bank payments to them and been told that the UK office can’t find it. I think they need to look at what criminals they get to collect their debts. I have no problem paying to cross bridges or toll, but paying a month’s war pension to cross a bridge that I wont. A small point for the police and such. Dartford crossing is forcing people to drive and look up paying tolls on line while they’re driving a vehicle. I am sure this is against the law.

  10. David Webber
    November 13, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Hi,
    I made two crossings one at 18:30 and one at 9:59pm-10:00pm yesterday. How can I check if the second crossing was FREE as there were no signs saying crossing is now FREE as it was 10:00pm when I completed my crossing.
    If your unable to check before having to pay then this is totally unfair and a needs to be an option that needs to be put into place.

    Thanks

  11. PETER CRESSWELL
    November 10, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I’ve spent an hour trying pay online, then another ten minutes listening to a babble of voices on a switchboard whilst trying pay by phone. These people, APH, sarcastically offer the LUDDITE response if all else fails, the post. Now I have go the post office and pay £1.74 to be sure it arrives tomorrow or I’ll be stuffed in usual fashion. This is beyond unsatisfactory and the magistrates who protect these shysters should be disciplined and taught about the responsibilities public services have to the people who pay their taxes to pay the public sector wages. If it’s next impossible to pay then how can we use the only crossing for miles without punitive fines?

  12. james
    October 26, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    this is orchestrated by Freemasons and by design..this is how they operate,make money by confusing people and creating something that is not necessary and then use threat of thugs to make people pay..unfortunately not enough people see understand or stand up to this gang violence daylight robbery..this confusing misunderstanding of a situation where you are busy with daily life to realize or notice or even have to be concerned about is a situation created by their design.we live in 21st century,this kind of nonsense is not by accident…

    • John
      November 1, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      This is my experience too. It appears to be a trap for motorists on several levels. Pre paid accounts require money up front and is not returnable if not used. Great little earner considering the huge traffic numbers. I rarely use the crossing so why should I give money for an account used three or four times a year.
      I have the threat of bailiffs because I didn’t complete a Witness statement for a penalty, for a Toll I paid. And I have no understanding of what they want as the correspondence is confusing.
      Damn, I just wanted to visit my elderly Mother and I woke a Monster in the Dart crossing flawed system.
      How would I fix it?
      It should be as easy as buying a lottery ticket to pay in cash, with far extended paying times as with any business. i. e. 60 days. Not next day! And not everyone wants or can pay online so as before Cash payments as per Lottery outlets. Why not use the Lottery system? The Lottery is too expensive with far reduced chance of winning now so why not use it for this infernal Toll system.

  13. anthony
    October 17, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    this has to be a profiteering scam.

    Encouragement to pay is one thing, but collection of £105 for late payment of a few days of £2.50 ? That is (apparently we will see) legalised robbery.

    Cross on 21/8/2016 unable to pay while driving across Europe, hotel wifi fails, roaming calls are blocked, finally manage to pay, after much time wasted (so much for saving “time”) on 26/8/2016 from home.

    Later receive this “scam” charge fine of up to £105 which represents, let me see five days annualised interest that is an annual interest amount without compounding of £7,665 GBP. which on an amount of £2.5 represents 300,000 % percent

    300,000 % ? Surely I can’t have that right?

    In any case the problem here is that willingness to pay is not the same as being able to pay in the circumstances – I have previously tried when I was there and I had to go to FIVE different shops all of which advertised the dartcharge cash payment facility, before I found one able to accept my money.

    “Warn foreigners”? This is outrageous advice. All foreigners are neither related, know each other or have any expectation of this rip off.

    There is an assumption in all of this that foreign travellers wish to avoid payment. This is arrant rubbish. We pay road tolls all across Europe without complaint. £2.50 is nothing and we are willing to pay as we do everywhere else, we do NOT expect obstacles to payment or indeed the complete lack of a pay booth. No booth means free crossing, everywhere in Europe. Period. That is the message you give at dartcharge and then you wonder why people don’t pay? Please.

    What we/I am not willing to do is be harassed by a foreign toll company clearly out to profit from those less equipped to pay and for whom, acceptable accessible timely available processes are clearly not available.

    The assumption that internet and phone are readily available are both false. As indeed is the huge assumption the every crossing user read and understands English, or even if they do, that they can believe what they read as it is unique in Europe and unheard of anywhere else – as is the hostile follow up clearly designed to humiliate, frighten and extract money.

    See you in court – yours or mine?

    Did I pay? Of course I did. Will I then pay fines? No.

    roundly ripped off angry foreign tourist

    • John
      November 1, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Very well said

  14. Kay
    October 9, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    NEVER RECEIVED THE WARNING LETTER FOR £2.50

    We have received a PCN for £70/£35 after using the road without realizing any fee was payable (we live in Wales and only used the road enroute to Dover so it’s not a road we normally use). We never received the warning letter giving us the option to pay £2.50 within 14 days, as mentioned in the article above. Can someone clarify if that is indeed something they currently send out? It is not mentioned on their GovUK webpage where they detail the penalty charges, only the £70/35 rising to £105 is mentioned. Do we have a case to appeal? thank you

    • Richard Bennett
      October 11, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      I received a warning letter on 11 October with the option to pay within 14 days, it was in the same envelope as the penalty charge notice itself. If I hadn’t read it closely beforehand, I might well have assumed I would have to pay the full penalty charge.
      I must say the road signage for the charge is pitifully unclear as to what or how you should pay.

  15. Thomas Ruduck
    October 7, 2016 at 10:54 am

    I have lived in Vietnam since July 2015 and received news from my tenant yesterday that bailiffs were knocking at her door asking for over £400 in penalty fees from a crossing I made on 29th December 2015 (I returned for Christmas). I clearly remember paying for my crossing/topping up my account and never received an email notification that I needed to make a payment or that my account was low. I remember this as I ridiculous made a debit card payment of something like 50p to bring my account to zero. I did this as I knew that the car was being sold and I wouldn’t be making another crossing. I never received a penalty charge letter and I returned to Vietnam after New Year and sold the car in late April. When I returned to the UK in July I then contacted Dart Charge via email using the correct form and closed my account (I all have evidence of this). I have emailed Dart Charge last night but have not had a response yet. Any advice

  16. Peter
    September 2, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I have an account for using the crossing, it is a “manual” account which I keep topped up to an £10 balance. I have just had an email form the DART system informing me that my credit card is due to expire and I should get it sorted.
    Who gives DART the authority to remind me of this,in any case my account is paid by topping up with a debit card and as it is manual not auto which the email implies there wont be any problems meeting the crossing charge. Is sending me such a reminder (even though it is totally wrong) a breach of Data Protection Act?

  17. Peter
    August 21, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Drove from Germany in June 2015 to visit family in Durham, and others in Kent on the way back. I knew about the CHARGE, so no problem. Paid with credit card before we went. End of story? Don’t you believe it.

    Come September, come the PNC from a debt collector, not direct from the crossing people. I “made representation” on their web site and they went away. Wrong! They came back again on Saturday when I received another PNC for the same incident more than a year later.

    I think these people will haunt me to the grave!!!!!

    Is there any way to get them to listen to you apart from allowing it all to go to court?

  18. Kay
    August 8, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Made a return journey saturday evening and tried to pay the charge, only for the website to state that my number plate was not recognised.
    Tried to pay in a shop next day for the machine to say the same thing.
    Eventually the website accepted the registration plate and then wouldn’t accept the payment!
    States it’s not authorised.
    Now I am unable to pay over the phone as I am over the 24 hours.
    What a joke
    Scam!!!

    • Mel
      August 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      I am currently fighting a penalty notice from last year because their stupid system at the time would allow us to put all our details in but when we pressed process, it wouldn’t tell us if we had paid or not. It was late evening and in the end we had to leave it. Because I borrowed the car from a relative, they sent correspondence to their address in the UK, even though they live the majority of the time in Spain. She wrote and posted a letter to them to say that I would take full responsibility for the car. I wrote too but they ignored the request and still kept writing to her. I have sent emails telling them if I did not hear from them within 28 days, I would pay the charge of £5.00. There is no way of contacting the enforcement company other than their stupid representations format which I’ve used at least twice already. As far as I am concerned, I’ve paid for my crossing and don’t want anything more to do with them. You can’t even talk to anyone in the enforcement office on the phone! It’s a joke. I’ve only ever used the toll once before and didn’t have a problem. Anyway, I’ve paid and I’ve told them that the matter is now closed!

  19. Dan T
    August 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    I have just been on to the Government Dart Charge pay website and paid for my two crossings (return trip) which i made two days ago, I know I was late to pay it but it still let me pay, do you think I will still get a PCN in the post?

    Thanks

  20. Jim Cooke
    July 30, 2016 at 10:59 am

    The Dartford Crossing is an absolute scam. I paid 3 days after I crossed and I’ve been fined £215. How do they get away with it?

  21. sarah harrison
    July 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Has anyone successfully appealed tickets and won or had them reduced? Made 2 crossings in Jan, car was on my sisters account. They said she hadn’t set up a new bank card so the account was at zero but the first we knew was the PCN’s. She said she had no email to say the account was at zero so no one knew. They wouldn’t speak to me because it wasn’t my account yet they were happy to send me the PCN’s for it. They told us to submit representation but have thrown it out because it’s after the 28 days so not sure why they told us to do so in the first place. Can’t speak to a supervisor, can’t get anywhere with any of it and stuck with a £230 charge. Fuming.

  22. Guy Reynolds
    July 20, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    We have a new game that we play each time we use the Dartfort crossing in a camper van called ‘Predict the Charge’. Despite the camper van being registered as such with the DVLA, having a Dart Charge account on which the camper van is correctly registered for the car rate, and having first been told by Dart Charge that it was impossible, then that it would never happen again, it is down to the toss of a coin whether they will take £1.67 or overcharge me and take £2.63 (one reason why I don’t believe that they actually have an ANPR system). Things have now reached an interesting point, the balance on my account, according to Dart Charge is insufficient for two more crossings at the correct charge, but according to my calculations, and I have informed them of this, they have over charged me enough to cover 3 crossings, I have no intention of topping up my account until I am reimbursed for what they have stolen and we will be crossing in the van next week. It will therefore be interesting to see how they react as I fully intend taking the issue all the way if they issue a PCN.

    • Pete Barden
      July 21, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Sounds rather typical. Please let us know how you get on with this… Thanks

      • Natalie
        July 28, 2016 at 12:08 am

        I need some advice on the fines. Saturday I crossed the bridge twice, and forgot to pay. Will I be issued with 2 £70 fines or will I have grace as it’s my first time forgetting. I have always paid on time on a one off payment t scheme as I don’t use the dart often. Reading every ones comments make me worried I will get over charged fines in 9 months or something? Please help

        • Pete Barden
          July 29, 2016 at 9:45 am

          Hi – It seems the best move is to wait for the penalty notice, which will then offer you the chance to pay the original £2.50 crossings. However, it seems the system is full of glitches. Keep us updated.

          • Patsy Scarborough
            August 3, 2016 at 10:58 am

            Don’t wait for a penalty notice. You don’t get one after your first crossing. I didn’t know this and had to pay £75. Fuming still. Am about to start official complaint as advised by MP’s office. They said more people need to officially complain to get anything changed. Not holding out much hope of getting money back though.

          • September 20, 2017 at 10:50 am

            I made two crossings on the same day and paid for them a few days late and received a PCM 10 days later for just one of the crossings. As this was the first PCN, the warning letter said if I paid the outstanding charge the PCN would be cancelled. As I had already paid, I phoned them to get the PCN cancelled and was told I had to pay £2.50 to have the PCN cancelled.
            When I queried why there was no PCN issued for the return crossing, I was told the return crossing was processed 8 days after I had crossed by which time my payment had cleared.

    • Willie
      October 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Spot on!

    • Maria
      January 14, 2017 at 12:59 am

      I suffer same problem in car taxed vehicle with windows all round. Seats in back. Completely random how they charge me, even on same day. Complained and their response was it depends on what the man looking at the images sees on the screen. I thought this was a computerised system? Looking up my number plate? They told me no. What a joke? Have they said this to anyone else? I have £9 something left in my account and they are complaining I need to top it up. They tried to take it from my bank account but my card had expired.,the whole thing is a rip off

  23. Dave
    July 16, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I’ve just recieved a PCN for an alleged offence a year ago…!! I rember paying for 2 crossings a few days previous, I’ve found this in my internet history but not on my bank statement yet.

    Its disgusting that a £2.50 charge can end up at £107.50 and I can suddenly get a letter a year after the alleged incident demanding money…

    • Conlon
      August 8, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Did you still have to pay this extortionate fine

    • September 1, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      I crossed, went online found my crossing paid £2.50 as requested job done. …… or so I thought.

      Then I got a penalty charge notice saying I owed £3 and was fined £75.

      I complained. This was ignored its now £105.

      Today I got a reply. I should have paid £3 and that is why I have been fined – bit it was their system that demanded a payment of £2.50! So for the sake of 50p and their mistake, they are trying to fine me £105!

      Oh yes their response – I need to appeal using the form on the back of the charge notice.

  24. Lorraine
    July 15, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Im completely confused. We live in North Wales and this was the first time we had driven to France in our car. We used the bridge going over on 30/6 early morning, the tunnel coming back on 3/7, had no idea how to pay, what to pay – we were looking for toll booths, there was nothing.
    Received a PCN dated 12th July for £70 (or £35) I phoned to try and explain and the automated response just told me I owed £2-50. Which I paid. The PCN related to 3/7.
    Do I owe any more?
    It’s a complete scam, we genuinely didnt know, it was a first time, didnt understand the signs at all.
    Can anyone advise? Do we still owe money?

    • Pete Barden
      July 15, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Hi – It really is a poor system for anyone who doesn’t live in the south east and uses the crossing on a regular basis. As you can see from our videos, the signage is really poor and you just on of a few million who have been issued a penalty. The good news is, you should be okay with just the £2.50 for each crossing as it was your first ‘offence’.

      • Lorraine
        July 15, 2016 at 10:58 am

        Thank you – my worry now is they’ve only sent one PCN – but it’s the return crossing date, and the only option was to pay £2-50 not £5. The first crossing may have been before 6am but may have been just after I really don’t know.
        It’s a dreadful system.

        • Pete Barden
          July 15, 2016 at 11:36 am

          It really isn’t at all user-friendly – but a great source of revenue for them. Good luck and try to forget about it.

      • Robert
        November 1, 2016 at 11:26 pm

        No Pete, the signage is perfect. The big C stands for Charge and everyone should know that. A nice C Man at Dart wrote and explained it to me with photographs as well.
        it is all our fault not their’s.
        Remember the C when you think of Dart

        • Pete Barden
          November 2, 2016 at 11:58 am

          Of course… how foolish of me…

    • gary
      July 21, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      same here m8 never heard or seen it advertise ,,we live in notts and same as you we travelled to france ..didnt see atoll booths as 5 years ago so presumed we would pay on the way back through the tunnel.
      got a fine as same as you to be told to pay 2.50..for going over the bridge to s/east ..then now 3 weeks later i have a fine for coming back through the tunnel which says i have to pay 35.00 plus 2,50 with no exceptions
      the point is how do they expect us to know about this dart charge when it has never been on tv ,radio ,or any other advertising to tell us about this

      utter wan…ers

  25. Barry
    July 12, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    I have an account which is £13 in credit. I added a new vehicle to my account and used the crossing a couple of weeks later. I was sent a PCN for the crossing and thought it was a blip so paid the £2.50 online. Used the car again a week later and now have another PCN? Why? My car is registered to the account and shows in my vehicle list. Now they want £70!
    Any advise?

  26. Al
    July 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    IT IS AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE THAT WE ARE STILL ASKED TO PAY TO CROSS SOMETHING WE HAVE PAID FOR MORE THAN THREE TIMES OVER!!! Have some morals and stop charging us you crooks

  27. Tony Harvey
    July 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    travelled south on 25th April 2016 and returned North two days later. I forgot to pay both crossings in time. Got on website before receiving PCN and found out cannot be paid until PCN received. When I did receive PCN it related to the 2nd crossing and there was no way for me to pay the first crossing. I was allowed to pay only the £2.50 fee for the 2nd crossing since it was my first time. But two months later I got another PCN relating to the first crossing. This time no let-off. So their system has failed to recognise my first crossing and applied the penalty. Now just about to appeal. Watch this space!

    • Sue
      August 2, 2016 at 2:56 am

      I’ve had the same thing, pcn issued for return journey, but told I must wait for pcn to pay for the first crossing. Is there no time limit for them to issue the pcn?, the crossing was over a month ago. I’m interested to hear how you got on

  28. phil shields
    June 21, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Received pcn for crossing on 01.06.2016 which was paid on same day,still have receipt on email

    I have challenged this but turnaround time is up to 56 days

  29. paul
    June 1, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    just got a fine of £215 for 2 crossings, my own fault completely forgot all about it, but u know what, they can go fxxk themselves, im not paying, the whole things a fxxking scam

  30. Tom
    May 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Genuinely forgot to pay 4 days ago so rang up and told that there will be a letter and fine generated in a weeks time. Why can’t I pay now and save the cost of the letter and fine which I will then challenge wasting even more time for both parties. This is the 1st time i’ve used the crossing and just remembered that I need to pay. Obviously a complete scam which these fu@kers profit from. Will be taking this one all the way.

    • Alastair
      June 28, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      What happened in the end Tom? I used it and did not know anything about it till too late. Looks like congestion charge signs which just cannot be right…

  31. amy smith
    May 20, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Hi all

    I had a dart charge account set up with my previous vehicle which had sufficient funds. I made a crossing a couple of weeks ago in my new car. Later that day I updated my vehicle details on the dart charge account and thought nothing more of it. I have now received a penalty notice for this crossing. Customer service advised that the vehicle details must be registered on the account PRIOR to any crossing for it to be charged to my account and that they are unable to charge it to my account retrospectively. I cannot see anywhere on the dart charge website that states that this is the case so would like to appeal. Has anyone else had this situation?

    • Andrew Tweed
      June 19, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Hello Amy,
      Had exactly the same thing done to me. Had an account open with previous car registration, updated the details the following evening before midnight and added funds despite there still being enough in the account. Got the same line from them that the car details have to be registered before. It struggled to recognize my details anyway when I tried to register the car and had to put the model in manually. My crossing was May 11th, just curious if yours was similar and the system had a meltdown and now they’re trying to cover their asses? I have furthered complained to the response to the effect that it’s really nice of them to penalise paying customers for their primative system that can’t recheck the accounts for a licence plate the following evening at twelve. Must’ve been programmed by a four year old I should think!

      • Andrew Tweed
        June 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm

        Further to my second complaint I’ve basically uncovered what is tantamount to Government sponsored fraud but in this day and age it doesn’t surprise me (only crooks in government!)! The customer service representative or responded to my complaint directed me to the following in the Ts and Cs:

        k. that your Account can only be used to pay for Charges incurred by the
        vehicle(s) registered to the Account.

        Apparently the semantics of this mean that if you use the pre-paid account, you car has to be registered beforehand (very convenient, presumably in cahoots with the leasing companies who regularly change users cars), and does not qualify for the “pay by midnight of the following day”. I’m sure a lawyer would have something to say about that.

  32. Steve
    May 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I paid my dart charge within 24 hours of using the crossing and also paid my return charge at the same time, however when keying in my registration number I accidently caught the ‘0’ instead of the ‘O’ key on the keyboard. I have now been sent a PCN saying that I did not pay the charge surely there should be some type of recognition on their website to show that they registration number is not valid. Now I am being told that I need to pay for the charge again ridiculous they can see this is clearly a mistake what a way to generate extra revenue.

  33. Lewis
    May 12, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Hi – we’ve just had a penalty notice through about this Dart Charge. The signage doesn’t make it clear at all who the charge actually applies to – nor what the charge is.

    Anyway, in your article above it says something about a 14 day period when you can pay the £2.50 charge if you’re a first-time “offender”. But we don’t seem to have been given this option. Are they still supposed to be giving people that option?

    Thanks!

    • Pete Barden
      May 12, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Hi – Yes, this is still in place. Is it your own car your were driving?

    • Mike
      July 9, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Yes, you get an option to pay the £2.50 – but you also have to pay £35 penalty = £37.50.

      I live in Wales and travel UK on business. I went over the Dart for the first time in 10 years and was totally confused by the signs. I got £2.50 ready to pay and was amazed to find no toll booths. I sailed blissfully onwards down the M25.
      Just got the Penalty Notice. I’m going to appeal on the grounds that the contract between the bridge owner and the driver is unfair under the “Unfair Contract Terms Regulations” because A/ the signage is unable to be read safely when travelling at speed. B/ the sign “C” does not comply with the Road traffic Signs Regulations”
      Let’s see what happens

      • Charlie
        October 9, 2016 at 8:05 pm

        Hi,

        Any news on this appeal? I want to appeal on the same grounds. I have not used the Dartford bridge since 2014 and noticed there was no way to pay when driving through and thought nothing of it. I decided to visit the beach several times this summer since we could afford a holiday this year and my job ended 9th Sept. Now I have Dart Charge bills totalling nearly £500. The price of my holiday. I literally cried when I opened them.

  34. CH
    May 9, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I’ve have now experienced multiple incidents with hire cars where payments have been incorrectly assigned.

    In January 2016 I made 2 crossings on one day and made a payment for two crossings on the following day – my payments were (wrongly) assigned to crossings made two days earlier by someone else in the hire car. This resulted in me receiving 2 PCNS, which were eventually cancelled.

    In May I made a crossing on the 7th and another on the 8th. I made a payment early on the 8th which got assigned to my crossing later that day. My crossing on the 7th got paid for by an earlier hirer who apparently overpaid!.

    All of this mess could be avoided if when I made a payment online I was presented with a list of currently unpaid crossings for the vehicle and I could chose which of those crossings my payment would be set against.

  35. Stephen Holmes
    May 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Pete,
    I would appreciate your opinion on my issue as detailed below.
    I sent a letter to the Leeds office which reads as follows but also has a screenshot of my account with over £16 credit.
    I am in contact with you regarding a penalty charge notice which I received in April.
    The notice relates to a crossing made on 13th August 2015. I received a reminder to open a Dart Charge customer account on 17th August 2015 in order to prevent further action being taken regarding the non-payment of the charge which I did immediately.
    I was concerned to receive this letter due to the fact that I had done as requested as shown by my payment on 17th August 2015.
    I feel that this system is flawed if there is no mention of prior crossings outstanding, especially as vehicle ownership details are required for automatic payment purposes, and I don’t feel that a oversight in the setting up of the payment system should result in me being penalised especially when I have acted with the best intentions, and in no way have I tried to ignore the charge, or even delay payment.
    I look forward to your response, and hope that this oversight can be accepted as a genuine error, and that the original charge can be levied in order to close the matter.

    What do you consider my chances are?

    Thanks in advance and well done in creating this forum!

    • Pete Barden
      May 4, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Hi – Thanks for the message. I would certainly ask for the charge to be dropped. I will have a look at this in more detail regarding an official appeal…

      • Stephen Holmes
        May 6, 2016 at 8:42 am

        Pete,
        Thanks for looking into this for me, it is good to know some people are not just in life for what they can get!

        • Pete Barden
          May 9, 2016 at 11:20 am

          No probs… will try to get back asap.

  36. Paul
    April 27, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Help – I went over the crossing 19th March for 1st time on a return journey – forgot to pay charge – received a PCN 7/4/16 for the return crossing – Says I can get away with paying the £2.50 if I do it within 14 days as first offence. I pay the £2.50. 25/4/16 I receive another PCN for the first crossing on 19/3/16. I’ve seen on here and elsewhere that people got both letters together for a return journey and just paid £5. The 2nd PCN is outside the 14 day grace period that is stated in the 1st PCN. Does anyone think I have good grounds for an appeal or should I just pay up? My first offence was actually the one for which I’m now being asked to cough up £37.50 for. The warning letter with the first PCN states that any further PCN’s paid within 14 days of the 7/4/16 letter bill will be reduced to the £2.50 fare. The late issue of the 2nd letter for the first crossing on 19/3/16 gives me no chance.

  37. Geraldine Williams
    April 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I have been trying to appeal for 3 months without any kind of acknowledgement of help. Each time I speak to anyone I get a different response and told to go to the website but nothing ever happens and the money is mounting. We are a netball club from the north east who crossed the poll and didn’t know anything about it? I have paid and luckily kept a screen shot but the company we hired the bus off is still getting demand letters! This has resulted in us not been able to use them anymore and I’m still looking for a solution

  38. Gillian Marshall
    April 16, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I’m visiting from the U.S. – driving a rented car while in England…took the Dartford Crossing at 1:14 p.m. April 12th, when I arrived at my destination, we phoned in my credit card info for payment….and was given confirmation/reference number. I CROSSED ONCE…BUT HAVE BEEN CHARGED TWICE….once on the 12th – which was correct….and another charge on the 13th. This is a complete scam. I’ve telephoned numerous times and now my credit card company in the U.S. is trying to get the second charge cancelled. Ludicrous!

    • Pete Barden
      April 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Totally ludicrous. I hope the rest of your trip was a little better than your Dartford experience.

  39. David
    April 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Hi, I crossed 3 times in a hire car and forgot to pay. How long after the crossing do the PCNs get issued. Thanks

  40. Richard C
    April 5, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    So I passed through the Dartford crossing twice last Thursday (5 days ago). Last night I realized my mistake so am of course ready and willing to pay the penalties. I called Dart Charge and was advised that because this is a first offence I will only have to pay the cost of crossing. Very reasonable I thought, but then I discovered that because I was driving an ENTERPRISE hire car I will also be charged £35 for each crossing by ENTERPRISE as ENTERPRISE charge a fee for forwarding each non payment notice. Well that ‘s okay I thought because the notice hasn’t been sent yet so I ought to be able to pay now before the notices are sent to ENTERPRISE. Not possible I am told the paperwork will be generated automatically no matter what. So no matter what I will be charged £70 by ENTERPRISE and there is nothing I can do to stop that.
    I notice above that Dart Charge are keen to blame the hire car companies for this flaw in their system, I think that they should consider that they have caused this problem so they should look for a way to resolve it. Although I believe £35 is steep for forwarding of paperwork there is time and effort required on the part of hire car companies to forward paperwork and so it seems reasonable that these companies should be able to recoup something towards these additional costs.
    As in the case of parking tickets there ought to be a mechanism which allows drivers to pay before any additional paperwork is issued by post. Dart Charge have the ability to allow this to happen, so please do so. Change your system to allow drivers to pay any outstanding fees fines or charges BEFORE you send out postal notifications. This would remove the need for any involvement of the hire car companies unless the driver has completely forgotten.
    The situation is particularly bad for hire car drivers because there is no way for these drivers to pay in advance because they have no idea of the registration number of the vehicle they are driving until they collect that vehicle, If that happens to be on the same day they are making the crossing/crossings then that driver’s only option is to pay within 24 hours of making the crossing. Clearly that’s unlikely to happen a lot of the time.
    To Sum up DART CHARGE please look at ways you can improve the situation you have created for hire car drivers, please don’t expect the car hire companies to take all the responsibility for flaws in your system.
    Thanks – Richard C (£75 out of pocket)
    Ps Imagine if this was a second offense and I’d gone in to hospital for a month. The bill could be as much £280!

    • David
      May 18, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      I am in more or less the same predicament. I arrived in UK just before Xmas and hired a car from Enterprise. As I crossed the toll I even had my credit card out ready to pay at the booth, I did not see any signs explaining the new system. On arriving at my mother’s for Xmas, my brother explained the new system and we spent over an hour trying to pay the charge and one for the return journey. However the system seemed not to be accepting payments. When I returned abroad after Xmas I was taken ill and forgot completely about the charge. At the end of April a letter was forwarded to me from enterprise saying that I had time to pay the charge and not be penalised but enterprise sent it too late for me to take advantage of this offer. They charged me 35 pound for this.
      I therefore appealed the PCN and have had no reply from Dart charge. In appealing I said I was willing to pay the original charge and also for the return charge that they apparently had not noticed. I have had no reply to the appeal. Today I have had another letter from Enterprise once again forwarded to me too late for me to take advantage of the lower rate, and once again charging me 35 pound.
      This is no more than a money making scam – if I appeal and the appeal is accepted then Enterprise should not be allowed to charge the fee. Nor should they be allowed to apply the charge when they have, it seems to me, intentionally forwarded the letter too late for me to appeal.

    • thirtha
      August 1, 2017 at 11:22 am

      same case here. I completely agree with you. Please let me know if any way to fight back.

  41. Richard
    April 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Richard again
    Having talked to the AA, I am also being led to believe that because it is a “civil” as opposed to a “criminal” debt then I cant have the “right” to hear it in a court of law….if that is the case, then who ever set this system up does not appear to have thought it through properly and Dart have all of the aces in their hand of cards. Even the tribunal system is not within my and perhaps many other peoples remit due to it “being to late and not part of their remit of who they can liaise with”….
    Processes, systems and accountabilities……where to go and what to do…..no wonder people get exasperated with the good old UK…..spending hours and hours being totally messed about!!…..sorry Victor Meldrew moment(s)….

  42. Richard
    April 2, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Hi…please help.
    I went on holiday for a week to Kent in September 2015.
    I used the bridge crossing going and the Dartford tunnel on my return journey of 22/09/15.
    My partner noticed some signage coming back which encouraged me to go online on the 23/09/15.
    I paid £5 also on the 23/09/15.
    On the 6th October 2015 I received 2 notices within an envelope from Dart Charge….one was a FPN dated 01/10/15 the other a warning letter.
    I immediately phoned up as I was bewildered.
    I spoke to a lady that informed me that of my £5 payment, £2.50 was unallocated.
    I asked if that could be utilised….she said yes and that that would resolve the situation as it was my first time and that she would resolve the issue by notifying people internally by email.
    In Feb 16 I received a charge saying that I owed over £100+.
    I rang up again and spoke to Hassan on extn 4559 (couldn’t give me his name??)
    I explained….he said that he would waiver the charge but he did not have authority.
    he advised me to appeal online and guided me to where to do so on their system.
    I did as advised.
    March 16 I received a letter stating that my appeal could not be considered because I had not done it within 28 days of the original fpn dated 01/10/15….arrrgggggg
    I phoned up yet again.
    I asked to speak to a manager as was getting nowhere….no can do, was the response!!
    I asked if she could see my written online appeal and whether I could have a copy,,,,no she could not see it.
    I asked if I could speak to the department which would have the appeal….they don’t take phone calls!!
    I asked her what she thought I should do…..fill in an online appeal was her reply!!
    I suggested that this may be a waste of time as why I was ringing because I was “out of time” with my previous online appeal…..no doubt she shrugged.
    I have looked online and found the details of an adjudicator.
    I phoned up and was asked at what stage the process was….I said it had been referred to Northampton.
    They said they could not get involved as it was too late.
    I suggested that it was in Darts interest to ensure it was too late and then the adjudicator service would not intervene….he declined to comment
    Oh dear I do despair when faced with beurocracy!!
    I hope you can help bring a degree of common sense into the situation….I have spent hours trying to sort this out…even spoke to the AA for about 2 hours….

  43. Rick Harrison
    March 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Pete, any advice with this one?

    German resident, German car now issued with a €227.63 penalty notice to our address in Germany.

    Paid £ for a return Dartford crossing on 11/01/2015
    Crossed on teh 12th northbound to parents in Humberside
    Returned, 23/01/2015 Southbound for a 10am ferry at Dover

    Offence logged to my vehicle reg plate 23/01/2015, 07:30:19 am

    I have the accepted receipt and my ferry booking for the dates I crossed at Dartford.

    Calling Dart Charge and speaking to the helpful team there, they cannot release any information as the case has been passed to European Debt Recovery Agency.

    I have clearly paid for a return crossing and have proof of that and made 1 northbound and 1 southbound trip.

    Whats best to do ?

    • Pete Barden
      March 16, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Rick, Sounds like an absolute pain in backside! I am not entirely sure how it works with Euro debts, but I would attempt to go to the appeals process (accessed on this page) on the grounds no fine is payable. I will see if I can get any more information to pass on! Thanks

    • Tony Uttley
      March 21, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Complete con by Tories and David Cameron. Total disgrace Dart charge are for ripping people off. No where does it say you have to pay to use this toll. It does not say you have to pay to use this bridge or tunnel. Put the booths back and stop ripping us off Dart Charge boss Nigel Gray. You are the worst of the worst Dart Charge boss Nigel Gray.

  44. Leanne bishop
    February 26, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I was wondering if you could help… we crossed the crossing Monday 15th Jan and forgot to pay (the classic I thought the Hubbie paid he thought I did) and only rememeber on the Thursday

    Last march we was planning on a trip down south so i prepaid the crossing charge before we set off but our car got hit by a motoway sign and it didn’t make the crossing.

    So will that payment last year still be held against the car?
    If i do get a crossing charge do I get a 14 day grace just to pay the annitial 2.50?
    How long does it take for the charge to come through the post?

    Hope someone can help.

  45. Pete Barden
    February 17, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    You will all be pleased to hear that the new Dartford charging system in 2014 helped generate a 57% rise in revenue in the year to 31 March 2015, according Highways England
    Total income from the crossing amounted to £145.9m, compared with £92.4m in the previous year. We’re all very pleased our fines are helping to increase profits…

    • Tom Dick & Harry, Stalag 17
      February 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Same crap / different day . I have had a Dart Account for about eighteen months . Thankfully I don’t have to use it too often but my heart goes out to people who do . The account has never been short in all the time I have had it .
      Yesterday ( Sat 20 Feb ) I had to do an ’emergency run’ from Westcliff in Essex to Southampton to see my daughter in Uni . Terrible traffic/weather on the way home , got in, quick meal and bed . Knackered . One of the very first messages I got on my phone this morning ( Sun 21 Feb) was that my Dart A/C had been closed as my previous days crossings had put it overdrawn . By 7 pence . I kid you not . £ 0-07p . Is there any point in phoning these people ?
      Really ? ?
      Account has now been closed by them ( in under 24 hours ) which in effect, prevents me topping it up . So just the fines to come ……. based on a shortfall of 7p ……. Meanwhile Johnny Foreigner & Dodgy Cars travel free .
      .
      Gas / Electric / Water / Phone / Internet / Banking / etc etc etc – why does it all HAVE to be outright war ?

  46. Donatas
    February 16, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Hi everyone another Dart Charge story.Moved to Kent 3.5 years ago got my self a Dart Tag used it with no problems,changed my Dart Tag account to Dart Charge auto top up account as i was commuting to work.So if the amount in my Dart Charge account goes below 10£ it tops up another 10£ from my bank account.Simple,shouldn’t be any problems.Oh how wrong i was.
    In November 2015 i started receiving PCN’s,1 a day then 2 a day,logged in to my account and it was changed from auto top up to manual,haven’t logged in sins July that’s when i got a new car and logged in to enter new cars reg. and delete the old ones.So i called the “customer services” to find out what the hell was going on.I was told that on 5th and 6th of November they couldn’t top up my account so they changed it from auto to manual.I checked my bank account as i was on the phone and told her that on these dates there was more than enough money in my bank account and it must have been some sort of mistake.I was told to make a representation on the back of PCN and send it back.So i did and included a copy of my bank statement,and it was rejected on the grounds of T&C’s section 7 that it is my responsibility to ensure that my account remains in balance.I’m sorry but Dart Charge provides auto top up service and if it failed to collect the money from my bank account how is it my fault?
    I’m going to appeal to Traffic Penalty Tribunal and hope that i won’t have to take this matter to court,but hope is a fools mother so cross your fingers for me please.

    • April 4, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Hi Donatas,

      We’re making a BBC1 documentary about on the spot fines and we’d love to talk to you about this. Please do get in touch – we’re on Twitter @DomSpot and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DomontheSpot/

  47. Karen
    February 13, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I used the tunnel on the 1st Feb and paid £2.50 when I got back home on the 4th Feb. I have today received a PNC and a warning letter saying if I pay £2.50 by 25th Feb they will drop the charge. I phoned to explain that I had paid and was informed that this will be used towards a future use which was not made clear when I actually paid it and as I live in North Wales I am not likely to use the tunnel again. It should say on the website if you are late paying you should wait for the PCN to arrive and pay then. I have made a representation but this may take up to 56 days. My question is if my representation is rejected will I still be able to just pay the £2.50 or will I then have to pay £35 as well? If so I may as well give up and pay the £2.50 although I feel this is unjust, I owe £2.50 and I have paid £2.50, and I should have the right to have this looked at by someone without being further penalised. Also if I paid the £2.50 again and they agreed with my representation would they then be likely to refund my original £2.50?

  48. Ed Connaughton
    February 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Hi, I’ve received an NoR to a representation made due to not receiving a PCN to an outward crossing in August 2016. The first I knew of this was when I logged on to pay the return journey PCN that I did receive. You can imagine my shock when expecting to pay £37.50 I was met with a debt figure of over £100! I paid the outward journey charge and in my representation offered to pay the original fine of £37.50 that I am now informed has been rejected. I can appeal and I will but how can they reject my claim/offer when I never received the PCN in the very first place? I hold up my hands, I should’ve known about the new online way to pay in advance of our journey and I vow I will never make that mistake again however to penalise anyone for not receiving a document through the post that isn’t sent recorded delivery is nothing short of scandalous. The signage is awful and due to the Tunnel issues the HGV traffic was stacked up making noticing any signage almost impossible. In your opinion would an appeal carry much hope of succeeding?

    • Pete Barden
      February 11, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Hi – I would appeal under the following grounds – which must apply for an appeal to be considered.

      There has been a procedural impropriety by the charging authority
      Other compelling reasons

      Let us know how you get on… the majority of appeals heard are successful.

    • March 31, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Ed,

      Just wondering where you are up to with this? Did you decide to make an appeal in the end? We’re currently producing a BBC television series about on-the-spot fines and we’d love to talk to you. Please do get in touch with us – we’re on twitter @domspot and facebook – ‘Dom on the Spot’

  49. Kymme
    February 11, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Be warned if you have a hire car and use the Dartford crossing

    My daughter has a hire car through her employer, who pays the costs. She opened an account with Dart charge some time ago. She was given a new car in the summer last year and telephoned Dart charge to advise them of her new vehicle, giving her registration number, car make and model etc.

    Unknown to her, the registration number was incorrectly entered, as an F was mistaken for an S. I really do not know how this error was allowed to happen. Surely Dart charge should have some type of safeguard to insure details are correctly recorded.

    The first my daughter heard of this was when she received 10 penalty notices in an envelope in November. The following day she got another 2. This was many weeks after the supposed offenses had occurred. She telephoned to find out what had happened. After several very stressful conversations with many different people, giving very conflicting information, it was established that the registration number was incorrectly recorded and she only needed to pay for the 12 crossing fees, at a total of £37.50. (We do not know why this was £37.50 as this doesn’t quite add up). But she was relieved that she didn’t have to pay the notices and just paid up for what she believed was the charge for the 12 crossings.

    However, this was not the end of the matter. The car hire firm have issued 12 separate £20 fines as admin charges for each of the penalty notices, which have been paid for by her employer, who has already taken part of this money from my daughters salary.

    The care hire firm say the only way these charges can be voided, is if Dart charge admits that they entered in an incorrect registration number and that my daughter hadn’t paid for the penalty notices.

    Dart charge had already told my daughter that they would not do this for legal reasons and she has to send in a representation and this would be a very lengthy process. She has a telephone recording with a Dart charge representative where it is obvious that the penalty notices were issued due to the incorrect registration number. In the conversation he clearly states that she has paid the 12 £2.50 crossing charges and there is no more to pay. The care hire company has the recording but it is not enough for them it seems.

    Dart charge has now recently told us they have it on their system notes that my daughter gave the wrong registration number! What reason could she possibly have for doing this! Her employer pays her costs. As far as she was concerned she had followed the correct procedures and has done nothing wrong. She also gave details of the new car. The registration number they took down did not exist, so why did this not show as a ‘no match’. Dart charge seem to have a problem admitting that their system is open to this type of error. When we asked for written confirmation that she didn’t need to pay the penalty notices they confirmed that she had indeed paid for all 12 under a warning notice. This now makes her liable to pay the car hire firm for the 12 penalties?

    My daughter asked the car rental company what admin was involved in processing the penalties. She was informed that they just had to enter in her details! How can this be justified? What would the situation be if she had used the Dartford crossing hundreds of times during this period instead of 12! Would she have to pay this admin fee for each of those crossings? There has to be some common sense with this surely.

    This has been going on for some time now and my daughter is getting nowhere. It looks as if she has been given no choice and the money is being taken regardless.

    If Dart charge had notified her at the time of the first offense, she may have had the opportunity to avoid any more notices. She is a victim of these large companies, hiding behind their procedures, which they believe can justify their actions. She feels powerless and I am very angry that she has been caught up in this situation.

    It would be interesting to know if anyone else has experienced this type of scenario.

    • Pete Barden
      February 11, 2016 at 9:11 am

      A truly horrific tale – and only made slightly better by the grace period on first offences. We have received many like it, but to this level. Your daughter should look at ground to appeal through the adjudicator.

    • March 31, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Kymme,

      Has this ever been resolved? We’re currently producing a BBC1 Television series delving into the world of on the spot fines and we’d love to hear about what has happened – even if you are still appealing. Please do get in touch with us – we’re on twitter @DomSpot and facebook https://www.facebook.com/DomontheSpot/ we’d love to hear from you – maybe we can help!

  50. Hope
    February 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Hi,
    I crossed the dartford crossing twice on the 18th January and had forgotten to pay by midnight the next day, so I paid for a £5 crossing on the 20th January. I received a PCN on the 29th January and paid the penalty charge on the 30th which only charged me £5. Do I need to speak to someone about paying the full fine or do I only pay the £5 as it is within the 14 day ‘grace’ period and a first time offence?
    Thanks

    • Pete Barden
      February 1, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Hi – You should be okay with just the £5 payment as it’s a first ‘offence’.

  51. LEO LAWLOR
    January 29, 2016 at 1:03 am

    the exit off the M25 jts 30 was closed the diversion sign said straight on this took me over the bridge and back through the tunnel to pick up the a1306 to the lakeside estate so incurring a charge

  52. chris
    January 28, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Got a charge through the post for a car I used to own. The keeper details had been updated at the DVLA a month before the crossing making it impossible for Sanef (the French private contractor who operates the dart charge) to link me to the car… Unless… they hack into insurers’ websites to find previous owners – and send these ex-owners the fine on an ‘experimental basis’. Just see if they’ll pay it, kinda thing.

    Nice. I appealed to Sanef and they rejected my appeal telling me – impossibly – that I was and remain the registered keeper. I now have to appeal to the tribunal. I shall claim compensation for their ‘wolly unreasonable’ behaviour. But I’ll bet you a dart charge fine to a crossing fee I don’t get a penny.

    Until Sanef gets exemplary punishment for their abuses, nothing will change. They have nothing to lose by trying it on.

  53. andrew ings
    January 18, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I have not used the dartford crossing since the barriers were removed — is it possible to pay for the crossing at the Thurrock Services — if not can I pay by phone and what is the number

    thanks
    Andrew

    • Pete Barden
      January 19, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Hi – There are retailers in the Thurrock area, but not the services, I believe. Call on 0300 300 0120 to pay.

  54. Petra
    January 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Just had a rather frustrating conversation and now e-mail correspondence with dart customer service.

    I used the DART crossing on the 31st Dec 2015. having had a hectic drive from mainland Europe, I forgot to pay the charge. On the 5th Jan for some reason I remembered that I had not paid. I consulted the DART website and to me it appeared that one could still pay until a Penalty Charge Notice was issued. Since I had not received a penalty notice, I decided to pay over the phone. The automatic system confirmed my outstanding crossing and I was able to pay. The automated service confirmed I had paid for the crossing. Now 10 days later I received the penalty notice. I called and explained I had paid just to be told that the payment is gone into a future crossing fund and I still had to pay. So now, I have a also paid for a future crossing which I may never make. I was informed that I will no be getting a refund and if I have not used the future crossing fund within one year it will be lost.

    I can’t find anywhere on the DART website that if you forgot to pay and pay prior to receiving a penalty notice that the money would go into a future crossing fund.

    Anybody else had this experience ?

    • Saba
      January 25, 2016 at 4:33 am

      Hi there, I also crossed the bridge on the 31 Dec 2015. I obviously forgot to pay. I paid on the the 14th Jan 2016 £10 including the other days I went over and on the 17th received a penalty notice for £35 x6 …. £225 … This is just crazy. Would have thought New Year’s Eve would be a day less to worry about.

      No signing, nothing much to indicate that it has to be done ASAP … 24 hours just ain’t enough time sometimes.

  55. Steve
    January 10, 2016 at 10:31 am

    When the bridge was opened in 1991 drivers were promised that the tolls would be abolished once the costs had been paid back – about 13 years was the period as I recall.

    That promise, like all politicians promises, was reversed, probably because the crossing is a cash cow and too valuable to lose.

    Surely we should be protesting about these charges instead of defending them?

    #ScamGovernment

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