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

The Dartford Crossing is a toll bridge that crosses the River Thames between Dartford in Kent and Thurrock in Essex. It is one of the busiest crossings in the UK, with over 40 million vehicles crossing it each year.

Since 2003, drivers have been required to pay a charge to use the Dartford Crossing. The charge is currently £2.50 for a car, van, or motorcycle. There are a number of ways to pay the Dart Charge. Find out how to pay the dart charge, how much it costs and what to do if you forget.

How much does the Dartford Crossing cost?

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

Vehicle classVehicle typeNon-accountDart Charge account
CTwo-Axle Goods£3.00£2.63
DMulti-Axle Goods£6.00£5.19

Crossing is free to use 10.00pm – 6.00am

CALL: 0300 300 0120 or go to: www.gov.uk/pay-dartford-crossing-charge

How to pay the Dart Charge – your questions answered…

Here we answer all your questions on how to pay the dart charge. Read on to find out how the system works, how much it costs, and how you can avoid being fined….

Please use the sections below to find the CORRECT dart charge number to call for phone payments.

How do I pay: There are several ways to pay, with a pre-pay account being 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 if you know you’ll be travelling regularly. This is the cheapest way to pay, with registered cars costing £2.00 per crossing compared with the 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

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 to be 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 your crossing 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

But how long do you have to pay the dart charge online? As long as you pay before midnight the following day, you will not incur any additional charges.

4) NEW: Pay with Pingit smartphone app:

What is it: Pingit is an app that allows you to link a bank account and make instant payments directly 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 – available for both Android and iOS users – then link it to a bank account. You can then use the business directory to find the Dartford Crossing and complete your dart charge payment 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 for example, then paying a minimum of £10.00 into an account is not a good use of your money. This option lets you pay for individual crossings up to 12 months in advance. Simply book your parking with APH, then book your crossing at the same time (and 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 also make your dart charge payment by phone. You will need to do this by midnight the following day.

However, don’t leave this until the last moment, because the dart charge contact number can get pretty busy.

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’re not a fan of technology, then you can opt for a 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 is 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 dart charge penalties 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. Throw in the stress and 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 dart charge: The penalty charges are as follows:
Non-payment after one day: £70.00
Reduced to £35.00 if paid in 14 days
Increased to £105.00 if not paid within 28 days
Penalty charge is payable for each use of the crossing, so a return trip could cost up to £210.00.

How to avoid paying the Dart Charge penalty fine

Drivers must pay the Dartford Crossing toll before midnight on the day after using it. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £105 for each crossing. Here’s how to avoid the dart charge penalty 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 £2.00 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 won’t give you the discount on crossings available with the Pre-pay account above, but you also won’t need to tie-up cash with an initial payment. This is the 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 transaction was recognised and for what crossing it was charged against Check your payment here

Lodge an appeal:

In the past, the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system that triggers a charge against cars has had trouble reading certain letters – such as C and G – causing incorrect fines to be issued. 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 £105 if not paid within 28 days, but will 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 will 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 dart 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


Are there dart charges for cyclists? 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
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 no need to remember 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.

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 dart charge penalties by confirming whether or not you’ve paid for your crossing.

New service could help prevent fines

New service could help prevent fines

Dart charge not working? 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 crossing 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.

Confirm your crossing payment here

Download a multi-lingual crossing 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.

How to appeal your dart charge penalty

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

Appeal and win… 8 out of 10 drivers do

Often incorrect fines are issued at the Dartford Crossing as a result of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system.

With a freedom of information request confirming that more than 80% of appeals were accepted by Highways England in the first six months of the new system, it’s clear that problems go far beyond mis-reading number plates. Here’s how to appeal if you feel you’ve been issued an incorrect or unfair penalty charge.

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 complaints form. This is not for appeals, but general issues and concerns such as poor signage etc.

Lodge your complaint here

Rental car companies hit drivers in Dartford chaos

Hire car charges revealed for Dartford Crossing

Hire car charges revealed for Dartford Crossing


Are you travelling in a hire car? Drivers of hires are being hit by unexpected charges from rental firms amid confusion around the Crossing’s new cash-free payment system.

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.

The 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.

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. How? The 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.

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.
So when making your dart charge payment, make sure that you’re sending your money to the right place to avoid receiving a penalty!

Dart charge not working? 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.

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

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: Avoid using unofficial websites to make your crossing payment

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. So when making your crossing payment, be sure to use the official site.

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 dart charge via 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.

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.

Travel safety tips: How to save more money when travelling

Heading off on a family holiday or business trip via the Dartford Crossing? Save yourself a little extra cash by booking an airport hotel and parking package with APH. Wind down in an airport hotel room before your flight and give yourself the time to pay your crossing payment before you travel and avoid receiving a dart charge penalty. And you can travel with the comfort in knowing that your vehicle is being kept safe in a secure car park.


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.

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

  1. Alan Bloor says:

    Because I have not used the Dart Toll Bridge for 12 months my account has been closed. What has happed to the money in the account?

  2. Professorvapes says:

    I crossed the dartford crossing in may this year on my way to Spain had no idea until I returned I had to pay anything only to find they have treatened me with bailffes unless I pay £119 something I cannot afford I have spent days trying to get through on the phone with no joy and even selected call back about 20 times I have sent a te7 form via e-mail and post nothing how can they rob me this way funny thing is my Spanish friend has told me he has crossed a few times and never received a thing kinda stinks. anyone have any suggestion?

  3. Syed says:

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

  4. edward says:

    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 .

  5. Jenny says:

    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.

  6. Pickup Mick says:

    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?

  7. Paul Williams says:

    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 can’t 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.

    • ian says:

      They must comply with EU Directive and UK Equlities Act [2010].
      If you are EU registered as not paying Road Tax due to disability, they must treat you equally.

      However, they have an incompetent system that is grossly flawed.
      I paid and did then not cross. The next time I crossed both ways, I paid one crossing as I was in credit.
      After nearly an hour on the phone, the operator admitted they had no way to rectify this. I refused to pay and they have not followed this up, though they promised to. I said take me to court and I will be asking for my costs, this phone call is recorded, subject to my right to keep Data for the purposes of my private and family life.

  8. Fee says:

    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.

  9. Mark Termeer says:

    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?

  10. Jim says:

    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

  11. Nuria says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • Ian says:

      Similar issue here:
      The Exchange rate is incredible also. Note, for any late payment the exchange rate is different and worse.

      Use the Blackwall Tunnel on the A12, it is free.
      There is also a free ferry crossing and depending where you are travelling to, it can be cheaper than risking a penalty, if you travel south around the M25.

  12. David Webber says:

    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.


    • Ian says:

      As with any other fixed Penalty, they have to act reasonably (as do you) and should give you ‘grace’ for a discrepancy of just minutes.
      At best you should show fairness by an offer to pay just the crossing fee without penalty.
      If rejected, a Court should recognise your fair gesture and their unfairness, both enshrined in Law and Common Law.


    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?

  14. james says:

    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 says:

      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.

  15. anthony says:

    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 says:

      Very well said

    • Tony Jupp says:

      Succinct being an understatement very well put chap

    • Joseph Cotterill says:

      I agree with Anthony.We hired a car from Enterprise(Tamworth) and proceeded down to Kent.We are from Australia and we do not have tolls in our state.We went over Dartford-Thurrock Crossing and apparently there was a toll there.Normally there is some indication that there is a toll there….not at Dartford-Thurrock.
      No signs,
      No toll booths,
      No operators,
      No tap and go for cards
      No information
      No queues of cars waiting to cross
      No nothing except a pretty bridge
      Then My cousin gets a letter from Enterprise saying I did not pay the toll and I owe 2.50 plus 75 pounds.I contacted Enterprise for a copy of the letter and I now owe 2.50 plus 105 pounds.This would be bad enough except I am back in Australia.The 0300 number does not work and I cannot talk to anyone.I will pay the 2.50,if I can can do an EFT but I will not pay the 105 pound fine considering I have just been notified of the breech.I have appealed to Dart Charge and am waiting a reply.Enterprise debited 35 pound out of my account as an “administration charge’for processing the toll…why didn’t they deduct the fine as well and pay it .

  16. Kay says:


    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 says:

      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.

  17. Thomas Ruduck says:

    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

  18. Peter says:

    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?

  19. Peter says:

    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?

    • Ian says:

      I think they have to write to the vehicle keeper’s registered address within 2 weeks initially – check it out.

  20. Kay says:

    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

    • Mel says:

      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!

  21. Dan T says:

    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?


  22. Jim Cooke says:

    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?

  23. sarah harrison says:

    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.

  24. Guy Reynolds says:

    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 says:

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

      • Natalie says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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.

          • Simon Pocock says:

            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 says:

      Spot on!

    • Maria says:

      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

  25. Dave says:

    I’ve just received 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 says:

      Did you still have to pay this extortionate fine

    • Edwin Cooke says:

      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.

  26. Lorraine says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

        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 says:

          Of course… how foolish of me…

        • Ian says:

          The big “C” actually stands for “Congestion Zone” so you see, even their own staff are not adequately trained or aware of what they are doing!

          The computer system is poor and inadequate – no idea what fool wrote it or commissioned it.

          The staff are given no discretion to collect payments for genuine errors so the complaints system is overloaded. This does not justify the level of fine as being a proportionate charge by any reasonable persons standard.

          Their terms say they will apply the charge according to the tax class of the vehicle (having read many posts above) it is completely inadequate and unreasonable for a pwerson to look at a camera picture and to make assumptions about tax class.

          Just my thoughts

    • gary says:

      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

  27. Barry says:

    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?

  28. Al says:


  29. Tony Harvey says:

    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 says:

      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

  30. phil shields says:

    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

  31. paul says:

    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

  32. Tom says:

    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 says:

      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…

  33. amy smith says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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.

  34. Steve says:

    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.

  35. Lewis says:

    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?


    • Pete Barden says:

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

    • Mike says:

      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 says:


        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.

  36. CH says:

    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.

  37. Stephen Holmes says:

    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 says:

      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…

  38. Paul says:

    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.

  39. Geraldine Williams says:

    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

  40. Gillian Marshall says:

    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 says:

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

  41. David says:

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

  42. Richard C says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

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

  43. Richard says:

    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 can’t 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)….

  44. Richard says:

    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….

  45. Rick Harrison says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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.

  46. Leanne bishop says:

    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.

  47. Pete Barden says:

    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 says:

      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 ?

  48. Donatas says:

    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.

  49. Karen says:

    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?

  50. Ed Connaughton says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • Victoria says:

      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’

  51. Kymme says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • Victoria says:

      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!

  52. Hope says:

    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?

    • Pete Barden says:

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

  53. LEO LAWLOR says:

    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

  54. chris says:

    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.

  55. andrew ings says:

    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


    • Pete Barden says:

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

  56. Petra says:

    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 says:

      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.

  57. Steve says:

    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?


  58. Karen says:

    AND……..as my blood is already boiling, what is the point of using the Dart Save service?. If one could remember to log on and enter a journey before travelling, why wouldn’t they just log on and pay the fee in advance to avoid fines!! grrrrrr

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – The Dart Save service is a separate service and you just need to register once and it’ll pay the bill for you. It seems to be a useful option. Hope you’re feeling a little calmer soon! The Dartford Crossing is not great for relaxation…

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – The Dart Save service is a separate service and you just need to register once and it’ll pay the bill for you. It seems to be a useful option. Hope you’re feeling a little calmer soon! The Dartford Crossing is not great for relaxation…

  59. Maggie says:

    Well, I haven’t had a good day. I picked up a hire car before Christmas, then got on to the Dart Charge site and paid for two crossings. I now find the payment did not go through though I don’t remember it telling me that the payment had failed. But I definitely tried to pay. I now have two penalty notices to pay.And the car hire company has taken £35 for each crossing for informing DART charge of my personal details. Total cost for the whole farago – £145. The last straw is that hirers do not get the grace period despite the fact that this is my first “offence”. I feel mugged. If I had been clocked for speeding the fine would have been less.

    • Pete Barden says:

      I am not convinced that hire car companies don’t get the £2.50 grace period… but just fail to pass it on. I could be wrong, of course.

      • Liz says:

        We are a vehicle hire company and we have been getting the grace period if it is the vehicle registrations first crossing offence – ie the hire customer has only to pay the crossing charges not the PCN. Today we have had the first one where it is the vehicle’s (not hirer’s) second offence after a period of time has elapsed. I phoned the number on the PCN and was told that we could appeal and the customers PCN would be cancelled and just the crossing charge would be payable.

  60. Karen says:

    I am so disgusted with the Dart-charge service, bad signage, no change in traffic and a telephone system that should be closed down. I never complain about anything but like everyone else on here I am so furious I felt compelled to write. Having spent hours of wasted telephone calls trying to pay for a return crossing I am told to wait until the bill comes and pay the reduced fine which seems to be taking forever to get out to me. I frequently work abroad and am due to leave at 6am tomorrow morning so whatever is sent to me will sit on my door mat until I next return in a couple of months, by which time I am sure it will have accumulated to some horrendous fee and will give me hours of further phone calls and letter writing to explain the situation. This service is diabolical and there should be a way for people to pay quickly if they were unable to pay on time due to no internet or in my case not even seeing the signs and wondering where on earth the toll booths had gone until I was able to search on someone else’s internet 2 days later, by which time too late. This must be costing Dart-charge an absolute fortune in time wasted paperwork, not to mention the stress and cost to car owners. God help a tourist arriving in the country for the first time, they wouldn’t have a clue where to start and probably wouldn’t even realise they had passed through a toll. A complete sham and waste of taxpayers money. At least with the booths there was always somebody available to assist. Please sort it out Dart-charge and at least give us an email address or a phone number we can complain to. grrrrrrr

  61. keith says:

    I tried to send this after a frustrating telephone conversation:

    The complaint covers a number of issues:
    1. Personal Account
    2. Penalty Charge Notice
    3. Customer Service

    I checked my account on the 12th December re the balance. It has a credit balance of £6.66. This was sufficient for the crossings we were to make on the 23rd December and return on the 28th December. There was no indication on the account that the account was “inactive”.

    I received an email on the 24th December saying that the account had been inactive for 12months and that it would be closed in 30days. As we travelled on the 23rd December we did not get that notification by the due date, which I was informed in the telephone conversation with your people was 30th November.

    I checked the account on the 3rd January and it did not show the crossings we made so I telephoned the 0300number. The call was made at 1454 and lasted 33 minutes. I spoke to a Sarah 4285. After a lengthy and fruitless conversation were I was repeatedly told the same thing and even after explaining the above scenario in a sequential order Sarah 4825. I authorised my husband to speak to Sarah 4825 who still repeated the same thing. I asked to speak to advisor 4 or 5 time before Sarah 4825 eventually agreed. Sarah 4825 came back and said that this was not an escalation issue and no supervisor would speak to me.

    Sarah 4825 agreed that the account was open but “inactive” even though there was no indication on the online account to show that it was inactive. I asked for the ID of the supervisor who had made that decision. Again I was met with we cannot do that we are not allowed. I was also informed that Sarah 4825 could not email with her comments re that the email on the 23rd December was sent late.

    If we had received the email on the due date, then I would have acted to keep the account active as it is still open. I asked that my account remain open.

    Sarah 4825 then informed my husband she was terminating the telephone conversation and put the phone down on him. He was informed the telephone calls are logged call.

    There ToR states that: “If you do not use your Account for a period of more than 12 consecutive months then we will write to you to inform you of your non-use (the non-use letter) and if you do not recommence using the Account within 30days, we may close your Account and cancel any Tag linked to your Account”.

    Therefore, my complaint centres around the 3 points I raised; lack of clear notice on the online account re it’s status; a penalty charge that should never have arisen because money was in our account which is not closed as you have admitted and the late notice from Dart Charge Service Delivery Manager and finally the way in which are original telephone call was handled re lack of understanding, or helpfulness in trying to rectify the mistake.

    Just like many on here getting it off my chest.


  62. TM says:

    Very useful website, thank you!

    I use to use the crossing a number of times a week a few years ago so I got myself a Dartag. Very handy, just topped up when it got to around £5.

    I switched to the Dart Charge account when the new system came in, however, due to a change in job and moving house, I haven’t used the toll in just over 12 months.

    I received an email from Dart Charge recently telling me that as per T&C (which I don’t remember off hand) because the account had not been used in 12 months they would be closing my account in 30 days and I needed to send back my old Dartags within 30 days to avoid a £15 charge. OK, fair enough, the tags have been posted back recently.

    Now, this is where I’m a bit worried, as luck would have it, I need to use the crossing tomorrow. I still have a balance of £5.60 on the Dart Charge account but I’m worried that reading the above posts my crossing will not register as the account is in the process of being closed? Will using the account now reset that 12 month counter? Or, the moment they process my Dartag return they will auto close the account even though it would have logged a crossing recently? I only sent the tags back a few days before Christmas so I’m hoping they haven’t gone through the system yet (although even though it was a FREEPOST address, I’m regretting not sending them back by Recorded delivery given the trouble other people have mentioned!).

    I’m a bit confused regarding the closing account and the link to the Dartags? Surely they Dartags are useless as there’s no RFID to ‘see’ the tags on the barriers anymore as it’s all place recognition?

  63. Catherine says:

    I made 2 crossings back in may and paid for them at the time of the crossing. In October I received PCN’s for these crossings. I filled in the PCN form with my receipt number (not that it should be for me to prove that I paid!). The money for the crossings has now been taken out of my dart charge account without my consent.
    I’ve tried calling the helpline but they tell me that they don’t deal with PCNs and that a receipt number cannot be taken as proof that I paid. Isn’t that the whole point of a receipt???

    They have told me that there is no human being I can speak to about this. I’ve tried filling in the online complaint form, I’ve tried filling in my PCN form. I didn’t hear back from either. So basically it seems there is NOBODY I can talk to regarding this.

    Really disgraceful that they are happy to get involved in taking my money without my consent but when it comes to me trying to get it back that’s another department….a department that doesn’t have a phone number

    terrible service

    • Nick says:

      I had the same thing happen, my pcn arrived 3 months after i’d crossed, I returned the first pcn with proof of purchase for two crossing’s then 6 weeks later received a pcn for the day before the 1st pcn they’d sent ! I phoned the number on the pcn this morning and after being put on hold for the ten minutes was told all was OK & I didn’t owe anything.. Maybe you should phone them again..? Good luck.

  64. Shaun says:

    as an overseas visitor I was disgusted to receive £90 worth of fines from Enterprise hire car for a return crossing on the same day…RipOff Britain at its best…
    Signage is at best inadequate and with no option to pay other than online I would question if this is even legal… immoral definitely.
    The only satisfaction I can take from this experience; based on the amount of negative comments I see on this website alone, the poor staff who used to be stuck in the old collection booths must now at least be employed in a nice warm call centre answering the thousands of complaints that need to be dealt with… what progress!!

  65. Jules says:

    1) Signage is appalling. In the beginning I didn’t think much about signs as I live in Orpington – and, with a visit to Colchester shortly after the changes, I prepared by looking up everything on-line.

    The first time I saw the large red “C”, I thought this an early warning about the Central London Congestion Charge (The London Low Emission Zone has signs out this far, so why not the C-Charge?)

    How is a non-local expected to know a) what the charge is, b) how to pay?

    2) BUT – the new road-layout has made things FAR worse. 3 out of 4 northbound crossings have been SERIOUSLY delayed – not just 5-10 minutes – but 45mins to over an hour. Twice I’ve had to detour via the Blackwall Tunnel – with radio updates confirming that delays were ongoing, so I made the right decision.

    So with 3 recent trips to the Midlands, I went clockwise instead – after checking traffic reports which mentioned delays.
    Clockwise adds about 10 minutes – has options in the event of delays, but most importantly avoids an add-on – likely 30-60 minute.

    To be fair – I did have one trouble-free northbound crossing – and several southbound (after 10pm!)

    One design-flaw seems to be the solid lane divider past the last junction. It causes no end of delays on the approaching slip-road – and congestion in the left tunnel.

  66. Peter McCarthy says:

    Hi Pete/All,

    I have suffered similar bullying and threats from DART and suffered the same utter incompetence, lies and rudeness from the people who answer the phone. I have now phones 6 times and got no help whatsoever even though they admit that I paid £2.50 on the 11th April and can see the payment!

    I crossed on 14th Feb 2015 and at that time there were no signs stating there was a toll.
    On 11th April I received a warning letter and the first PCN, I also paid the £2.50 online and made two phone calls to them to be 100% sure I had done the correct thing as there system either phone or online was not fit for purpose. Over 7 months later I have received another higher fine!

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Please take the below as representation to have PCN IA03883635 issued against vehicle registration
    xxxxx cancelled immediately.

    On 14th February 2015 the above vehicle crossed over the A282 Dartford Crossing. There were
    no signs stating that this was a toll road anywhere.

    Two months later on 11th April Warning Letter attachment 1 which was received along with PCN 1.
    The Warning Letter alludes to the fact there is no sign for any such charge. Warning Letter 1
    also states clearly that if the outstanding 2.50 is paid the penalty would be cancelled.

    I immediately called the number provided (0300 300 0120) as instructed to pay the £2.50.

    This is the first point where your process broke down.

    The representative who took the call informed me that the Warning Letter was incorrect and
    that facilities were not available to take payment over the phone and I had to do it online.
    This is what I proceeded to do. As is stated on your call they are recorded so please listen to it.

    This is the second point where your process broke down.

    As is stated on Warning Letter 1 you wanted the PCN number, however, if I used the ‘Pay a PCN’
    option online the amount was fixed at £70 and there was nowhere for me to pay £2.50. So I called
    again explaining this, your representative agreed with me and told me to make the payment by
    the other method in this case as clearly the site wasn’t fit for purpose. I was also told I
    would get confirmation that it was now paid and no further action was necessary. This was not
    true as I received nothing. Again, please listen to the call recording. However, I felt this
    issued was resolved.

    Now, over 7 months after I paid the £2.50 and was informed by your representative that the
    issue was now resolved I have been sent another higher fine dated 17th November incorrectly
    claiming I haven’t paid the £2.50!

    I have called another 4 times but have been hit with uninformative rude staff on each occasion
    with the only ‘help’ from them is admitting I paid the £2.50 on 11th April 2015.

    This has caused me considerable upset and stress and I feel totally harassed with these continued
    threatening letters but despite repeated and considerable time, effort and cost on my part I
    can not speak to anyone who is prepared to help in any way whatsoever despite all of them
    admitting the £2.50 was paid on 11th April 2015.

    Please confirm in writing this time that you have cancelled PCN number IA03883635.

    Peter McCarthy

  67. Andrew dudley says:

    Hi you money grabbing b######s ,
    My daughter used the crossing back in February 2015 she had forgotten to pay the return journey , we only found on Monday 16th nov that she had an outstanding penalty notice of £107.65 . Why don’t you d###s in charge of the crossing contact people within 7 days rather than waiting 9 months , oh wait I know why so you can squeeze as much money out of motorists as you can I hope you feel proud p####s .

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hello Andrew – I understand your frustration, but this site is not not related to Highways England who ultimately charge people for failing to pay the toll. We are here offering advice on how to pay, appeal and avoid getting a penalty in the first place.

  68. Chris says:

    I am from Germany originally, but I am living in Scotland since 2000. My family came to visit me this year and of course none of us was aware of the Dartford Crossing charge! How would we – they live in Germany and I live in Scotland – not really national news here. Anyway they of course received penalty notices for failing to pay something they weren’t even aware of! Welcome to Britain on your holiday – FAIL!

    Even if they would have seen any sign that they needed to book their Dartford crossing ahead of time, which they didn’t! They would have had no access to internet thanks to out of this world roaming charges on their mobiles. Plus not everyone likes to buy things on their mobile phone.

    The minimum that should be offered to foreign visitors is to pay at a nearby service station PLUS VERY VISIBLE information about these charges…. Anyway thanks for the sending of threatening letters from yet another private collection company. Shame on you.

  69. Jane says:

    I made a trip across the Dartford crossing and back, on 2nd June 2015. On 7th June I realised I hadn’t paid the £5 so logged on and did so. On 7th July I received a PCN which said if I paid the outstanding £2.50 fro 2nd June (strange as I had made 2 journies) within 14 days there would be no penalty charge. I immediately telephoned to say I had already paid and was told the PCN had been sent in error, my payment had been received, it was obviously made within the 14 days grace period for a first offence, so I could ignore the PCN. More than 4 months later on 13th November I have suddenly received the PCN again, now demanding I pay a £105 penalty plus an outstanding £2.50 road user fee. I phoned again expecting to clear the matter up and was told I must pay the fine or make a representation. No one will explain why the payment screen shows my payment of £5.00 against only the morning journey on the day in question and why, even though I have paid £5.00, they still think I owe £2.50 for the afternoon journey that day, which is the one detailed on the PCN. I have emailed Customer Services whose line is I must make a representation on a form on the back of the PCN, which is not there, and neither are the instructions on how to make a representation. I am convinced this has all been caused by a system error their end that they won’t admit to, and am cross that the onus is being put on the me to waste my time to prove this. I can see many similar issues have occurred, by reading through this forum. Has anyone successfully resolved a similar issue? Thanks, Jane.

    • Keith Maunder says:

      Following my post on 14th November, I have just ‘phoned the Dart Charge people. The man I spoke to confirmed that they had received my letter, but that it might take up to eight weeks for them to respond!

  70. Alan Watson says:

    I had a similar situation in December 2014. On the approach to the crossing (south to north) there were no or very poor signs indicating the new procedure.
    Having unsuccessfully attempted to set up an account on my phone we had no option but to drive on

    If we received a notice we would pay. Sure enough two months later, a PCN for £72.50. Usual thing-pay within 28 days you only have to pay the £2.50-so I did just that!

    Thought that was all done with until nine months later, November 2015, got a duplicate PCN for the same offence
    but hadn’t used the crossing.

    Phoned Dart Charge to be told the £2.50 I had paid in February, and I followed the instructions on the PCN and the prompts on-line to pay this money, that in fact the payment I made was for an advance crossing!! How can that be and why did it take so long to receive a duplicate letter.

    Anyhow I have written explaining all this so I have to wait for a response but one thing I can be sure of is that I will never use the Dartford crossing ever again. I’d rather go the other way and at night when the traffic is calm or
    go by train!

    • andy lee says:

      I’ve just had exactly the same thing arrive today! paid for my 2 only-ever crossings from may, online on 29th Sept. Phoned Leeds to be told exactly the same bloody thing – that ‘it’s been registered as credit for FUTURE crossings’! how stupid is that?!
      I said why the hell would I pay for 2 future crossings when I’ve not been again since may and have 2 ‘outstanding’ charges to pay?’
      She said ‘I don’t know. you might do; credits are valid for a year.’ ??!!
      so now I have to write in to explain, as you have.
      what a flippin’ joke!
      I wonder how many other poor buggers are going to get these letters and how many will get caught out an even pay up?

    • Andrew dudley says:

      That’s exactly what happen to my daughter and I totally agree with you not using the crossing , how the hell can they wait for 9 months ??????????????

    • Peter McCarthy says:

      Hi Alan,

      Please see my post on 23rd Nov. I’m suffering the same bullying, threats and harassment having gone out of my way to pay the £2.50 and inform them that their process isn’t fit for purpose.

      They even admit they received my payment on 11th Arpil 2015 but won’t do anything about the PCNs.


  71. Keith Maunder says:

    I drove through the Dartford Tunnel without paying shortly after the toll boots had been abolished, on 21st December 2014. In February I received a letter to say that I should have paid, which I did immediately. That, I thought, would be the end of the matter, but today (14th November) I received a notice to say that as I had not paid the Penalty Charge of £70 the penalty has now been increased to £105! To the best of my knowledge I was never asked to pay a penalty charge in the original letter. I have written back explaining my recollection of what happened. I there anything else I should do? Fortunately I have found evidence of my payment of £2.50 in my bank statement.

    • Sebastien says:

      Hi Keith, I’m in the same situation, I drove through the Dartford tunnel on the 21st of December 2014 and in February I received a warning letter advising to pay £2.50 of which I paid and have evidence from my bank statement I thought this was over but unfortunately today 9 months later I have received a fine of £107.50.

      I don’t know what to do about this?

      • Keith Maunder says:

        I am very pleased to say that at last this matter has been settled. Following my letter to the Dart Charge people in November, explaining the situation, I have today received a reply. This is to the effect that the payment which I had made, in response to the PCN, was via the “Pay for a Crossing” feature on their website, which of course is what I thought I was doing, when it should have been made against the “Pay or challenge a PCN” option on their website. Anyway, to cut a long story short, “the above Charge Certificate will be cancelled.” I just hope that is the end of the matter!

  72. Emma says:

    Hi used the crossing twice, once in July and once in Aug. Both times I typo’d my registration number when paying! D’oh! Putting a ‘U’ instead of a ‘Y’.

    I’ve just received the PCN for the July crossing (very late…), and have paid the £2.50, for first offence.

    Expecting the Aug journey PCN shortly, is there anything I can do to avoid paying the £35?! I’ve emailed Dart Charge enquires/complaints via an online form to inform them of my mistake and all my proof of payment (albeit under the wrong registration number), but don’t anticipate any initiative on their part and fully expect the PCN to be issued. Can I argue it once that happens?

    Many thanks,


    • Pete Barden says:

      Have you paid the £2.50 for the second one? Perhaps you should try paying another £2.50 to the ‘wrong’ registration with the ‘U’. This may fall under the 14-day rule as the terms suggest that subsequent crossings can be covered by this in the first instance. It’s possibly worth a punt on £2.50

    • David says:

      Just had my two PCN’s! from a crossing I did in July, went on the website two nights ago and paid the first one £2.50 thinking that was it as in the old days you only paid one way (10 years plus ago). Anyway, today I get the second one for the return journey. Telephoned the number hoping to speak to someone as I felt this was unfair and that the two fines should have been sent through together but ended up following the options and advised by the electronic lady that I only needed to pay £2.50 which I did so I will be checking to make sure it is just £2.50. The whole thing seems to be a complete nightmare especially if you don’t use the road and with all the traffic and roadworks. So hope you have the same luck Emma.


    • yvonne monk says:

      Hi I have done the same thing I put a digit wrong on my vehicle reg and although I have paid I am now being threatened with crown court. Did you get yours sorted out or did you have to pay>
      All the best yvonne

  73. Mike Tinnion says:

    This is a disgrace. I went on holiday to France in July & to my surprise there were no toll booths on the crossing. If there were any signs they were not obvious so I assumed that the charge had been scrapped to avoid congestion. I have now received a penalty notice dated 10th Nov!!! asking for £70 or £35 if paid within 14 days. This is a system designed to generate revenue by issuing fines. If there were clear signs I would have paid the charge assuming I had a signal in the Euro-tunnel terminal of course!
    For other non locals caught out by this, there is a line on one of the documents saying that if you pay for any additional crossings within 2 weeks the penalty notice for those will also be cancelled (seems to contradict the line above which states that only your first notice will have the option to pay the charge). I’ve now done that for my return trip (not had that notice yet – why it didn’t come at the same time who knows – could it be to trick people who read the line saying that they will only cancel your first notice into paying the £70 fine for the return trip?). Here’s hoping the payment I’ve made matches up with my return trip on their system – not overly hopeful having read some of the other comments on this site – good luck all.
    I’ve tried to leave feedback on their site & guess what, there was a server error on both occasions – could the ‘very dissatisfied’ tick box be causing this server error!

    • Pete Barden says:

      I imagine severe overuse of the ‘very dissatisfied’ has led to the breakdown. Sorry to hear about your problems and be sure to join the 1000s who’ve made their thoughts known on the poll above. We will be presenting the results to those who run the system.

    • Tony Jupp says:

      Complain to the M.O.T.and your MP

  74. Matt says:

    I used the Dartford Crossing on 07/11/2015 for a return journey and I completely forgot to pay, I remembered this morning and rang them and all they said is wait for the letter. A bit gutted that I may be charged £35 x 2, as I went to Lakeside to pick up an item rather than wait for a free delivery, turns out to be expensive. I have used the Dart Charge before and paid on time (a total of 6 times). Is this ’14 day grace period’ usually for first time users or first time offenders? Could I potentially be given this opportunity. I have paid £5 today just incase but worry I will also be sent a LPC letter.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – It is first offence. So you should be fine.

      • Rosie says:

        Have just received a fine letter relating to a southbound crossing on 18th July 2015. There were no signs whatsoever and my husband and myself assumed that the crossing tolls had been scrapped due to all traffic being directed on a diversion immediately following the crossing. We made return crossing one month later where we did see some very uninformative and ambiguous signage which seemed to assume that we would know what dart crossing charge was. We did not – only make this crossing once per year. After researching this online upon our return home, I made the payment via telephone for the return crossing and one of the operatives on the line was fairly helpful in processing this. No mention made at that time of an outstanding amount previously. I find it astonishing that four months down the line there is a spurious fine for a toll charge that was not advertised in any way. It seems that whoever is administering this system is assuming that drivers are either telepathic or live in London area and would surely know all about the new system. It does appear that the system is haphazard and punitive to drivers who just want to get to where they want to be and are prepared to pay if they are given the opportunity to do so in a manner that is user friendly and fully informative of what exact charges there are and how one might pay. This really is a disgrace and I do not know how foreign travellers are meant to understand this, when those of us who are not habitual travellers down south but are accustomed to British roads (not very good) are having such difficulties with a system which really ought to be fairly straightforward. What was wrong with the booths I would like to know.

        • Peter McCarthy says:

          Hi Rosie,

          Please see my post on 23rd Nov. I’m suffering the same bullying, threats and harassment having gone out of my way to pay the £2.50 and inform them that their process isn’t fit for purpose.

          They even admit they received my payment on 11th Arpil 2015 but won’t do anything about the PCNs.


    • Joy says:

      Hi, I’ve just done exactly the same thing Matt! I’ve paid the £5 but I’m sure I’ll receive a PCN. I’ve never failed to pay in the past. I will appeal though. It’s ridiculous that you only get until the following day to pay!!

  75. Joanne cross says:

    Hi. Can some one help me. I went through dartford tunnel and the traffi. Light went red as I went through and flashed twice. Does any one know what sort of fine I could receive please. Can u email me. Jojo2512@hotmail.co.uk. Thank you

  76. Anon says:

    Absolutely shocking that when you call the call centre they can provide little to no help at all.

    I have had two very frustrating phone conversations today which resulted in me getting very angry as the first person I spoke with was very patronising and was raising his voice to me. In the end he said he was going to terminate the call as we were going round in circles, I ended it for him and called to speak to someone else hoping for someone more helpful. Nope. That didn’t happen!

    I work for a lease company and in April we received a Warning Letter with a Charge Certificate as one of our customers had crossed the bridge and not paid the charge. I duly paid the charge for this. Imagine my surprise when this week I have received another charge certificate for the same PCN at the same time and for the same date and the cost is now £72.50! This is the reason I called to find out what had happened and to explain that payment had been made. Upon calling I was informed that actually it was now £107.00 and that they had no record of the £2.50 been paid in April.

    I was then told that there was another unpaid charge for the same vehicle on the same day but at a different time. I asked for the time of that crossing as we had not received anything regarding this and was met with

    “Why do you want to know that?”

    “Because I can then go back to the hirer of the vehicle and let them know that it has not been paid and ask why.”

    “We can’t provide that information to you. It’s on your letter.”

    “But I don’t have a letter regarding that one.”

    “It’s in your charge notice.”

    “But I don’t have anything relating to the new one you are now telling me about.”

    They would not tell me the time. So I asked if we were going to receive another letter with a big fine for this PCN we had never received previously and was met with “We don’t deal with the letters”. I honestly felt like banging my head against a brick wall.

    What can they actually see on their systems and why can they tell me that another crossing has happened and the date it has happened but not let me know the time? I truly do not understand. Every time I call for any help/advice I am always met with the same kind of resistance. I think I have only ever come across one helpful person once. I have received PCN’s for customers who have set an account up for the vehicle they are leasing through us, PCN’s received twice for no reason whatsoever. The mind boggles. I cannot tell you how frustrated it leaves me dealing with anyone at Dart Charge. I have now had to write a letter to them at their PO Box going over what I have discussed over the phone and showing evidence of the payment that was made for the £2.50 – luckily I was able to find and print this from the company bank. I have also printed off the Dart Charge internet page that shows the PCN with it’s vehicle and date etc as there is no mention of another.

    Wowsers. Glad I got that off my chest!

    • Pete Barden says:

      I hope that was therapeutic – and slightly less dangerous than banging your head against the wall. Seriously, though, the whole system seems unable to cope and unable to work in a cohesive manner where all the information is available in one place. It really seems they’ve created a system that is not fit for purpose. Please let us know how you get on with this one…

      • Anon says:

        I completely agree – it’s dreadful. It seems that they didn’t actually think it through properly before doing it. I mean, what’s the point in having a call centre who can only see a small portion of what you need to know?! The letter is going recorded delivery so I can definitely see if they receive it.

        • Pete Barden says:

          Hi – Probably a wise move. Let us know how you get on.

          • Anon says:

            Update – so after writing to Dart Charge and sending proof of payment I have still not received a response. Today I thought I would put the registration number into the website as if I was going to pay it and lo and behold what did it say?! “Penalty Charge notice number is not valid or has been paid” So it seems like it may have been dealt with but they have not informed me. Typical really!

    • Peter McCarthy says:

      Hi Anon,

      Please see my post on 23rd Nov. I’m suffering the same bullying, threats and harassment having gone out of my way to pay the £2.50 and inform them that their process isn’t fit for purpose.

      They even admit they received my payment on 11th Arpil 2015 but won’t do anything about the PCNs.


  77. Rez says:

    Hi, I have a bit of a complicated situation.

    So my first crossing was back on 7th August (2-ways). I paid the 5.00 charge (2.50 each way) a few days late online and got a receipt for this payment (before I got a notice). I then got 2xPCNs a week or so later through the post saying I have 14 days to pay. I phoned them up and they replied saying that it was their mistake and for some reason their system did not recognise one or both of the payments. The person assured me everything was ok and I didn’t have to pay anything extra.

    A few days ago (29th October) I used the crossing again (one-way), but this time I paid 8 hours late. Worried about receiving a charge, I called them on the phone, but they said they have no way of knowing if I will receive a PCN, and whether or not it will be counted as a first offence this time. When I try and find which crossing I paid for with my most recent payment number (paid on 31st October), it does not link this payment to the crossing I made on the 29th.

    If that wasn’t odd, strangely enough, if I type in the payment number for the 5.00 payment I made back in August, it links THAT payment to the crossing I made in October a few days ago. I have no idea what’s going on. My questions are:

    1) Does this mean that somehow 2.50 from the 5.00 I paid in August got carried over to pay for this crossing in October? In this case, would I get a PCN? (Bearing in mind that I never made a Dart Charge account to have credit)
    2) What happens to the 2.50 I now paid, as this is now unlinked to any crossing?
    3) If I do get a PCN with the 35 pound charge, how likely will I be able to appeal?


    • Pete Barden says:

      This is a complicated one, as you say… Still trying to get my head around it. The long and short of it, is the payment system has messed up, so there should be grounds to appeal to the adjudicator if the Sanef won’t cancel any subsequent fines. See our section above on appeals. Hope this helps a little. Let us know.

      • Garry Jackson says:

        Looking for advice please: We run three vehicles using auto-pay from our Dart Charge account one owned by use and two leased from a hire company. The account was set up so that dart charge email us when funds drop below £10. We generally keep on top of things but rely on the email reminder as a back-up to let us know if we do get low on funds. During the period from Oct 6th to Oct 22nd we have received several PCN notices for crossings made. We never received any email or written correspondence warning us that the account funds had dropped below £10 and the subsequent suspension of the Dart Charge account during this period.
        When we made a check of the funds on the account we realised and immediately topped it up (22nd Oct).
        As an aside, having just received a statement, I can see that payments have randomly been taken on the 12th Oct, 19th Oct (supposing during the account suspension period). I am now faced with dealing with multiple PCN’s including those paid (plus admin fees) from the hire company. My main question is that: Do I stand any chance of appealing these PCN’s given that their system did not warn me that funds had dropped below £10 and that my account had been suspended? Any advice gratefully received. Thank you

      • sylvia baines says:

        I used the tunnel on September 25 and forgot to pay when I returned home I paid online 4 days later. (Just a senior moment)
        5 weeks later received penalty charge, rang dart tag and a gent called Tom told me not to worry he,d cancelled the charge. In February received new penalty charge for over 100.00 each way rang and spoke to Mark who said he,d sort it out,sent a letter explaining recorded. Two weeks later rang again and another man said he,d sort it out as I was miss advised and would e mail me. Still have not heard back am frightened bailiffs will arrive at my door for 2 weeks pension when I could have paid the smaller fine if had been advised correctly.

  78. Angela says:

    I crossed the Dartford crossing after getting lost on the way back from Southwold when I was dropping a friend off in Canary Wharf (wrong turning, etc – I live in Kilburn when in London so I’ve no need to anywhere near the Dartford crossing – if I knew my way) and immediately crossed back over about 5 minutes later (totally my fault that I ddn’t even realise you had to pay a toll as I’ve never even seen that bridge before but, hey, that’s my fault). The penalty notice goes to my house in Dorset and arrived yesterday (where my car is registered) and my sister picked up my mail and rang me and gave me the penalty number, etc. I went online, paid the fine (which was for £70) but it only charged me £5. Not sure whether to leave it or take it as job done as that’s all they charged me.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – You paid within 14 days of the fine arriving at ‘your’ home, so you qualify for the 14-day grace period. You have paid the £2.50 for each crossing, so rest-assured, your record is now clean. However, you only get this grace period on the first ‘offence’ so if there is a next time, they will charge the full amount. Glad it worked out this time – I did the same with the Congestion Charge once… sadly with no 14-day grace period.

      • Christine Griffey says:


        Have been reading through these comments…my situation is I crossed twice last Saturday and twice last Sunday. Have never made a late payment before. Will I Get the 14 day grace period as it is two separate days? Spoke to someone on the phone and all they could tell me was a letter had been sent and the details would be in the letter?

    • Baiju says:

      I have the same experience, I were crossed 10th of October 2015, which I didn’t know there were a charge for crossing. So i got a penalty issued 23rd October. When I was check in online to pay there shown only 5pounds, whatever I paid at the moment and hoping there is no more charges coming in further as per Pete Barden says…

    • Jon says:

      I live in the south-west and had no idea there was a Dart charge….
      About 3 weeks ago I drove to Saffron Waldron with a passenger via the west M25 to collect a second hand car. I filled out a car registration transfer at about 1100. At about 1230 I drove that car and my passenger drove my car (fully insured in case you are wondering) over the Dart crossing to drop in on friends in Sevenoaks. We crossed the Dart within about 20 mins of one another.
      I received a PCN for my (old car) 2 weeks later (I’d been away from home for a few days). I paid £2.50 the same day (first ‘offence’). I checked for the registration of the new car – no fee was identified as being due and not obvious if I paid for a crossing if it would be for a future one so I thought maybe the previous owner paid – he was the registered owner at the start of that particular day. Still concerned I emailed the Dart customer services explaining the situation and asking how to pay the £2.50. They replied a day later but didn’t answer my question – they did say that the car now has a £37.50 penalty – they won’t tell me any more due to Data Protection. I’ve not received a PCN so I have no reference to complain about! I’ve since phoned…no progress – was told the 37.50 is because payment wasn’t within 24 hours and by midnight.
      Having tried to ‘do the right thing’ twice to pay the 2.50 I’m not sure what to do next! Any ideas??

      I live in the south-west and had no idea there was a Dart charge…I’m happy to pay the £2.50 but no more.
      There is no signage that even comes close to suggesting there’s a fee…. I did see a sign that said ‘visit us online’ Had it said ‘pay your toll fee online within 24 hours’ I would have!

  79. Ben Stirrup says:

    What a pathetic attempt to make this crossing quicker.. It’s 11:44 on 30/10 & I’m still not over the bridge getting onto the m25 side of the tunnel. I’ve been on the slip road for it since 10:56.. And I have to pay for this..?! When it’s this terrible SURELY the fee should b dropped..?! I’m sick of sitting in traffic & paying for it.. Sort it out..!!

  80. Claire says:

    I crossed the crossing in June, 4 months ago…..and wasnt aware of the charges, now i come home today to a PCN……………. What can i do to avoid the £35 charge, i didnt even know i owed them the original £2.50 :(

    • Pete Barden says:

      Is the first ‘offence’? You should have the option to pay the original £2.50 within 14 days of receiving the fine if so.

      • Claire says:

        Hi again.
        There doesnt seem to be an option on the letter. What do you think is the best plan of action?

        • Pete Barden says:

          I would call them and ask why. It might be that option has passed but I wouldn’t have thought so. Let us know

          • Claire says:

            Hi Peter,
            Just a quick update.
            I came home from a few days away to yet another demand notice, this one was for the return journey.
            I rang the number and stayed on the line to speak to a human, I was distressed, and the man cancelled the fines and took the £5.00 :) I was very very pleased and thanks to your advice I have saved myself £70-£140.
            Credit to you, this is an amazing resourceful page
            Claire :)

          • Pete Barden says:

            Thanks Claire, I am glad it helped in some way and really pleased it worked out for you. Nice end to the week for you.

  81. Chris says:

    I received today (27/10/15) a penalty notice for the Dart Charge for the 07th July 2015!!
    That’s over 4 months late!
    Is that not out of time to penalise? I heard they had to issue a ticket within 6 weeks legally; is that true or just wishful thinking?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Sorry – the time limit applies to charges such as speeding offences… sadly not Dartford.

  82. Chris Cooke says:

    I crossed the Dart on 21st October but completely forgot to pay, just realised and tried to pay now and they wont let me saying I will receive a fine in the post. Trouble is my car is a company car so before I receive said fine it will go to VW finance and then my company so no doubt by the time I get the notice it will be well over the 14 days yet they won’t let me pay the crossing or the fine today I have to wait! Can I appeal the fine if its larger than the £35 you get if you pay in first 14 days?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – This is a difficult one to answer and probably needs you to contact the finance company, or your company in the first instance, to see what their policy is. Alternatively, go online and see if you can pay for the crossing. Many people have done this and it seems to have worked in the past. It’s a gamble, at least it’s worth the £2.50 stake, perhaps.Let us know.

  83. Allan Black says:

    I opened a pre-paid, automatic top-up account in June (online) I received a fine in September and when I phoned to ask why, I was told that the account was tied to a registration number that I do not recognise and which was TOTALLY different to that of my car and one that I definitely did not enter. I was told I would receive a response to my query within 7 days. 4 weeks on I am still waiting. I have written to them (no response) I have used their online complaint form (no response)
    A question – if I should lose this appeal does the fact that I lodged it within 14 days mean that I will only have to pay £35? Or does their tardiness in replying mean that I may end up having to pay £105?

    • Pete Barden says:

      I believe that an appeal should leave you able to pay the lesser amount, but I am not 100% on this. You should have a good case to argue for it, though.

  84. Wendy says:

    I made two crossings both ways one day in June and both ways one day in October. I paid by telephone. On the October payment I had a very frustrating time paying as either the phone just rang and rang or once I got through I was cut off several times. It took me longer to pay than the Dartford Crossing itself which make a nonsense of the claim that having no tolls saves time! Lo and behold I now have a fine for non payment. I gave my registration which included what I took to be the letter I rather than number 1.

    I was only able to establish this after a lengthy call during which I was told initially I was being fined for non payment of June crossing. After I queried this I was told that they had been wrong it was because I had paid for the wrong registration number. I have only been using this car for a few months and assumed the letter “I” was a letter and not the number one!! I am appealing but I had to search the internet to find out that DVLA does not appear to use letter I. I paid in good faith and being fined now is very annoying. What are my chances on appeal? £35 is a lot of money to me.

    • Pete Barden says:

      I would imagine that you have a good chance, especially as the number you put in is unlikel to exist elsewhere. If the initial appeal fails, you will need to consider an appeal to the adjudicator (where 8/10 appeals succeed) under one of these reasons:
      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

  85. Julie Kappelmueller says:

    I will rent a car so do not know the cars registration number – number plate to fill in the form to pay in advanceeven if I wanted to.

    I also do not know the local post codes to be able to use the find a store to pay cash.

    Are there any petrol stations that provide this cash service along the motorway to the Dartford tunnel?

    I need to pay cash as I do not use credit cards or internet banking.

    The information for tourists is awful. It makes visiting England that much more complicated and stressful having to find out about all the different road, tunnel, bridge, and congestion charges all over the country.

  86. Lucy Chiswell says:

    I live in devon, I never normally travel up north and therefore had no idea about this crossing. I went up to collect a new car, the new car on the way home was the one that got registered as unpaid. I had not sent of the registered keepers log book yet and therefore the letter went to the original keeper. He is in the Army and has been away training therefore only just noticed a fine letter. I now have to pay the £70 fine and the £2.50 toll cost. Is this fair as I was 1. unaware of the fine or the toll bridge and 2. I didnt know I had a charge as it was sent to the old address. Thanks

    • Pete Barden says:

      I expect they will cite technicalities on this one – you might find the new regs on digital ‘tax discs’ require the car to be registered and taxed by the new owner beofore driving on the road. However, the inadequate signage and promotion of the new system in areas other than the South East make this incredibly unfair on you.

  87. Paul says:

    Hi my daughter crossed to meet me at Ikea from Kent and back again on the 19th September, she had forgot to pay on the day, I rang and spoke to Dart charge on the 26th September and the told me I could pay them or on line as I didn’t have the car reg with me, so I paid same day online (the only charge used) on the 26th September – I kept the online receipt £5.00 – however 6th of October 2 x penalty notices drop on the door mat both now for £35 and the £2.50 – I called the dart charge only to be told that the £5 paid online would be used for future crossings..WHAT!! (which it hadn’t so this will be another story) and that the I would have to appeal – i.e. someone could not look at the date and my only case is to appeal both!! which we will – so the moral is as the gentleman on the phone says don’t use the online (I suppose it keep them in a job)

  88. Richard says:

    What is the procedure if I entered a wrong letter in my car reg?

  89. Geoff says:

    What a joke of a service. No obvious signage so did not know of changed payment plans. Second time I saw the sign miles past the bridge it was hidden behind a bush. Anyway got an offer to pay regular fee of £2.50 each way in the mail as this was a first time offense which I thought was quite impressive. Guess what, 3 weeks later I get a £70 PCN without any reference to the fine I paid. Furthermore no email receipt so only proof is copy of bank statement. This is an absolute joke of a service. To make it worse there does not appear to be an online appeals process. They give you a form with a space for appeal the size of a postage stamp. When county councils can have slick online systems why can’t Dart with the huge funds they have at their disposal? Still no sign of decent signage to avoid this chaos either.

    • nwyclef says:

      Just like some of my fellow frustrated dartford crossing clients..l used the same crossing in Aug and 23 Nov15. The barriers were all open, no sign to indicate payment at all. We were actually stuck in traffic on both ocassions.
      Just today pm l receive 2pcns for those dates each for £37.50 if l pay in 14days. I grundgingly complied and attempted to pay by phone. The 1st pcn went thru, 2nd one, some one picked the line, he assured me my bill is now £185. I requested him to explain, he told me to check on line n put the phone down on me.
      I called thrice, just paid for the 2nd pcn in my possession.
      My intention is to challenge all pcns by post this fri morning.
      The online sytem doesnt seem to have any way to challenge the pcn.

      Reading thru all the posts, l think we can achieve alot by challenging / suing the management of the dart charge system. Any system or law put in place must not only be fair but must also be just. A case by case challenge cannot uproot impunity.
      We may not even have to pay for this suit..
      Any ideas?

  90. Lewis Jarrett says:

    Dart Charge are harrassing me for an unpaid crossing. I paid for 6 crossings in advance and made 6 crossings – with paperwork to prove it, They however say I made 7 crossings. When I looked on the website they had clocked me TWICE at exactly the SAME TIME, SAME DATE making the crossing in the SAME DIRECTION – a physical impossibility! This meant that my siixth crossing was regarded by them as a seventh. Now appealed to independent adjudicator as no one could be bothered to read the letter & evidence showing this when I contested the charge. Presumably faulty monitoring equipment.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – Sounds rather typical. As you probably know, 8 out of 10 appeals to the adjudicator succeed. Says a lot about the sytems being employed by SANEF to monitor the charging. Please let us know how you get on.

  91. Man and Van says:

    I went across the bridge then back in the tunnel in the afternoon went online to pay but only charged me one way, I get payment request over two weeks later for £37

  92. Mark says:

    Came over as a tourist from Australia, had no idea I had to pay for crossing the bridge/tunnel, got back home and rental car company billed me 35 pounds for each day I used it, so twice used means 70 pounds. That’s their admin fee. I still have to pay whatever fine will be sent to me by Dart Charge, which I’m still waiting for. Really poor customer service from Enterprise. Seeing I used the tunnel/bridge almost 2 months ago who knows what this will cost me?

    • K Smith says:

      Very similar situation here. Visiting from the USA and drove across the bridge and tunnel. The lack of clear signage is a disgrace. Nowhere does it tell you there are no cash booths available. Most tolls here in the USA have both electronic collection and at least 1 cash booth for infrequent users.

      What’s worse is the 42.00 + toll GPB “administrative charge” EACH WAY that Hertz invoiced me, just to provide Dart Charge with my details to send me the payment warning and penalty. Furthermore, Hertz paid one of the tolls, but not the second one. Has anyone else had to deal with these exorbitant charges from the rental car companies? I’d happily pay the Dart Charge over the 86.50 GBP to Hertz. Any advice on how to fight this charge?

      • Pete Barden says:

        Hi – We’re currently looking into the charges applied by hire car firms who seem to be profiting from the Dartford chaos. I am sorry you had such a bad experience here.

        • K Smith says:

          Thank you. Had a great time in the UK without a doubt. Dartford crossing was the only spoiler. Would love to hear more experience regarding people dealing with car rental companies when you get anything.

          • bwood says:

            I got the same admin 42.00 charge from hertz, as we were headed for airport to return car you would think they would inform a out of country person to pay the toll at time of drop off.

  93. Stephen says:

    I just received a letter from dart charge saying on 10th july i used the dartfored crossing with out paying,now bear in mind I have just received this letter on 22nd september(at least 78 days later),and anothwr letter I received a day later saying I am now charged £70???,Is the a time limit for them to even charge me for this?

  94. esi says:

    I’ve crossed the bridge on the 16/sept/15 last Wednesday and called them today which is 23/09/15 to pay and explained that I wasn’t feeling well and Id like to make a payment now but then realized that I’ve got to pay £72 for single entry cos its more than 48hrs since I’ve passed the bridge and been told I can appeal against it,I also have my hospital letter to prove,but I’m not sure if they accept it?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – You should get a letter through the post which offers you the chance to pay the original toll within 14 day – if it was your first offence. If it wasn’t the first offence, then make the appeal and include the letter as a reason you could not pay. Figures show around 8/10 appeals succeed.

  95. David says:

    Just had an email from Dart Charge telling me that as my account balance is £9.98, it is low as per my terms and conditions, and I should put more money in immediately. Or better still, set up a direct debit. As I only use the bridge now and then, this is more than adequate for me, and if it runs too close to £0 I will top it up, so why are they demanding I give them more money? I’m not going to, I just wanted to post here as another example of these cowboys, and the disgusting way they abuse their own citizens.

  96. Ben Hodges says:

    I recently received a penalty for non payment while I was in a temporary lease car, I checked my payment receipt and I got the plate number correct when paying, I paid at 12:30 on 21 June 2015 and crossed at 13:19.

    When checking my payment allocation its been split allocated against a journey in the same car on 20th December 2014 and against my southbound journey on 21 June 2015!!!!.

    I didnt have this loan car in December 2014!. I have appealed with the evidence and my receipt which I thankfully kept.

    Also the penalty was received by my lease company around 10 days ago, useless system.

    Great webpage so great work for getting all the links together, nice and easy.

  97. Andy says:

    I’ve just discovered this whole charging system. I crossed in both directions (took a wrong turning) the weekend before last. I am with 14 days – do I attempt to pay it still or wait for the letter hoping that they will give me 14 days to pay the original charge?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – Paying now should esnure you don’t get a notice.

      • Andy says:

        Thanks – I’ll give it a try. Great service you’re giving here!

        • Pete Barden says:

          Thanks – I think you’ll be okay. Just be careful to make a note of payment date and any reference number you get. The payment system seems under extreme stress.

          • Andy says:

            Just got the receipt by email so fingers crossed…

          • Andy says:

            Ah ha! As chance would have it he PCN arrived in the post about an hour after I made the payment. It also has the ‘Warning Letter’ that gives 14 days to pay this and any other subsequent charges which will cancel all PCNs issued.

            So all should be ok…

        • Chris says:

          Andy, your payment the day before might not be used against the ‘Warning Letter’ PCN. Go to the dart charge web site and choose ‘Pay a PCN (Penalty Charge Notice)’ to check if a payment is still outstanding.

  98. john says:

    I crossed on 17 July and 1 August. As I don’t have a smartphone another family member, travelling in their own car, paid for both vehicles. Receipts received. I have just received a PCN for £75 saying I haven’t paid. Phoned Dart Charge who confirmed that my car had been logged under other vehicle registration but there was nothing they could do. I have destroyed my receipt. Made representation in the hope they can sort THEIR mess out and waive this fine.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Use the information on this page to make an official appeal. Most succeed. It is certainly worth doing.

  99. John says:

    I crossed on 20 July and 1 August. As I don’t have a smartphone, another member of my family travelling in their own car, made the payment for both vehicles. Confirmation receipts received. I have now received PCN saying I owe £75.00. On phoning Dart Cross was advised that both vehicle payments had been registered under the other vehicle and that there was nothing they could do. I also destroyed my receipt.

  100. Paul says:

    I drove over the crossing on April 6th this year. Only today 5 months later do I get a PCN for non payment.
    Surely there is a time limit to issuing???? Can someone tell me if I can appeal? Thanks

    • Pete Barden says:

      Is it your first ‘offence’? If so, you should have 14 days to pay the original £2.50 crossing charge (if it was in a car).

  101. Sean Raymond says:

    I am a new driver and was driving on a motorway for the first time as well as encountering the Dartford crossing for the first time. I didn’t even realise I needed to pay a toll charge. To cut a long story short, I was issued with a fine 52 days AFTER the event – I was wondering if this excludes me from paying the now £100 fine? Surely there is a cut off period for administration?

    The reason the fine is £100 is because I do not currently live at the residence which was receiving the warnings – it was only on the 3rd letter that my friend opened the letter. Any help would be appreciated.

    Should I pay or contest?
    Cheers in advance.

  102. Sergio says:

    . Basically I crossed dartford bridge new years eve last year I was late on the payment as it was last minute decision and as new year started and having so much going on I forgot to pay but only few weeks into January . When I got the first letter or penalty charge I went straight on the website and followed the steps to pay online. first time website crashed as payment progress was being carried out then I tried again not being sure if it went through . Second time all went smooth transactions went through and that was it,my bank logo transaction was being verified as you can see on the computer screen then it said it was paid . Now I got penalty charge of £107.50 nine months later with no warning at all . I contacted my bank but there’s no record of payment on my statement I also tried to ask him to see when I logged in with my card but I was told this records are only held for 6 months I don’t have any sort confirmation of email from dart crossing as it’s been so long it’s deleted or trash can deleted it automatically . Again I would rather pay this small charge than to have huge amount like this to pay now , I know I don’t have solid ground to stand on but your website must have issues as I tried to pay it twice . Or as i have been reading scamming websites have been set up as well and i could have been part of it .Please help me as you are ripping me off with this website of yours crashing out and not recognising hard working people payments . I dont mind paying for the charge it self as i used its services i dont wanna have a free ride but i dont wanna pay this huge penalty for your blunders created by the systems and people running it .

  103. Lindsay Harris says:

    How unfair is this wholesystem? They must be making a bomb. I crossed the bridge on30th March. I’m not local and haven’t been on it in a year or 2. There were loads of roadworks and when I had passed I realised that there was no way to pay anymore. I didn’t see any signs at all.
    I forgot about it tbh.
    A few weeks later I had a letter saying that I hadn’t paid BUT due to it being sipuch a new system they were aware that people didn’t know how to use it and that I could pay the fee online.
    I paid the £2.50 that same day.
    This Saturday I had a letter saying that they had written to me with a fine of £70 and as I hadn’t paid it I now owed £107.50.
    I stupidly didn’t keep the original letter.
    I can see that the £2.50 left my bank.
    I tried to call them twice to speak to advisors but they were just plain rude and unhelpful. They kept telling me to fill in a form on the back of my letter. I told them that the back of the letter was blank but one man said “no it isn’t there’s a form on the back”. As if I’m totally stupid!
    I’m so angry.
    I’ve emailed them and sent proof that I’ve paid the £2.50. Just hoping that that’s the end of it.
    Did anyone else get that letter?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – That sounds very typical of a lot of emails we’re getting. Stick with it and you should succeed. It is also worth sending a letter/email to Highways England which has overall responsibility for ensuring the Crossing is fit for purpose. Please let us know how you get on.

    • jeff says:

      Hi I live in Dortmund Germany but I’m a British citizen I drove over to the UK in June and went through the Dartford tunnel not knowing there were charges I have today received a letter being charged just over 100 euros for not paying a 2 pound fifty fee that I didn’t know about it is hard enough trying to get into the right lane let alone look for signs trying to tell you to pay a charge. You know nothing about I think that all the British government are doing is trying to scam people I would have gladly paid the fees if I have known about it and as a first offense I’m living in Germany wouldn’t it have been better that they send me a letter to pay the 2.50 plus the admin charge of maybe 5 pounds but not a hundred euro fine I feel like a criminal by coming back to my own country it is absolutely disgusting what the British government of doing to people I feel so bullied and find it so unfair

      • Pete Barden says:

        Hello – Sorry to hear your story. Has the letter not given you a 14-day period to pay the original £2.50 toll?

  104. Tony M says:

    I did 2 crossings yesterday and paid at 0030. Does that mean i will be charged £35 x2. Gutted as i am only 30 minutes late. Very expensive 30 mins :(

    • Pete Barden says:

      Technically yes – but the 14-day grace period (and chaotic system) is likely to cover you… providing it was the first time you have forgotten to pay?

  105. Damon says:

    Just received a Penalty Charge Notice for £108 saying that my Dart Charge hadn’t been paid, despite having an entry in my bank statement to say it was… Can’t find the confirmation email, as it was from way back in June and I don’t usually keep them once I know the money is out of my account.. going to send bank statement as representation, but have to say, for a one off trip away on holiday a year, its an absolute joke of a scheme.

    • Pete Barden says:

      It’s such a waste of time for people such as yourself having to spend hours proving you’ve paid – through no fault of your own.

  106. Jon says:

    Does anyone have any experience of late payment on a not-first offence? Late, as in after the “midnight the next day” period but prior to a warning letter being issued.

    I only use the crossing about once a year and got caught out last year due to ignorance of the new system. As it was a ‘first offence’ though I was able to just pay the £5 for a return crossing.

    This weekend I used the crossing again and, stupidly, missed the deadline to pay by a couple of hours (paying this morning when the deadline was midnight).

    I’m expecting the Government money-making machine to issue a penalty charge for each crossing which I’ll either have to pay or get hounded about for the rest of my days. I was hoping somebody else may have a crumb of comfort to offer though as a £70 fine for paying a £5 charge six hours late is a tad infuriating.

    • Trevor Fallon says:

      I only just found out about the new system as I was searching for the prices crissing the bridge on my way back from Scotland.I saw the road works at the tunnel on my way up to Scotland and I think I used the tunnel after 10.00 pm so I won’t know until I get home and see if I have s letter from them.Ionly use the tunnel anf bridge once a year.I think the drivers should be made aware of such changes by post so they are aware of road toll changes and not have to find out when on top of the tunnel or bridge rspecially at night .I wentvthrough the tunnel on the 21 August 2015 seventeen days ago.

  107. Bea Marshall says:

    This is a copy of the letter I am attempting to send to the CEO, if I can ever identify them. Can anyone help?

    CO3 3UB
    11 Aug. 15

    Dear Sirs
    Ref penalty charge notice IA03092185
    I have recently received your second attempt to fine me. I am surprised that you know my address and contact details. You certainly showed no evidence of such when I attempted to contact you to initially pay the crossing fee, when I contacted you to argue the fine for said fee, then the two subsequent attempts to engage you since.
    Had you read any of the messages I emailed to you, you might be aware that when I tried to pay the original fee, the website would not allow it as my car was then registered as disabled. I emailed you via the link on your website to ask how I could pay. No acknowledgement, no reply. I emailed again after I had made the trip to try and pay retrospectively. No acknowledgement, no reply. I then left the country for 2 months. I returned to find an official letter fining me for non-payment. Colour me surprised! I emailed you again via the link. No acknowledgement, no reply. Sense a theme here? Yep, I should have known better. However… we continue. I paid the fine and completed the online form to contest it retroactively. I phone your listed number that yAou cunningly hid on the website and spoke to a mule headed script repeater, trying to have a conversation and sort this out. I was told to complete the online form. Deep joy. Very, very grudgingly, I did so. I promise you, it did not make me happy. I even surprised myself with the calm I managed to maintain. How many times is this? I’m losing count. Quelle surprise… No acknowledgement, no reply.
    Time passes, I assume the machine is grinding slowly given your penchant for fining people; I presume you are backlogged.
    Guess what? No, no, too easy… Another fine this morning. Well slap me sideways and call me Skippy! So, what to do? I accept that I owe you £2.50. I dispute that I owe you £215. Can you hear me? Just checking. I am happy to pay the crossing fee, well happy perhaps is not the verb I would chose. Ok, I accept that I owe… there, that’s better. I do not however owe the subsequent fines.
    At no time have you or your minions replied to me, helped me or even acknowledged my existence excepting to fine me. I will not be paying the second fine. I will be expecting the first one refunded. I don’t expect a reply given our history, but will happily allow you to take me to court. I feel that at least someone will listen to my side of this complaint then. This letter will be sent recorder delivery so that I have the small comfort of at least knowing that has been received, if not read or actioned.
    So, without the least expectation of any response, I leave you,
    With kind regards

    B Marshall

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – Have you tried Sanef, the company that operates the toll? Let us know how you get on… https://www.saneftolling.co.uk/

      • Steve says:

        The Dartsave box says you will be reminded then a little further down says ‘like the congestion charge you will NOT be reminded’

        • Pete Barden says:

          That is correct – Dartsave is a separate company and will remind you to pay. However ‘like Transport for London and its Congestion Charge, you will not be reminded to pay your toll by the operating authority‘. Dartsave will remind you to pay – the operators won’t. Hope that clears up the confusion. Thanks.

    • ahbuk2200@gmail.com says:

      I have noted and been saddened by the comments in your letter as I wrote to them in Leeds three weeks ago. I suppose it now goes without saying that I have not received any sort of reply or acknowledgement from them and from what you say my letter will be ignored and I am unlikely to ever receive a reply. It disappoints me that the government can create and support such an unjust and inefficient scheme. My experience of it to date is that it is specifically designed to catch law abiding citizens out and extort huge fines from them to make as much profit as possible.

      A H Baker

  108. Mick says:

    Don’t despair if you are wrongly charged and then faced with no response from Dart Charge. Go down the small claims route. I did and they have just settled out of court. They tried to blame everyone else for their mistake but still paid up.

  109. Graham G says:

    The Dart Crossing changes are not obvious the video challenge on this site shows why it isn’t.

    1. Signs are on the left so if you are passing high sided vehicles you’ll never see the signs.Smaller signs overhead would be easily missed.
    2. All the signs are too small for you to read when you are concentrating on driving on one of the busiest roads in the world and at 50 mph plus.
    2. Just showing the C sign is not universally understood by motorists who are not from London.
    3. If you come to a booth and it just lets you through then you assume you don’t have to pay.
    4. Coming across the QE bridge has even worst signage.

    To make it better you need a big sign across all lanes saying something like TOLL Charges apply x miles ahead. Pay online @ XXXXX or call ……..

    Then you need the number again and make it clear that the toll needs to be paid. & within which hours.

    300,000 thousand unpaid tolls means you have a signage problem!!

    • Pete Barden says:

      I think most would agree with you.

      • Jamie says:

        Could you pls help me out, I just received the very first letter with penalty charge of 105pds and the normal 3pds. The letter stated that an initial letter was sent to me on 1/6/2015 for crossing on 1/5/2015. On that faithful day I can remember seeing someone in the booth that had no information for me as i am not a regular user, I remember him looking at me when I offered him cash as usual but said I shld go. How do I contest this as this charge is inappropriate as there was no clear sign to tell me I needed to pay and stating there was a letter written to me that wasn’t and now charging me 108pds all for 3pds. Is this the way the Govt is trying to raise the 12bn they never explained during the election. Pls help me out.

        • Pete Barden says:

          Hello – You should appeal on the grounds you did not receive the first letter which would have offered the chance to pay the original fee. Hope this helps.

    • Sharelle Wodehouse says:

      I agree 500% on every single point. I am so shocked that such an obviously idiotic system is being allowed to continue and when I looked at the appeal process, it says you can only appeal after the first letter. Except I did not get a “first letter” neither did a lot of people. They wait and send you the £105 fine so that you have no/reduced right to appeal.
      How can the government not notice what this company is doing right under everyone’s noses? and worse than that, they are protecting this bunch of crooks and making sure we all pay them their ransom. They must be having a really good laugh at our expense :(

    • r oakley says:

      I too got caught out on the last day of August in very slow moving traffic. Driving in the far right hand lane in stop/go traffic I only saw the big CS signs, not having driven this way for years I assumed must be to do with the London congestion zone. I was dimly aware that there has traditionally been a toll payable on this crossing but naively assumed that it was no longer in operation as even though I was on the look out for toll signs I or my passenger did not see anything that said payment required. Surely this is illegal?

    • Karen says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Not being from that area and not having used the tunnel for many years, we assumed the lack of toll booths was due to abolishment after the crossing had been paid for, as promised by the Government many years ago, and the the implementation of congestion charge. The signs are absolutely meaningless. We travelled through France, Spain and Portugal without speaking a single word of their languages yet were clearly able to understand the requirements of the tolls including the necessity to stop at the Portuguese border to register for their electronic toll system, also using number plate recognition. After being diverted away from the crossing on our outward journey by our satnav after unintentionally setting it to avoid tolls we endured a horrendous journey through the London area including roadworks diversion to arrive at Folkestone hours later. On our return we went through the tunnel and again, thought the toll had been lifted and followed the flow of traffic thinking nothing more of it. We have now received a fixed penalty notice today fining us the toll charge plus £70 or £35 if we pay within 14 days of the notice. the notice is dated 13th May and today is 3rd June so we are being told we can pay a reduced fine as long as it is paid one full week BEFORE we received the notice. I have contacted DART and been informed there is also a second charge which I have yet to receive for our return journey. I have made an appeal on the advice of the Dart agent – who I have to say, was very helpful – but having read this page am not hopeful about the response. There has to be a way of notifying people that the toll has to be paid for within 24 hours on-line or by phone ONLY prior to using the crossing rather than putting a ‘C’ in a circle which could mean a number of things, especially in that area, I thought it related to congestion charge through London. This has been a very distressing situation which is now making me very angry. We have spent hundreds of pounds paying tolls throughout Europe quite willingly, do they really think we would have a problem with paying through the Dartford tunnel.. I don’t even know how much the toll is, people keep saying it’s £2.50 but we have been charged £3. I’ve just registered to the ‘pay as you go’ system’ but am now concerned after this page that this still won’t be a solution to this matter. Just glad I’m emigrating! At least the toll system in Portugal works and is efficient.

  110. Ria says:

    Hi everyone,
    I used the crossing twice on Sunday 26th July to pop to Bluewater and didn’t realise I had to pay. I missed/didn’t see the signs and it’s only by speaking to friends that I have learned about the new way to pay. I haven’t used the crossing since 2012 so was completely unaware of the new system. I still haven’t received a PCN in the post however I’ve read a few articles stating that I have 14 days to pay the £2.50 (x2) charge if my first time offence? I’ve just made a one off payment on the GOV website for both crossings. Does anyone know if I will still be charged two lots of £35? How long do the PCN’s normally take to arrive. Absolutely gutted, I haven’t used the crossing for several years and now this :(

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – You should be okay on at least one crossing and it’s not certain you’ll receive a fine for the other as you’ve already paid. No need to take that shopping back for a refund, after all…

  111. Luigi del Renzio says:

    Judging by the majority of comments and ‘feedback’ related to the new Dart Charge toll/tax system: I find it disgraceful the public whom the system was designed for and whom seem to be penalised by an ill thought out system and whom also provide pages of good ‘feedback’ – data – which explicitly presents key opportunities for improving the service…

    … then why should the company tasked with providing this ‘service’ not listen to the consumers it serves? I feel some post toll system evaluation is needed!

    (It seems to me the system has been designed to maximise revenues through fining drivers, ironically it seems the company responsible is actually unable to meet ‘demand’, with backlogs stated earlier of 300,000 in December. If the public have paid for the cost of the bridge, the tunnel, what are they now expected to pay for? where do revenues from these fines go? Say for arguments sake, out of those 300,000; 100,000 were second time offenders and paid fines of £35 each that’s £3.5m.)

    PLEASE ADVISE – do these responses ever get reviewed at TOP LEVEL and if so by WHOM and WHEN? I think the public have a right to know.

    • Sharelle Wodehouse says:

      Good Post! Thoroughly agree. I never go to London, I got lost and must have ended up using it but did not realize I had to pay. Absolutely disgraceful that this is allowed to continue. No wonder people slag the government off.

  112. Another Northerner says:

    Caught out along with many others after making the once a year trip to Dover from the North to be bemused by the signage at the crossing – what was going on? Where had the booths gone? No clearer travelling home from our holiday 2 weeks later, then in a moment of curiosity, googling ‘Dartford Crossing’ and finding this hornets nest going on of which I was blissfully unaware. Have managed to pay online and will battle any attempts to fine me, but in an attempt to check what I had paid, I used the beta link above. It asks for a Payment Number which can be found on my email receipt – Now would that be ‘Account Number’, ‘FJ number’, ‘Ref Number – zillions of characters long – ‘or ‘Approved’ number? None of these appeared to work – maybe I hadn’t left enough time to marry up the payment but it would be helpful to know which number I should have used? Dreadful system and unfair on so many levels. A few cash payment booths either manned or automated like the peage and the rest as pre-paid for those who choose to pre-pay would be so much better.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi Isabelle, I toyally agree with the south-centric aspect of the Crossing… and this is reflected in officiall data that shows where account users are registered. As you say, occasional users are highly unlikely to have heard of the changes, let alone registered an account to make sure they don’t forget to pay.

  113. A. Paris says:

    Yet another way to get us to pay money to the government. Originally, there was a toll set up on this road that was supposed to last as long as it took to pay for the tunnel. Then that was continued to pay for the bridge. I don’t believe they haven’t yet been paid for.

    So here are some questions.

    1) What if someone is taken ill and can’t travel on the day. OK so you can use your prepaid charge for up to a year but what if you don’t travel more than once a year?
    2) What happens if you are in an accident and can’t take your car further on the journey?
    3) What happens if your car breaks down and you need to use a different vehicle?
    4) What happens if you change your mind and want to travel during the ‘free’ period of time?
    5) What happens if you decide to travel a different way, missing the toll road altogether?
    In all these cases, you could easily end up paying for a crossing you haven’t used. Because it’s ‘only’ £2.50 a go, you’d probably not make that much of a fuss, but if this happens to a lot of people (which it probably does) what a lot of money for nothing the government gets.
    ….. PLUS a charge of £70 if you don’t pay before midnight should you forget the charge. What if you travel late at night and don’t have time to get somewhere you can pay? What if you don’t use the damn Internet in the first place or don’t have access at home – plenty of country folk don’t!
    The whole thing stinks. What would improve the crossing toll would be to have it as an option for those who know they will definitely use it and leave the old option of paying as you travel for those who hardly ever use the crossing.
    I tried to put some of these thoughts on the Dart comments after paying our toll but the site decided to crash. This seems to be a common occurrence if you tick a negative in surveys lately.
    Oh and as an afterthought, I wouldn’t even have known you have to pay in advance had it not been for friends warning me. If no-one I knew had been ‘caught’ going across, how would I even know I was supposed to pay online?


  114. Simon says:

    Can someone clarify if you have to make the payment going both ways. When we used to pay cash coming back was free.

  115. Werner says:

    I paid £5,- in advance on Monday 27th of 2015 for two crossings. Received confirmation by e-mail.
    When we cross Dartford Tunnel on Sunday 2nd of August and return home on Sunday 9th of August, is the confirmation still valid at these dates or is there a date on which it is expired.
    In other words, did I do it correctly or will I be fined?

  116. Frances says:

    We had friends travel from the Czech republic, they knew nothing about the charge and nor did we. They have very limited English. A friend told them about the charge just before they returned and they decided to use the Blackwall tunnel instead. They were really upset when they found out and wanted to pay but they had missed the deadline. Will they receive a penalty notice in the Czech republic and will they only have to pay the £2.50 charge or be fined £35 or even £70? They were devastated when they found out, it seems very anti- tourist.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – They should be fine as they paid after the event… using the 14-day grace period for first time ‘offences’.

  117. simonetrundle says:

    We went through Dartford bridge Friday 27th July 2015 and I saw no signs explaining any fees the last time I crossed was well over 15yrs ago. Just heard ad on ratio so I’ve gone online and paid the return journey toll fees and keep copy of receipt. It’s six days later from journey but have seen first time crossers are aloud 14 days Grace so can you confirm I will receive no penalty notice please.

  118. Bernie says:

    I made a single crossing and went on line to pay toll of £2.50 , when I pressed payment an error message came on my screen .So I went through the process again this time message read web site closed for maintenance . I contacted my Bank they informed me a payment had been made to Dart Charge . I went to my inbox for my receipt , no receipt This was on 11/07/2015 since then I have made six phone calls and sent three emails all to no avail . Dart Charge on their web site “check for paid crossing” can find no record of transaction thirteen days later .WHAT A FARCE !

  119. chris evans says:

    I have today had two emails from dart-charge.co.uk enclosing receipts for payments made.

    As it is years since I crossed the tunnel or bridge I have deleted both emails on the assumption that it is probably a scam.

  120. L Jefford says:

    It is really too bad. It is hard enough for us Brits, but for foreigners it must be impossible to avoid a fine. Nowhere does it say how much or how to pay. When the barrier lifts and lets you through, unless you are aware of the very small sign on the post you cannot possibly realize that a payment is due.

    • Jacques Bonnin says:

      Spot on about foreigners. thanks for thinking about their plight.

      I got caught on a return trip from Belgium to Hatfield last week end.

      Just impossible to understand this system. Signs are totally useless unless you already know how the system works.

      It’s only the Monday morning that after about one hour I vaguely understood. Customer service close to helpless. I am not sure how long this thing will take to be sorted out.

      That they did not care to better inform the public besides the locals is blatant disregard of the so called “customers”

  121. nishkool_27@**** says:

    Dartford crossing charges should have been more prominent. It is really unacceptable that there are no proper boards/signs/flash boards/ centre display signs other than at the sign of the road which anyone can hardly see if driving. Can this be looked on urgent basis in order to be hassle free and more visible in understanding the same.

  122. natalie says:

    Did a return journey last Thursday and forgot to pay. Honest mistake. Had nice day out and remembered to pay tonight (Saturday). Paid the five pounds and got a email receipt. Am I going to have to pay a pcn. Really worried. Was just a day late.

  123. Stephen Addy says:

    Just found out that you cannot transfer (after paying for a car) one registration to another which I have had to do as the car I was going to use has just got nicked. I know it’s only £5 but Christ this day and age all they have to do is just tap in your Reg change over and all done, out of principal will go between 20.00 and 6.00

  124. Patrick Wareham says:

    I drove a return journey through the tunnel and did the right thing by paying on line the day before. (I have my bank statement to prove it). I received a penalty notice, which was already more than 14 days old, so the first level of increased fine had already been imposed. After spending about 5 hours of my valuable time going round in circles trying to sort it out. I was told that the system did not recognise my number plate because I had typed gaps between the bits. EN GB 553 instead of ENGB553 (German registration) What a terrible sin! Goodness knows what other foreign travellers would think of Britain after this kind of episode, especially if their English is not too good. The tunnel people really need to sort themselves out before they do any more damage to our beautiful Country.

  125. DC says:

    I forgot to pay for my crossing- after an 8 hour drive, it wasn’t the first thing on my mind when I reached my destination!
    So my question is when I receive the PCN, do I have 14 days from when I receive my letter to pay? Or 14 days from crossing the bridge?
    My 14 days from crossing will be up this weekend, so do I need to call them to pay or just wait for the PCN? I can’t afford to pay £70 to cross a bridge…!

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – The 14-day period is applied to the first offence and is from when the penalty arrives. However, you could just pay now and that should do the job. As you say, £70 to cross the bridge is a little over the top.

  126. S. Wernham says:

    My wife and I who live in N. London have just returned from a long weekend trip to Belgium via Folkestone and we crossed the Dartford Crossing, clockwise, for the first time in more than a year. We were surprised not to see the toll booths and we didn’t see a single sign saying a toll should be paid either online or by phone. We saw an enormous traffic jam at the tolls on the other side of the crossing, stretching back many miles, and we speculated that there may just be a toll on the anti clockwise side. It was only whilst in Belgium that we learned that tolls were due in both directions and having looked online we now see a toll should have been paid by midnight on the Friday that we left the UK. I emphasise, we did not see a single sign on our approach to the crossing indicating that a payment was due. All we saw was a large ‘C’ sign with no explanation as to its meaning. We are now expecting a penalty notice. The lack of signage or information is ridiculous. The requirement to pay the toll by the midnight on the day of travel is also unreasonable and in my view is simply designed to ensure maximum revenues for the company in charge of fines.

  127. Mick says:

    Does anyone know the company name and address please as I am trying to start small claims court procedure against them Thanks

    • Pete Barden says:

      The company that operates the toll charging is called Sanef Operations (based in Leeds, I believe). Anyone who’s travelled in France will recognise this name – it’s a sister company of the one that charges for toll roads there…

  128. Ian Bartram says:

    Like all PCN’s they are not fines, they are invoices for alleged breach of contract and are unenforceable. Ignore them completely and any threatening letters. They give up eventually.

  129. Ian Bartram says:

    The new system was obviously thought up by a complete idiot.

    There is no way the HA will be able to go after foreign drivers for penalty charge notice payments.

  130. Fay says:

    And if I don’t pay the £70.00 penalty?…..

    Does anyone know of anyone that has actually had bailiffs at the door or court orders that are actually enforced?

    As with most people on this blog I agree dart charges are ridiculous and I was caught by a set of circumstances that I could not have avoided, lack of signage and being on holiday for three weeks, therefore no chance to pay within the given time limit?

  131. David says:

    A question. Has anyone simply ignored their extortionate PCNs and,if so, what was the end result?
    Just a thought

  132. Richard in Redhill says:

    My wife pre-paid for a crossing in early June. We received the receipt, so all was well, we thought.
    WRONG, we have just received the £70 notice for non-payment.

    Now we have to print a copy of the receipt and mail it to the office in Leeds.
    Tried to do it all on the ‘phone but couldn’t!

    Their mistake, our time and money for postage, paper, ink etc and not a hint of an apology!

  133. Billy says:

    I had only just realised about the charge after stumbling across an article, with a single crossing made at the start of June, within the charge hours. I’ve now set up an online account and deposited £10, but there is no history of my journey under “crossing history”?

    Has this happened to anyone before? Does the online system only log journeys after the account is set up?

    Any advice on what to do here or just wait for a penalty notice…?

  134. Tom says:

    I have recently purchased a new car (second hand) and asked my work to put it on their dart charge account but when trying to add my vehicle the account says that the registration number is already registered.
    How do I take ownership of my number plate rather than having the previous owner pay for the charge?

    • Aziz says:

      I’m having the same difficulty, bought a car last week and can’t add the vehicle on to my account.

      If you find the solution please keeps us updated. thnx

  135. Kingsley Flint says:

    The signage is woefully inadequate, gives no description at all, and when you are concentrating on the usually heavy traffic, and have already travelled hundreds of kilometres from the continent (as in our case, from Switzerland) there is NO WAY that mere road signs can ever be enough to describe the situation. This is frankly irresponsible, cheapskaing by the Highways people. Leaflets should be provided on ferries and the channel tunnel for instance. And what about foreign languages? These people automatically criminalised so many foreign tourists, then the local newspapers pathetically crowed about foreign drivers ‘getting away with it’ in a typical little England way. I am a British citizen living abroad. This was always an insult, this crossing, because there was never even a payment box on the left side for such drivers even before this fiasco.

  136. Stephen says:

    The payment system has been very poorly thought out but as worrying are the delays that have occurred since the new safety system into the northbound tunnels has been introduced a week or two ago. Maybe there are teething problems that will improve traffic flow in due course but for now the traffic queues regularly stretch back to J3 and beyond. You need to allow at least another 20 minutes to your journey if going that way if not more. This doesn’t seem like progress.

  137. Kevin Wailes says:

    Just received the second fine for the return journey that we had paid for so another battle to go through with Dart Charge. In my previous phone conversation with the call centre the operative could not advise me if they had a complaints procedure or not so emailed the Department for Transport and was emailed a copy, when I feel strong enough I will read through it. On another not when did the Highways Agency become Highways England talk about confusing the issue and how much has that cost.

  138. Geoff says:

    This bridge always has been poorly signposted – previously, the first sign warning of an impending toll came beyond the last opportunity to leave the motorway. And what happens if their website is down for 24 hours following your crossing – like it was after the driving licence change fiasco.

    OK, 2 questions:

    What happens if I pre-pay and then have to use a different car?

    You DartSave box above says:

    Get email reminders each time you cross – and seven days to pay: …. and then later says: …. you’ll get free reminders and 21 days to pay – giving you a worry-free holiday.

    Which is it – 7 or 21?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Thank you for your input. I have changed to 21 days.

      Pre-paying and using a different car will result in a fine.

  139. Vince says:

    I have used the crossing once a month and paid in advance using the one of crossing method since December when it opened. Today I received a charge for each and everyone of my crossings???? I have the receipts from Dartcharge to say my payment was approved and the money has been taken out of my bank account. I am now in full stress mode, because I suddenly have a bill for £350, or because I am overseas in Germany, €700.

    Thanks Dart charge for the stress.

    • David says:

      Hi Vince.
      I also live in Germany.
      May I ask what you plan to do? If you simply don’t pay, what further steps can they take?
      I’m appealing, but don’t hold out much hope. Also on the receipt in question there’s no
      reg. no, but now it’s impossible to pay without giving it. What a shambles.
      Am thinking of getting legal advice
      Good luck

  140. Laura Metcalf says:

    I was charged before xmas using the crossing and had a letter in the post, I paid the £2.50. Now I have just received another letter with a £35 fine for last month. However when I go on line to pay I see that there is a fine from before Xmas of £70 which I never received any letter from!! £70? So ridiculous.
    I just phoned up and waited 18 mins on hold only for the phone to be hung up on, phone literally went dead. Phoned back, another ten mins on hold only to be told that there are problems with the system today and could I phone back in an hour, they can’t phone m,e back….though the lady that spoke to me did say to me that problems with fines ‘happen all the time’… then she hung up on me. Thanks dart charge, excellent customer service! How ridiculous. £70 to cross a bit of road.
    No idea what to do now.

    • Kevin Wailes says:

      You need to appeal against the charge by filling in and sending the bottom part of the PCN.
      You could also email the Highways Agency or Highways England as they now call themselves.
      My next step is to contact the minister for transport

  141. MarkS says:

    I headed off to Germany on my hols, three weeks later coming back I notice, by chance, a inner London red C charge symbol out of the corner of my eye. After 7 hours of driving my brain still found this odd so I got the missus to look this up on the internet, apparently I didn’t pay on the way down and I’ve missed the 2 week date for the cheaper fine.

    This is truly draconian! Drop me a note to tell me to pay but hitting people with such a fine so soon after missing this is a joke! I’d never heard of this payment and I spend way to much time on the internet. What a poorly thought through affair. No idea how one of my inlaws, speaking barely a word of English, is supposed to figure this out at 50-70mph!

  142. Dan says:

    I went through at exactly 6am. How on Earth do I know if I need to pay or not?

  143. Roger Thorpe says:

    I correctly pre-paid for two crossings – £5 in total- a week before I drove to France from Nottingham for the grand-children’s half term hols and returned one week later. These are the only crossings made and , now, will ever make. I’d rather drive round the Capital or row the car across the River Thames!!. Guess what – the ‘plonkers’ have sent me a Dart Charge Penalty Notice for the outward crossing with a likelihood of another one for the return! Needless to say I rang the Call Centre to be told they acknowledge my full payment and that “I should forget about the Notices” blaming ‘ probable software issues’ . It could only happen in this daft country. Daft schemes with no one ever held to be responsible for its crazy implementation and to send me a threatening demand for payment for no good reason is unforgivable. Forget it I am NOT.

  144. Kevin Wailes says:

    We used the Dartford crossing for the first time in a lot of years, the last time we crossed we threw the money into a basket at the end of the bridge, we were surprised when we reached the other side, no pay both just some vague signage saying dart charge pay by midnight.

    Had to ring a relative who lives in the area who found the number for us and the web address, tried to pay online, payment failed, rang number paid for crossing and return crossing a week later.

    Went off to France, drove back through tunnel all well and fine we thought.

    On returning home checked bank statement charged for the internet payment and for the telephone payment, rang the telephone number and was told neither payment had been received, they said they would look into it.

    Five days later PCN arrives rang number on letter and the first operative put me on hold then hung up, rang again and get very little sense out of the operative who then tried to give me a refund for a payment he had said they hadn’t received.

    Signage worse than useless, staff need some training and there is very little information on the Directgov site is appaling

  145. David says:

    I live in Germany and yesterday received penalty notification in German from some
    outfit called euro parking collection plc. No German or other address given just bank details
    relating to a bank in Germany. I paid the toll approx. two weeks before the crosing.
    Is this a scam or should it be taken seriously?
    One other question. On the credit card account, the recipient is given as
    GOV.UK/DART-CHARGE. DART-CHARGE IRL Is that what normally appears?

  146. Antya says:

    The whole new Dart Charge system is a shambolic mess! Problem 1: I have received my 4th penalty notice abroad, where I have a holiday home and my car is registered. My car has been registered alongside my husband’s uk car on his dart charge account since it became available. I have made representations, but needless to say these penalty notices are distressing to say the least, not just because inappropriate and threatening court action abroad, but also because they are being sent from Sweden by ordinary mail (not even recorded delivery) despite my asking for email communications, and I may not see them until too late to appeal if I am not at the property they are being sent to! Problem 2: Looking at the website it seems that out of the many crossings we have made in both cars since last December some are not being charged until months later. Problem 3: My husband hired a van and made 4 crossings on 13 and 14 June, yet the crossing history shows crossings with that van 2 months previously! How can we resolve this awful nightmare???

    • Sharelle Wodehouse says:

      I think everyone needs to stand up to this company. It is not like this is happening to one or two people. It is happening to thousands and yet the government is protecting this company and we are being literally bullied into paying extortionate penalties that are out of proportion to the “crime” I mean how many people that have been fined actually saw all the signs and said to themselves. Nah I;m just not going to pay it even though it’s just a couple of pounds I think I will wait to get the huge £105 fine?
      I hope you are able to contest it. I am going to print out all these complaints and take them to court with me.

  147. Jim Wilson says:

    Just a thought, but I was wondering whether the penalty charges would stand up in court. Excessive penalty charges used to be applied to people overstaying their time in car parks, but I understand from various news items that now it is necessary for the car park operator to prove that they have suffered financial loss in order to charge more than the going rate for the extra time a car is parked.

  148. Reuven says:

    and when the waiting time is excrutiatingly long , there is now no way of turning off the charges as there was previously .

    • Pete Barden says:

      Unfortunately, turning off the charges would not make it any faster as in the past. Once all the improvements are complete, the journey times will be considerably quicker – even if the charging system is just as unclear.

  149. Reuven says:

    using the tunnels is every time a traumatic experience. It is a scandal at the time and money invested as well as the extra charges incurred and the traffic flow is just as hellish as it ever was . I AM TRAMATISED BY THE DARTFORD TUNNEL .

    • Pete Barden says:

      Figures show waiting times have improved, but as you say the new system is not well thought through and is causing a huge amount of distress and worry to many occasional users of the Crossing.

  150. Mark Gurney says:

    I am currently writing my third letter as the first one which was written on the 11th of Feb 15 wasn’t replied to, I wrote again on the 4th of March and again no reply, in the meantime I have called 0300 300 0120 so many times that I have lost count…. Admittedly I am partly to blame as I registered my car in December 2014, in January 15, I changed my number plate and didn’t inform Dart Charge, on the 9th of Feb I used the crossing and realised this so phoned them up to tell them of the change, to my horror I owed them £155 in fines as I had made 4 previous journeys and the penny didn’t drop about the new number plate, now this is where I think it’s wrong, still to date I haven’t received one single PCN informing me of any fines which of course would’ve jolted me into amending the details and paying a much lesser fine.

    Every time I call 0300 300 0120 I have to explain the situation all over again and get nowhere, to date I estimate that I have spent around a working day chasing this up, after the first phone call I was assured that if I put in a representation I would be refunded in full !! they shouldn’t be able to treat people this way it’s outrageous.

    Please someone help !

  151. Heather says:

    I just received two PCNs for two journeys in April which I paid for online. What I massively resent aside from having to appeal is that I have to do it by post and pay the postage too. What a ludicrous and stupid system. Oh and the website doesn’t work on iPhones either. Good work Department of Transport.

  152. Charles Rudge says:

    For quite a few weeks there was no charge. I recall a sign clearly stating this. We have travelled several times and assumed that because of the absolute mess with rebuilding and rearranging the lanes, the Department of Transport didn’t have the cheek to demand any toll payment. There are no signs saying what has been going on. It looked as though new barriers were being installed. Then today I received a fine notice from the 9th May saying I haven’t paid the toll charge. This is going one of many because every week end in May I have used the crossing. It is outrageous that the public is ‘expected to know’ the new arrangements. The crossing is always congested, the lanes are very unclear, there is no time to look around for inconspicuous notices advising the unsuspecting motorist, you cannot just ‘stop’ and ask for information. This is a revenue maximization exercise which simply makes everyone angry and despair how the country is being managed.

  153. Kenny Morris says:

    I didn’t forget to pay……… I didn’t realise you had to pay until a work colleague informed me so. This is disgusting and although I have paid now almost 4 weeks after I went traveled through the crossing, should I receive a fine I will bloody challenge this through the courts. How the hell can you pay a charge when there is no signage or information directing you to do so. Be aware who ever instigated this service … you are leaving yourself liable. Information must be received and understood by anyone in order to charge someone for a service ….this is a fundamental right under law. The crossing service fails this fundamental by not informing people prior to or after they cross.

  154. Carlo Margaritelli says:

    Just received a PCN notice for using the crossing and not paying. A Couple of things which are strange. I have a dart tag account and updated it with my new vehicle back in Nov14(the vehicle being under Peugeot contract hire) and the account was in credit and still is. I used the crossing once and assumed payment would be taken. How wrong was I. I Just recently received the PCN from Peugeot contract Hire. I went onto my Dart tag account, which was and still is in credit, with no money being taken from the account. The car reg number on my account to their PCN was correct, however, my journey over the crossing is nowhere to be seen on my crossing history.
    Does anyone know if there is any issue with the dart tag charging system and me and my vehicle which is under contract hire?
    As this happened to anyone else?

  155. Clive Temple says:

    I have tried to resolve a PCN but deaqling with this organisation is almost impossible. I have phoned on numerous occasions but the link numbers go dead. In the end I reached a very helpful lady from the Highways Authority but have heard nothing since. Today I made a payment of £2.50 but when I tried to followup making reference to the PCN, the website crashed on me. It seems you can’t speak to someone because the telephone system doesn’t work and nor does the web. I can’t find an email, although I dis tweet last Friday to alert the organisation that the phone lines do nor work. We thought we had acted in good faith having tried to sort out an account. To receive notice of a £70 penalty notice is more than excessive, especially when the system amd processes are not robust. The helpful lady from the Highways Agency admitted as much. So we have paid the £2.50 and we hope they reconcile this against the original crossing, We have tried our best but the whole set-up appears to be far from fit for purpose. Qhy can’t we have manned booths back?

    • Pete Barden says:

      It is a very frustrating system where making a payment does not mean you won’t be fined. We’ll be putting a new feature together that looks at this sort of thing – and holding those responsible to account.

      • Derry says:

        We have just received a penalty charge notice for a crossing we made on the 25-04-15, we paid the £5-00 for the two way charge & have the receipt. Is there anyway we can send this by email as we do not want to have the inconvenience of printing my receipt, filling out the back of the form, putting it in the envelope provided & to add insult to injury paying for the stamp & having to make a journey to the nearest post box to send it off. Plus the fear that if the initial payment has been ‘lost’ despite having the receipt what guarantee is there that this posted letter will be dealt with in the correct manner??

  156. Tim Bourne says:

    I opened a Dart Charge account on 16th May at which time I paid £20 which was duly debited from my credit card account on the same date. However, this amount was never credited to my Dart Charge account, which now (1st June) shows a balance of -£3.34 after two crossings on 23rd May. I have phoned the “help” line 3 times (+ several times more and didn’t get through) and each time was told that there was a note against my account confirming that £20 had been paid and was being “looked into”. I have repeatedly been told that they can’t tell me how long this will take to resolve or if it’s a common problem. I have received no other communication from by email. I did receive a prompt response to an email I sent to sanef Tolling, simply to be told that they were not responsible for charges and that I should contact sanef Operations This is an appalling level of service.

  157. Johno says:

    Further to my post on the 23 May, my PCN for £35/70 was followed by a warning letter for the second offence on the same day! This gave me the opprtunity to just pay £2.50 for the second offence; I rang the contact centre 0300 300 0120 explained that I’d got one PCN and one warning letter and he let me pay £5.00 for both offen

  158. Gaynor Hookings says:

    I received a penalty notice on the 10th February 2015 for a crossing made on the 22nd December 2014 – it appears they had one digit wrong on my car registration details on my account when it was transferred over in November so therefore they never took my toll even though I was in full credit with my Dart Tag Account. I made an appeal and representation dated the 2nd March and despite me providing all the various details/information and call logs I have had no reply – there is no contact number to chase as I am told any Appeals are actually passed over to a debt collecting agency. I have a company car and I have been informed the £70 has been taken from our company bank account sometime ago – very frustrating – any tips on how we can take this further??

  159. Mohammed says:

    I have paid the fine on the 30.03.15 and on that day I was crossing the dart bridge, today they have sent me a penalty charge notice, I went to the bank to find out if the payment was paid, it was paid and still they have sent me an penalty notice, what do I do or who do I say, what an unorganised system they got in place

  160. Liana says:

    I topped up my prepaid account with £10 in the beginning of April and my bank account was debited the next day. However a week later I received an email to say my account was at £0 and would be closed. I have phoned on 3 occassions and have even been told to be patient as they only have 3 people in the accounts department. I have also posted proof of the money being debited from my bank account but still it has not been credited to my DART account and refunded to me.

    I have been informed that they do not have a complaints policy, so what do you have to do for them to give you money bacj or credit it to your bank account?

  161. JohnO says:

    Yesterday I got a PCN and like others am nonplussed as I didn’t see any signage about payment and as the booths which I’d used to pay back in 2012 were gone I’d assumed that payment had been abolished.

    I’m disgusted that the Dartford Crossing management should use the same tactics as the cowboy clampers ie inadequate signage. Worst of all the Dartford Charge scam appears to have the blessing of the Department of Transport. I will be writing to Mr McLoughlin the Transport Secretary asking he cannot permit this scam to continue.
    Has anybody appealed successfully on the grounds of inadequate signing?

    What is happening to our wonderful country?

  162. Terry says:

    I received a PCN last week for a crossing made 15th feb.I crossed twice and paid £5 by phone that evening.When i rang to complain i was told my car was caught twice by the system on the return journey and it was a mistake,but i still had to appeal.I’ve posted an invoice and fee schedule to them for any further dealings.A contract is a TWO way thing.I contracted to use “their” crossing and kept my part of the deal by paying.They have broken their part by fraudulently demanding further payment with menaces therefore i demand money from them.It’s a ridiculous system and anyone who has paid just to “keep the peace” when they had already paid or have been double charged like me is a coward and is facilitating these rip offs.Bully’s don’t retreat until you stand up to them.I’m embarrassed to be considered english (it dosen’t warrant a capital letter) when i see how the vast majority roll over and accept being shafted by any jumped up nobody who declares they have some mystical authority over them.These filth make the rules and still can’t abide by them!

    • Derry says:

      Well done Terry, we have had a similar experience & found your letter inspiring. We are considering doing the same thing but have not got the time to do an invoice, just wondered how you got on, did it get quashed & did they pay your
      invoice? Perhaps you could do a template for your invoice that could be downloaded & maybe add a small charge for your time (or a charitable donation) & maybe all of us have our day in court?

      • Terry says:

        Hi Derry.
        As of today (19 th june) i have had no response to my letter/invoice which i posted registered post and was signed for/delivered to remove any non delivery excuses from the table.Like yourself i am very busy currently,but i will pursue the matter as and when i get time.Unfortunately laws and regulations are not there as most believe to ensure justice,but to protect and maintain “the system” which in turn is there to protect and provide for the self appointed “elites” who parasite off the common man (……and woman, before i’m accused of sexism lol).As such i don’t expect any justice or compensation,but i intend to be an annoying and very vocal serf and applaud anyone who does the same.”United we stand,divided we fall” as the saying goes.

  163. Nicola says:

    We have just got a Dart Charge letter through the post to say our car was on the road on 6th April 2015 at 7.13pm. Our car at that time of night on that date was parked on our drive up here in TELFORD, SHROPSHIRE. So I want to know how the hell our car’s reg has been noted to being down in Dartford when it was up in Shropshire???????

    There is no where on the letter to give the reason to refuse to pay because our car wasn’t even in that area of the country. Taking it to our local police tomorrow to see what they say

  164. tom says:

    We’ve just found out about this latest tax scam/trap .. for going over the bridge on 3rd May in a hire car, without seeing ANY notification / signs / warnings on the approach roads stating that we had to pre-register or pay online. I’ve not been across it since July last year and that time we didn’t pay either and believed that somehow they assume we would be going back home via the tunnel where there is/was toll booths. Anyway, we’ve only just found out via the hire company on 21st May that a £70 fee reduced to £35 is being demanded. But the hire company have had no written notification or PCN style tax-grab letter and they only found out about out hire car when calling Dart Inc to deal with another hire car problem and they were told a list of reg numbers over the phone, but no written letters have been sent. So how am I supposed to be able to respond to the 14 day “special offer” for first offenders and sort this out ?!? Its scams like this that really make my bloody boil and I’d quite like to have a vigorous chat with the faceless weasel who thought this scheme up as it seems geared to raising more money overall rather than all the excuses stated as to why the scheme exists. Perhaps the Daily Wail should get on the case and expose this latest scam as its identical the cowboy parking ticket scams going on. And what is the £70 fine for ? breaking a contract I didn’t realise I had entered into ???

    • Rose says:

      rang & paid the £2.50 bcos there was no option to pay just £2.50 online, apparently the registration had been wrong even tho we both checked it as ok. 0 instead of O, then the prison wardens voice said there’s another charge to pay for the journey that morning, only had PCN warning letter for evening, I said no letters been issued for morning journey, she said there will be (it’s been 8 days before the evening one was sent) so I had to pay £40, basically they took 2.50 for the evening warning letter then 37.50 for the ‘offence’ before the warning letter !!!
      She offered me an email receipt then didn’t send one, I wonder why? I guess it was too complicated to try & say I’d been CONNED ! Oh & NO REFUND ON ORIGINAL £5.00 I’d paid even tho that registration # does not exist, blood boil yes, but unless you can afford to take them to court what can you do?

  165. Julie says:

    I set up an account in April, the £10 I paid did not show on my account, the next week they took another £10, yesterday they took £18.93 and today they have taken a further £30.06, none of this money is shown on my acc, it is totally ridiculous what is going on

  166. Egle says:

    Hi ,
    I just don’t get it , we went tru the tunnel and there was no sign or something that we still have to pay , how some people have to know this changes if they going there ones a years or even less , and then after some time you get the letter with the fine , so excuse me but its so unfear ,why I have to pay this if for exsemple I’m not reading English news and I don’t get any other information about this changes because I’m not living in London , so what a normal people for real will pay this ??? Looks like it’s done just to earn more money from people like this.

  167. Rose says:

    Hugh do let us know how you get on pls, I’ve decided I will pay the £2.50 bcos i once had to pay over £700 for a parking fine I’d appealed & I had parked genuinely lawfully with evidence from a solicitors office too & photographicly, they just don’t want to know. I will also apply for a refund for the original money for the crossing, I have that evidence.
    If you ring them they maybe able to tell you the PCN number.

  168. Emma Turner says:

    I used the tunnel on Friday 15th May around 10 am. I completely forgot about paying and realised at 4 pm today (Sunday 17th May). I went straight on to the website and did a one off payment. The car I was using is a hire car, do I need to notify them about this? What if the car has previously been through the tunnel and someone else missed the payment? Should I phone up to clarify my situation? Please enlighten me.

  169. hugh says:

    I prepaid but typed the reg no. wrong! I have the receipt & have appealed the PCN ….is there any point or is my fine for a typo gonna get huge????
    PS. sent off the PCN to appeal, so can’t pay now as I don’t know it’s number!!

  170. Rose says:

    The charge is for the second trip btw which was 7 1/2hrs after I’d paid.

  171. Rose says:

    Hi, borrowed my b/f’s car, paid £5.00 just hours b4 my trip on 1st April 2015, today 6 weeks later had a PCN for ONLY 1 trip, so by their reckoning I paid for 1 & not the other, I paid a total of £5.00 in one transaction though, they say He owes £.2.50 or fines, eh !!!
    I have an email receipt with the registration (although the font they’ve used the O & 0 look the same) for the £5 & my bank statement says ive paid £5.00 taken out on the 2nd April
    Just worried now although I have the evidence to appeal they’ll still reject it, he doesn’t want me to pay the £2.50 on principle. I too have the registration of a 0 & an O, I know I definitely put these in correctly & I got him to check at the time but their system couldn’t find the car so I carried on & used the option where you manually type in the details, even if this was an error it doesn’t explain why I only got a PCN for one way, in the photo they’ve sent it could be any car (just not clear) & indeed there were 2cars in the picture.

    HAS ANYONE OUT THERE APPEALED & WON or had the same experience?
    Shall I just pay it even though they maybe scamming people & making millions £££s more per year?

  172. Ju says:

    Hi there
    Totally shocked at receiving a penalty charge for a crossing made 13 March in a lease car. It was dated 5 May. There were no signs clear at all on approach to the crossing how on earth are people who do not know the area supposed to have a clue what is going on. I have never been that way before- live in the west of England and as far as I can see it is a total absolute shambles to not let the general public know they have to pay then send a ridiculously priced charge. I am planning to appeal any suggestions on the grounds as those listed are very limited and do not take the human into account. Are they supposed to send the letter within 28 days and /or give a 14 day opportunity to pay ( that is 14 days while knowing about the system?)
    On behalf of everyone who has been bemused and frustrated by this I intend to fight my corner as if we all stand by nothing changes once again a failure for our roads
    Thanks for your help

  173. Che says:

    Please can someone shed some light on my situation?

    I have been using the Dartford crossing toll charge route this week to get to work and also to go home. It is my first time using this route since I first started my job. I forgot to pay before midnight for my route yesterday. And managed to pay at 3am this morning. However, here is the issue: to my surprise I have been hit by the information on the comments that the toll charge is 2.50 both ways!! I honestly felt that the toll charge was like the congestion charge – a one off payment. Each time I had entered my registration number online to make payment it only came up with 2.50 to pay. Why did it not display 5.00 to pay.

    I have not received any Penalty Charge Notices and in light of this I have topped up 30.00 in my dartcharge account. Will I be fined 70?? Or 105?? Also can they not take the money I owe for my return journeys from my account automatically? Can I call them up to pay my outstanding return journey fees?

    Thank you in advance.

  174. Janet says:

    I received a penalty notice in the post today, 6 May, for an alleged crossing on 27 March. I live in Scotland and have never used this crossing. Interestingly the car in the photograph is a BMW yet my car is a honda. At first I was worried that someone had coined my plates, but it looks more like a mistake in the plate recognition. Called dart and was told to send in representation to avoid paying, but I had to point out that will cost me materials and postage to correct their mistake. They don’t care. They also told me to report it to the police which I then did, costing me another couple of £ on the phone. I’m really not happy and intend to make a complaint.

    • Pete Barden says:

      You should send them a bill – for a reasonable amount – and request compensation. Please let us know if you do.

  175. Guy Reynolds says:

    I set up a prepaid account back in January and registered both my vehicles a car and a motor caravan so both class B. Last month I drove Southbound on the way to France in the Motor Caravan and the a week later Northbound on the way back. Miraculously the vehicle manged to change classes between being registered and then travelling southbound and then again when travelling Northbound. So went B-C-B and my statement shows two different crossing charges for the same vehicle. It has now taken longer to correct the mischarge than it ever took to get through the tollbooth when they were maned by real people.

  176. Ailsa Hall says:

    As a follow up to my earlier comments, I have now spoken to my credit card provider who confirmed that payment was taken. However I have not received a receipt and therefore have no proof of this payment. This system is not fit for purpose.

    • Pete Barden says:

      I don’t think you’re alone in your verdict.

    • AAVS says:

      this just happened where I work. we rarely use the crossing to no point in opening an account. a couple of days ago we paid for our van to do a return journey – same thing as you, “error on server” message, no payment confirmation, no receipt. We even waited until end of day in case an email turned up…nothing. So we paid it again, as we didn’t want to receive a fine – this time a receipt was received. Guess what 2 days later our account has been debited twice, but we only have one official receipt !!!!!

  177. Ailsa Hall says:

    I have tried twice to set up an account but the system throws me out once I have entered the business address details. I tried to make a one-off payment and “an unexpected error” occurred after I had entered my credit card details so I now have no idea whether I have paid or not. am I expected to wait for a fine? Surely you need a system that works but you put it in place

  178. Zoe Berry says:

    I received two letters this morning for a crossing I made 30th Dec 2014! I had paid in advance and received a payment receipt.
    However, they are saying it was never paid and expect me to pay the fines.
    I have tried ringing them to speak to someone, I have been cut off three times before I could speak to anyone and the time I tried by going through their payment line(thought they’d have someone to speak to me there) the woman just said I can’t help you, you need to write and make a representation!
    I never set up an account it was a one off payment, I’ve tried to check my receipt against their website and put in every ref number I can find on it but it doesn’t come up with anything.
    My reg is EO09 so I’m thinking that the reg maybe have been put in incorrectly but as no one will talk to me I don’t know what to do.
    I’m tempted to just pay their stupid £5 fine but then they’ve had two lots of money out of me but this sort of thing worries me sick and I just want it put to bed. Does anyone have any ideas please?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – This sounds typical of complaints we’ve received on this site. It must be extremely frustrating. Put all the details down, with your receipt number and send off saying you will not pay and will not accept any fine. If you have paid, you should be okay. Be patient, their system seems to be struggling.

  179. Iris Hall says:

    I received a PCN in April for a crossing I made in December. I went through the tunnel on my way to Southend and and came back over the bridge the next day. I went onto Dart Charge when I got home and it was asking for £2.50 which I paid. When the PCN came through I wad to say the least angry as I had been on the computer to pay at the time of crossing. I paid the PCN and paid the £2.50 in total £40.00. I am now battling to get a refund. Its seems that they are happy to take the money but not to happy in giving it back.

  180. John says:

    You get charged for crossing South bound, do you also now get charged for crossing North bound. which you didnt before these changes?

  181. GFB says:

    Received notification from car hire company today for an unpaid crossing made on 16th Feb!!
    Yes we did make a crossing that day and we phoned to make the payment. That evening only to be told that there was no record of our crossing on the system. I reconfirmed our registration and the guy checked again but still found nothing. He advised this does happen and basically I had got away with a free crossing.
    Late payment charge was £2.51 so not bothered by that but this just goes to further demonstrates the flawed system that is in place.
    If only there was a viable alternative then the current operator would be out of business very quickly.

  182. carlos says:

    brilliant way to annoy everyone ….
    I happen to know it is illegal , in this country ,to fine someone without giving them the opportunity (at the point of the fine , NOT on appeal) to appear in court with mitigating circumstances. it is in the 1668 bill of rights and still stands , unless someone knows different.
    I am lucky in that i dont have to go near the crossing again.

  183. tony says:

    Sorry i meant april 22nd i received non payment letters not march for crossing in dec 4 times on one day i did pay…..

  184. tony says:

    Used crossing in dec 4 times in one day payed at post office on time……… yesterday i received 4 letters march 22 one a warning letter that i had not paid hunted for receipts cannot find this is 3mths after i used crossing i payed cash at the post office doubt i will find my receipts now hoping post office might

  185. Jon says:

    Just to add to my earlier post (April 11th) I have now received the second penalty charge, as expected, for my return trip. The notice was issued 11 days later than the first for a journey which took place six hours later so that gives some indication of the backlog they must be working through!

    I suppose I should start with the good news: ALL CROSSINGS MADE BEFORE THE ISSUING OF THE FIRST PENALTY NOTICE CAN BE PAID FOR AT £2.50/CROSSING (apologies for the overuse of upper case).

    The bad news, the above is apparently a closely guarded secret – or at least you’d think so from the second penalty notice. Nowhere in the second notice does it state that the penalty can be settled by paying just £2.50. In fact, the enclosed payment slip gives two tick-box options:
    – £37.50 if paid within 14 days of date of service
    – £72.50 if not paid within 14 days of date of service

    Only if the payment is made online at http://www.gov.uk/dart-charge does it become evident that you can pay just the £2.50. This is either very incompetent or a snide attempt to make people pay more than they are required to.

  186. Rod says:

    My daughter has just received two penalty notices and a warning latter for crossings she made on December 21st! 4 months to the day later!!
    She definitely paid the day before, by Debit Card, and has the bank statement to show it, debited on the 22nd as the 20th and 21st were a weekend.
    Being so long ago, she has deleted the receipt email.
    Is there a customers services phone number as it would make sense to talk to someone rather than try to print off loads of bank details and have to post them and write a covering letter.
    Receiving these penalties this long after the event is a joke!

  187. Pat King says:

    I have pre-booked a crossing for an employee using a company credit card.
    I have rung up twice simple for a receipt of this transaction.
    Promised it would be email to myself still waiting a month later.
    I dont want to ring them again, its such a waste of time and money.
    Has anyone had the same problem and found a solution?!!!!

  188. Sarah says:

    I have read all the messages with interest. Try being a business and dealing with the Dart Charge. The website was designed by a 4 year old. You cannot check your balance and they are now telling us they cannot tell us any information on some fines we have paid as they are goverened by Data Protection!!!!!!!!! We spend circa £5k a month with them and I can truly state I have never dealt with such a moronic bunch in my life! They have also told us the system they are using in in alpha which I understand to mean if not really safe and has not been passed as being fully operational! We hire and dehire vehicles all the time and the system will not allow you have start and finish dates or anything!

    All I can say if God help us all!

    • Pete Barden says:

      I can imagine the amount of lost time and wasted money this system causes for business users such as yourself. It seems amazing that it would have been signed off.

  189. Hollie Taylor says:

    I crossed yesterday 19/4/15, It was totally by accident as I forgot to tell my husband to come off at junction 30. So we went over the bridge turned around and came back in the tunnel. Now we are both from Milton Keynes, I have probably used the dartford crossing 5 times in my life and not since about 2010. With this in mind I still knew that the toll payment had moved to be online as it was plastered all over the radio. Also I don’t drive regularly, I cycle to work and my car is a town run around, once a month I take it over to Grays to see my best friend. Anyway more importantly I created a Dart account added £10.00 which has been credited and I have not had any money removed, there is no history of my crossing. So after all this I also got it for free it looks!

  190. John says:

    Got a penalty charge notice after paying on line the same day! Now i have to prove it, which is easy to check my on line statement but why should I, its there system which is at fault not mine.
    Dart charge can’t even be bothered to check there own accounts before sending out Penalty Charge Notice. a complete Bunch of Cowboys ill see them in Court. No point talking to them is a waste of time and money.

    • Pete Barden says:

      It seems their systems are starting to groan under the weight of unpaid – and paid – crossings. Major upgrade needed, I would imagine.

  191. James says:

    Hi I’m getting charged for cossings going back 3 months surely if they give you 48 hours to pay they only have 48 hours to charge you they didn’t debit my account for over three months. Can’t be one rule for them.

  192. Lee says:

    Hi. really useful site. I crossed the bridge on Good Friday, and used the tunnel the following Tuesday. I had no idea when using the bridge that I had to pay, but admit that on the Tuesday I figured out I would have to pay for the tunnel, but with coming back from holiday and work forgot. So I assume I have 2 fines coming. Will they class both of these as “first offences” and let me pay the 2 x £2.50 crossing, or will only 1 count as a first offence and the second I will be whacked with this fine (which is obscene)? Thanks

    • Pete Barden says:

      Sorry – but it is, as you say, just the one crossing that will fall under the 14-day rule. However, you might fall through the net as some people have reported the system does not seem to be working.

  193. dave says:

    I feel really stupid I never knew what’s so ever that I had to pay before hand on crossing the tunnel, until my mother told me last night. I live in wales and never knew this. I came around the M25 clockwise heading for romford. We decided to go out to chessington zoo and went through blackwall tunnel and on our return decided to come back through dartford tunnel only to find that we couldn’t pay at a booth . It was only when I told my mother what happened is when I found out. What I want to know is will I be fined.

    • Pete Barden says:

      If you only went through the Dartford Crossing once, then you should get a notice giving you 14 days to pay the original toll of £2.50. Could be a lucky escape, but it’s only on the first ‘offence’. Hope it works out.

  194. Jon says:

    It looks like I’m one of the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions by now, of people caught out by this. Having made a return crossing on 14th February I received a letter today.

    Living in Leicestershire this was the first I’d heard of it. I don’t live in a bubble – my wife and I both read newspapers and news websites – but it’s never been on our radar. Upon doing a web search this site – six down beneath all the official government sites that are very low-key on the changes – was the first explicit reference to the payment system being changed.

    I suppose I should be grateful for the “first offence” reprieve although I’m still unclear if I’ll be receiving a second letter for the return crossing.

    Also, thank-you Pete Barden for taking the effort to explain this. You seem to have single-handedly done more to advertise the changes and answer people’s questions than our entire civil service.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – and thank you. It is a pretty poor service by the official bodies that should be flagging this up. We will keep pushing to get the signs improved and actually explain what is going on. Let us know if you get a second letter. Thanks again.

  195. FS says:

    TOTALLY UNFAIR and really upset about this Dart Charge. Returned from Europe to the UK beginning of January – seemed like there were roadworks or something (we had no knowledge of the new system) so we followed the flow of traffic thinking there was no charge due to roadworks!!! we didn’t see any signs or if there were, missed them because we were confused as to what was going on!!!! Then received the letter clearly automatically sent out but received it late as still not back at home address… appealed with a personal letter of explanation (of course, can’t actually TALK to anyone about our appeal because now we are in the system and have become just a number!!!!) which they clearly did not read anyway, due to return address specifications and guess what? Declined. So now hit with a massive charge for a simple HUMAN error. What is the world coming to????? Are we humans or flippin robots? So cross as can’t do anything about it as can’t even talk to anyone. Have to write another letter, but what’s the point in that? So have paid an extremely unfair £70 charge for an honest mistake. Frankly this modern world is insane and rather a depressing reflection on the human race and what we call progress.

  196. Laurence Simpson says:

    I passed through the Dartford tunnel on monday 23rd March and totally forgot the crossing charge , I had an Irish Hire car that was only 5 days on the road . Would it be recognised by anpr and will I have to pay a Fine , I am on a pension an d do not have a lot of disposable income for this ??????????

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hello – The hire car will be recognised I am afraid and the hire car company will most likely take the money from your credit card. However, the first time you use the Crossing and forget to pay will result in a 14-day grace period to pay the original toll. Use one of the methods on this page to pay it now and you should be okay… providing the car had not previously used the Crossing driven by someone else who forgot to pay. Hope this helps.

  197. Aslam says:

    For the first time I crossed the Dartford crossing on my way and back. As advised I created a dart account and topped up £10. However I’m not sure if it will automatically deduct from my account for the same day journey or should I make a payment manually? I don’t see an option to pay or any records within my account. Please advise. Thanks.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hello – providing you created the account ahead of the trip, or within the normal payment time then you should be okay. However, if it was beyond this time limit they may well impose a fine for the return trip (if the first crossing was your first in the vehicle). Hope that’s a bit clearer.

  198. gareth says:

    this system is mad and really not thought through . it just assumes everyone has the internet to be aware of these changes. its mad. its not progress. and god help you if you speak to keeley . she probably spells her name khealie!!

  199. deepsubs says:

    I have a prepay account (I use the crossing around four times a month), which I top up manually with £10 whenever it runs low. Since January however, when I last topped it up, I have not been charged *once* for any of my daytime crossings! My account crossing history doesn’t record any crossings made by me since 18th January, even though I’ve definitely used it several times since that date during the charging hours.

    What’s going on? Is there a problem with the cameras? Are they switched off at certain times? It doesn’t appear likely, given all the comments about fines above! And before anyone asks, no, I am not using a fake or dirty registration plate.

    I suppose I should be pleased that I’m being allowed to use the crossing effectively for free. But I now have £9.98 stuck in my DART prepay account, which I can’t access (nor would I, just in case they start charging me again!).

  200. Charlotte Clements says:

    Hi, I went across back in December having paid. Although I didn’t receive a confirmation email the money came out of my bank account so I assumed all was ok.
    Today, 3 months later I have received 6 penalty notices! 2 for the out going journey, both at the same time and , 4 for the return journey, again all at the same time. So, I phoned Dart Charge and the card I paid on doesn’t match my number plate…leaving me in deadlock and 4 fines to pay for crossing I couldn’t have made and 2 for crossing I have already paid for.
    I asked for a supervisor to give me call back by my issue was a relevant reason.
    Any ideas anyone? I am at a loss as to what to do.

    • Pete Barden says:

      I am sure that the supervisor will be able to shed a little more light on the matter. If not, I would put the complaint in writing. I am sure that sense will prevail on this one. The system appears to be hugely overloaded. Keep us updated.

  201. Wendy says:

    Hi. I used the bridge on Saturday 28th March 15′ to drop my car off in Kent and collect a new car using the tunnel on the way back to Hertfordshire the same day. Having no internet or facilities to pay the toll straight away due to a fault with my provider, i eventually managed to pay online for each crossing/registration number in the early hours of this morning, but was 5hrs past my deadline. It took my payment as “successful” and emailed me for both crossings, and i phoned the 0300 number at 6am, and was told this should be ok and not trigger a penalty notice. Do you think this will be the case as it requested the standard £2.50 for each crossing/registration when paying???

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – you should be okay on this as both trips were in different cars from the sound of it. Each new vehicle has a 14-day ‘grace’ period to pay on its first crossing. Remember, you will be open to get a charge next time. Have a look at our other Dartford feature on ways to be late payment and fines at the Crossing. There is a good tip on setting up a proximity alert to remind you to pay when you cross the bridge or use the tunnel.

  202. Rick says:

    Traveled back from Germany on December 27th in my German registered car and totally unaware of any new payment system in operation! Although there must have been something, I also did not notice any signs warning of a new payment scheme, Then last week I received a fine, written in German and sent to my German home address! What the heck, I thought! It seems that if I pay the crossing fee, they will waiver the fine – this I have done, let’s see.
    A real lack of signage and information leading up to the crossing, and *very* confusing if you are a non-native, which I am not!
    To the other chap who posted that all them there foreigners get away with the fines……oh no they do not!

    • Pete Barden says:

      We agree – the signage is pretty awful. You should be ok, as the first ‘offence’ is covered by the ‘waiver’ you mention if paid within 14 days. However, this will not apply for any subsequent trips you make, so be careful. We hope they’ll update the signs very soon, though.

  203. Charlie says:

    I travelled and returned through the crossing on Sunday 22 March and only realised when I woke up this morning that I forgot to pay! I paid straight away once I realised, being 6 hours after the deadline. Am I going to get a fine for this? If not, will I be fined for the return journey? It literally completely left my mind and £35 is quite harsh for an honest mistake!

    • Pete Barden says:

      You will be okay for the first trip – as it counts as a first offence – but it is possible you’ll get a fine for the return trip. However, the system is so overloaded you may escape it as you have subsequently paid for both trips.

  204. Erica says:

    We used the Dartford crossing to go to Cambridge and then again to get home but forgot to make the payment before midnight. Is there any way we can make a back payment? Because we used the crossing twice will it still be classed as a first offence?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – The second crossing could be open to a fine. Going online and paying might help avoide this, but we can’t guarantee it. Hope you’re in luck.

  205. Tracey says:

    I travelled through the Dartford crossing on the 7th Feb. I paid my toll charge on Sunday the 8th of £5. Today I received a penalty notice for £70 for failing to pay in time. Now I have checked my bank statement the payment didn’t go out of my account until the Monday 9th. Am I in the right to argue my case? its not my fault the payment wasn’t processed until the 9th? Do they not take payment at the weekend?

  206. Helen says:

    We crossed yesterday afternoon, heading south. There was a chicaine [sp?] and NO signage at all. No barrier, nothing.

    I’m hoping that we have not been charged, but is this the case, and how can I find out if we now owe for a crossing?

    We live abroad, and use the crossing now and again, so don’t want to set up an account, it seems that account holders have a crossing history.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hello – You will more than likely need to pay the charge. The system is automated and there is nothing to directly say ‘you’ve just been charged’ so avoid a fine and pay is our advice.

      • Helen says:

        Thank you for the advice.

        In fact, have just been to the nearest Payzone, thinking that if there was no charge, then they would say “there is nothing to pay.” But no, they said “there is £3.00 to pay” Most strange, as the charge, paid online, for the northbound leg was a standard £2.50.

  207. John Tait says:

    I posted a message yesterday. It has now gone. I thought that I had paid for two crossings on line. My bank account has no record of a payment so far despite me filling in the usual password stuff. Anyone else had this? How long should I wait before trying again?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Maybe it would be easier to make an account and put £10 in it. At least this way you will have proof. The system appears to be overwhelmed to be honest, so the account may be the safest option.

  208. John Tait says:

    I have just paid £5 for two crossings I anticipate later this year heading to and from the channel ferry. Despite filling in the bank security thingy I got a message about server problems. I did see on screen that my payment had been made. However on checking my bank account , no payment is recorded. Is there a lag in the system?

  209. Chris says:

    I have a new 15 reg car. When I try and make a payment online the system says my vehicle could not be found even though I already have the registration document from DVLA. Also my registration number and vehicle come up without any problem on the TFL London congestion site.
    How should I proceed in a situation like this?
    Are Dartford Crossing using a very old database ?
    Any suggestions appreciated.

  210. martin cruttwell says:

    Apart from the fact as many have said that the crossing is already paid for, the morons who thought up this system should be sacked
    I have no idea what the debt collection agency is costing to do its work but given the small charges for crossing hardly value for money when 18000+ foreign drivers have not paid.

    What could be simpler than to have payzone outlets at the motorway service areas(both directions), plus large road signs after Dover telling foreign and indeed British drivers (both directions) that they can buy their tickets at motorway service area.. Oh sorry. Is that too easy to organise without a degree?

    • Pete Barden says:

      We would certainly agree. The system seems to be overwhelmed by people not paying – mostly by accident, I’m sure – and as you say, the collection of foreign driver debt is likely to be futile. Hopefully, the signage will be improved very soon.

  211. Carol Whyte says:

    We came over to UK from France in our French registered car and used the Dartford tunnel 2 weeks ago as the M26, our usual route, on to M25 was closed and horrendous queues on to M25 clockwise before Dartford Tunnel. Saw the signs re the Dart charge but completely forgot to pay. Can we expect a fine notice to be sent to our French home address?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Apparently, yes! If you pay now, however, you could possibly avoid a fine. It will also be a defence later if needed.

  212. Vince says:

    Hi, used the crossing on 10/03/15, paid £5 online to cover the cost the same day, they charged my card twice taking a total of £10 which they will not acknowledge but worse still I find the payment I made they have credited to a crossing made on 13/2/15 which is two days before I bought the car, I’ve no option but to pay another £5 or receive a fine as the the crossing on the 10/03/15 is still unpaid as far as they are concerned, when you pay online there is no option to chose which days to pay for. Made several lengthy calls to customer service which are a complete waste of time and money.

  213. JC Phillips says:

    I genuinely thought I had paid for 2 different cars to go to and from Brighton just after Xmas, I have 2 receipts from Dart Charge that show I paid 2x£5 within a few minutes of each other, What the receipt doesn’t show is the registration of the car you have paid for. So I had no way of knowing I had paid for the same car twice – and thus not at all for 1 car.
    I got a PCN and it offered me the option of paying the original £2.50. As I was so sure I had paid, and had proof of paying , I appealed.
    Today I had a letter saying the appeal has been rejected and that am now liable for £72.50 x 2 . ie a total of £145 ! This is just so outrageous. Nowhere on the PCN, or the letter that came with it, does it state that if I appeal and lose , the option to just pay the £2.50.
    Presumably somewhere in the system I am showing as being in credit for one of the cars I paid for ?
    I just cannot believe at how unreasonable they are being and feel really harshly treated and although I feel I want to appeal further, I won’t. As a disabled pensioner, having to pay this amount is worrying me, let alone any further increased amount if I lose a further appeal. So unjust

  214. Manuel Sarachaga says:

    Hi, I´m flying to Spain to Stansted and then go down to Brighton in a rental car. If I don´t know the reg. number of the car until I get to the airport, is there any way I can pay in advance?

    Do you know if rental car companies have opened accounts so that they receive the charge and the customer pay it back to them when returning the car?

    Thank you very much.

    • Pete Barden says:

      I very much doubt that hire companies will open accounts as the money has to be paid in advance and not on an invoice-type way. I guess you will just have to try and make sure you pay on the day. Sorry.

  215. nicola ruth says:

    Do I have to wait for the penalty notice or can I go ahead and make a payment now – I returned from holiday last week and forgot to pay the charge (I have only myself and jetlag to blame).

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – You should be okay if it was your ‘first offence’. Pay now and forget about it. I know the jet lag feeling, it’s always going to get you.

  216. David says:

    Only travel to Dover ferry and back once a year for holiday.

    Last Sunday (1/3) drove to the ferry and there was what appeared to be lots of construction around the southbound toll area. We did not drive through any booth. I mentioned that the crossing must be free due to construction works. And no signage indicated anything much else.

    I did see perhaps two small signs that had the Inner London ‘C’ on them, but took no notice as we were not going anywhere near the Congestion Zone.

    On the way back north last Friday night, it was late and we were stopped at the toll booths before the tunnel, but presumed that there was no charge due to the time of day.

    In a casual conversation today I was told by my dentist that there is a new charging scheme where the toll has to be paid on line or by phone, and by the end of the next day after crossing.

    Now I have researched it, and found this web page, it looks like I may well receive a fine.

    The major points I would like to make are:

    I had not heard anything about these changes on our news up here (I’m from Nottingham).

    There is no signage that adequately explains that there is a new payment system in place to us folk who only venture down there once a year. Where are the large banners stating what to do?

    I have never so much as had a parking ticket or a speeding point, and I consider this fine to be so grossly unfair and against natural justice. Clearly anyone in their right mind would pay £2.50 if they new they should rather than getting a £35 / £70 / £105 fine!!!

    Why? Why? Why? has this not be published both in advance and set out in large warning signs clearly along the road.

    By the way, I am retired and I consider £35 to be a lot of money. It’s as if this has been deliberately designed to catch people out. This is all so so unfair, it has made me feel really unwell since I found out about it!

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – We agree totally about what you say on the subject of signs and the lack of information, which is why we published this feature last year and have updated it with the latest advice. However, if your first crossing was the first time you’ve not paid it then wait for a letter asking you to pay it within 14 days and you will only pay the cost of the crossing. The Highways Agency is allowing first-time ‘offenders’ this chance to swerve the fine. Second offences will more than likely get charged. However, of your second crossing was between 10pm and 6am, you do not have to pay.Share this feature with friends and help them avoid the fine.

    • mike green says:

      I can only agree with all of your comments. I have never seen such a bad charging system. I crossed the other week and did not see a single sign relating to the charges.Had I not spoken to the friends we were visiting about coming across “for nothing” I would have had a fine. On the way back we LOOKED VERY HARD for signs and saw none!!
      When you cross the Bristol channel bridge you are made very aware of the payments. As a visitor I can only say that it is very bad organisation and signage. I sympathize with all the foreign visitors. The AA and RAC should take Dartford Crossing to task re the signage

  217. Wendy says:

    just a little confused, do you pay for each crossing in a day or is the charge daily like the congestion charge?

  218. Sophie says:

    Hi , I used the dartford crossing yesterday & today , as soon as we got back into the Essex this afternoon , I went to a pay zone store and paid my toll . I’am alittle confused though , I said to the cashier that I wanted to pay for my crossing yesterday & today . But on receipt it says valid for a year from this date ? Does that mean my journey yesterday is not covered , I do. Not want to get a fine as I’m using a friends car and live abroard .

  219. Carol Mason says:

    Hi Used Dartford Crossing for first time since Oct 2014. Bit disconcerting the way the lanes suddenly reduce down to two for the left tunnel. nearly got squished by a bloody caravan being towed on right of us. Tried to pay at a Payzone in a BP garage, staff said their machines not working, go to the next nearest shop with Payzone, hunted around for it could not find it. Went thru tolls today, came home to ring thru the payment, told car is exempt as it’s a motability vehicle. It was, until we bought it last month and it’s now not, and has been taxed. So could not pay £5. What happens now, do they realise it’s been sold on a certain date and is no longer an exempt vehicle? or do we end up with a fine later down the line.

    Payzones are hard to locate, we want to pay cash, don’t like online payments they take just what they want and it takes ages to get money refunded.

    Should be free now anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Pete Barden says:

      Firstly, the access should improve when they finish the work, but the payment system seems to be rather hit and miss.

      In the case of the Motability, I would sit tight and if a fine comes simply explain what you were told and they will cancel it. I think the Highways Agency is aware there are issues and are being quite reasonable about deleting disputed charges at the moment.

  220. Jody says:

    Hi, I set up a prepaid account last month for the funds to automatically debit as as I was planning on using the crossing for a full 10 days. This was fine up until the 6th and 7th Feb where they have not debited my account or showed in my crossing history that I actually crossed.

    Is anyone aware of a fault in the system where you get away with it or will it catch up one day. This is just because my account is in credit and as I am going over there next week don;t want to add more funds if I don’t need to!

  221. Liz says:

    I paid £10 to Dart Tag for renewal of my Local Residence account 10th November 14,(it was due to be renewed by 27th November. I then received a letter from DART CHARGE 15th December saying my Local Residence account had not been renewed and I needed to pay £10 to renew it. Despite numerous phone calls, emails (some of which they deny receiving even though I have a “read receipt”, they have now acknowledged receipt of my bank statement clearly showing payment of £10 in November, they do not know what has happened to the payment, and are insisting that the only way I can avoid penalty’s etc is by paying again! My LR account is still showing 50 crossings with a balance of NIL, and I used the crossing yesterday so no doubt the PCN will be en route. They have said that each time I use the crossing I will have to phone them to dispute a PCN, and the only way to avoid this is by paying again – this is a con or scam, there should be an investigation into who is getting the duplicate payments!

  222. James says:

    I’d like to know what fantastic numb nut of a mathematician worked out charging us £1.67.
    Topping up £10, 3 times over and back and I’m 2p short on the 6th crossing – a great way to collect fines it seems.
    It should cost £1.66 per crossing, not £1.67!

    It’s made worse that after a crossing there and back, you see £6.66 in the account – great it’s designed to perfectly fit 3 times there and back into my £10. Wrong! Here’s your fine!
    Gladly I have spotted this, but how many wont?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi James – This is really awful. I have included your comment within the feature under the ‘get and account’ section. I really can’t see any justification for this. Thanks for pointing it out.

  223. Neil says:

    Hi Pete. If the rule applied then it should still apply and a click of a mouse could temporarily switch off the charging, so I am afraid that your answer does not hold water.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – I am not saying I don’t think it’s a good idea or that they can’t physically turn it off, but the fact remains that turning it off wouldn’t have made the crossing any quicker as they don’t stop you at the barrier. The argument would be that queues would have been much longer under the previous system. I would like it to be free all the time, seeing as that was the original plan when it was paid off.

  224. Neil says:

    I thought that if the queue was over a certain length that charging on the tunnels was suspended. On Wednesday the queue was back to junction five but I was still charged for the crossing. Does anyone know what the situation is re charging when there are long queues.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Well, now that the booths are not actually taking money, the system cannot really be suspended. Research shows the new system has cut delays, so maybe you could have been stuck for a lot lomger… if that offers a crumb of comfort.

  225. debby says:

    So I thought I was planning very well. A couple of weeks ago I opened at DartCharge account. I’ve just got my credit card statement through and it’s taken two lots of £10.!!! How do I get a refund. Also, am I right that if you’ve opened an account like I have – you still need to go online and make a payment of £1.67 – it doesn’t automatically deduct it from you balance as with oyster cards..

  226. Donatas says:

    Hello i this year several times crossed the Dartford crossing but why did not withheld money from my account? will not come to me later penalties for failure?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Were the crossing during chargeable hours? Don’t forget it’s free from 10pm and 6am.

  227. GW says:

    I am from out of country and using a rental vehicle. I forgot to pay as required but did pay within 5 day’s as well as paying for my return trip. Will the rental company receive a penalty notice? or will the system possibly recognise that the payment for both trips were paid. I am sure not having to pay at the crossing is a great benefit in terms of delay’s but I expect there are going to be some very unhappy foreign visitors in the not too distant future! Instruction for them should be much more clearly identified in my opinion.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hello. You might escape the first charge because it was paid within 14 days – the grace period that is currently being given for first-time ‘offenders’. It’s likely the hire car company will get a penalty notice for the second unpaid crossing though. It is widely agreed that signage is poor.

    • Mical says:

      Hello, I have just returned from the UK with the same problem. Crossing with a rented car. How did your story ended up?

  228. Lindsey says:

    I have received a penalty notice for a car which doesnt belong to me, caron picture different model car than mine which was printed on the letter. Reported to police and registration has been read by recognition system incorrectly one letter different. I live over 230 miles away from Dartford.

    • Pete Barden says:

      That’s interesting to hear. The anpr systems used are usually quite reliable. I hope the penalty was cancelled?

  229. dave b says:

    Have finally spoken to someone at Dart charge who informed me that the privately owned and taxed 5 seat 4 door pick up that used to be classed as a car,is now classed as a 2 axle commercial. I have now to send all paper work to the DVLA and get them to alter taxation class to private light goods hopefully.How many other pick up owner are being over charged!!!!

  230. Rob Powell says:

    There must be a reason why they have managed quickly to remove the barriers on the clockwise journey making it much quicker but not the barriers anti-clockwise. Does anyone know why?

  231. Emilia says:

    Do I understand correctly that once I’ve missed midnight I cannot pay the charge until I get a penalty notice? I had someone visit on foreign plates in December, when they were not informed in any way that there is a charge to be made. Not even a bloody leaflet! Just let him through. The second time I found out it’s paid online but it’s past midnight on the day of crossing. So now does he have to wait for a penalty notice to pay his charges?
    Also, I am trying to pay a single fare for a car on foreign plates and it comes up as £6 instead of 2.50! What is going on with this? And how in God’s name are foreigners supposed to know about this weird idea when they cross????

    • Pete Barden says:

      It is confusing full stop! Figures show that 300,000 drivers failed to pay in December alone and I suspect the poor signage was to blame. Forward this feature to any future visitors and urge them to pay in advance.

  232. Dennis says:


    Well to say this new dart charge scheme has been a massive surprise is an understatement.

    I’ve travelled regularly towards A14 from M25 via Dartford tunnel crossing starting 28 December and received my penalty notice for this first crossing on 9 February. This first offence was cancelled; but I received on 14 Feb a penalty for subsequent travel on 4 Jan. Yes circa 6 weeks later. I’ve been fined £70 (£35 for payment in 14 days).

    Since I only became aware of this scheme on 9 February I am expecting notices for crossing on 18 Jan and again on 1 Feb. so that’ll be a further £70.

    So basically I will be having to pay out £105 for not being made aware that charges were/are in place.

    Have I missed the adverts and notices? Do advise.

    I’d like to not pay £105 for not being aware of the scheme but “the system” will quickly inflict more costs on me for my defiance – so I guess I will just have to pay it :-(

    • Pete Barden says:

      We agree totally. The signage gives no information and it’s been left to sites like this to inform people. Leaflets have been sent out with road tax renewal letters – but that’s about as useful as that chocolate teapot we regualarly hear about. Register with a company such as Dart Save and you’ll be able to avoid missed payments in future.

  233. sam knott says:

    we paid in advane and still got a notice in the post for a unpaid charge. lol,we had email confirmation so rung the switchboard and they said “oh okay just chuck the letter away” now that fine for me because im not to bothered about things like this but there are plent of people who would of sxxt themselves and just paid it.

  234. Herve says:

    Hi, I’ve just received a penalty notice for a 21:15 crossing on 28/12/14. I’am French and currently living in Bishop’s Stortford. I use the dartford crossing twice a year. I was not aware of the change, assumed there was some work that had started and that were not completed, or that it would now be free, or whatever possible reason the toll went away temporarily or permanently. I just was not aware I had to pay online. As a person who was not aware of this change and could not see anything that would mention an online payment at the time of the crossing what should I do? Am I supposed to pay the penalty charge even though I had no way to know beforehand and I did not see any explanation at the time of the crossing?
    How many people who are not local will get framed by this scheme if there is no clear warnings at the time of the crossing? Did I miss something because it was late at night?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hello – the sign-posting is really poor and you are just one of 300,000 drivers in December who did not realise they had to pay in a new way – so you are not alone. If the notice is for the first time you have forgotten to pay, you should get 14 days to pay the original fee and not get a penalty. Let me know.

    • Pat Gibson says:

      Yep, we live in Suffolk and my son’s just got a PCN from Feb – he thought they’d done away with the toll booths. Hasn’t been very well advertised has it – just another way of getting more money from infrequent users ! Typical of what happens these days especially as the tolls have already paid for the bridge anyway !

  235. Jan says:

    I set up the automatic payment option from the beginning but upon checking have found my self -2 pence in my account. It clearly states that I have an account and it will top up automatically. The contact us tab comes up with an error message every time I use it and I can’t bring myself to pay those horrific phone charges to call them.

  236. HARRY KANE says:

    i forgot to pay a crossing last week and still not had a ticket. How long does it usually take to come through? could i be a lucky one?!

    • sam knott says:

      your having a great season son, keep it up. lol

    • Pete Barden says:

      They had 300,000 to process from December alone, so it’ll take a while…. it won’t be a problem with your Premiership wages, though Hazza

  237. Helen says:

    I have just paid to cross on way to and from Airport. We don’t go on holiday until end of March. How long is my crossing valid?

  238. Amy says:

    My partner forgot to pay the toll charge (both ways) on Wednesday 28th January 2015 and we are waiting for a penalty notice but have not yet received one. I’d rather pay the reduced fine amount within 14 days but can’t and the 14 days will be up next week. Should I ring up? Should I just wait for a notice to come through the door? Will the notice be dated from the day of the ‘offence’ or when the letter is sent? And am I right, from reading these comments, on your first offence the penalty notice will allow you to pay the original crossing fee with 14 days?!

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – The 14 days at reduced rate applies from the date of the letter – but as around 300,000 drivers forgot to pay in December alone, they probably have a backlog.

      You will probably escape the fine in one direction – because it’s the first offence – but it is likely the return trip will be charged at the usual penalty. However, as you say, you will be able to pay the reduced rate within 14 days as soon as they get round to sending you the charge notice.

  239. Paul says:

    Went through yesterday. Tried to pay. They are saying no fee to pay. Is it free this week?? Or are they waiting until tomorrow to charge me £50.00??
    I think the signage is poor if you are not a regular user how would you even know about the charge at least you know where you stand with a toll booth.

    • Pete Barden says:

      That’s really strange. I would call again. However, if it is the first time you have used the crossing and not paid, you will be sent a letter giving you 14 days to pay the original crossing charge. Remember, this only applies to the first time you forget to pay in any single vehicle – after that, you’ll be charged the full fine and no reminders.

      I agree about the signs. Use the share buttons at the bottom of this page to help others avoid fines.

  240. Philip says:

    I prepaid before Xmas but went through before 6am so zero cost but this stupid system will not allow me to see if I have any credit which should last up to a year. The idiot that designed this was paid a future simply to really ****** of the public. Yes I agree we have already paid for this so give us a system that work rather than confusing to rake in even more money. Oh if you wish to call them no problem please simply use the premium cost line as advised get huge amounts of options and call details at xx pounds a minute.

    Robin Hood you are needed at the Dartford Crossing my friend

  241. Lisa says:

    I passed yesterday afternoon, as soon as we passed my partner paid via his phone. However I am still awaiting the confirmation email to check that it has all been successful. I do not want a fine and I don’t understand why I have not received this because I put the correct email in. the deadline is tonight. Please help, I do not understand.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – Do you have mobile banking? You should check the payment has gone out and that will suffice as proof. Have you also checked spam folders etc? I would not worry too much.

  242. San says:

    I have set up a pre-pay account with our car but what happens with hire cars? I am using one tomorrow – do I have to register it as well? I won’t know the reg till I hire it. Any help please!

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hi – You will need to set up a new account for the hire car, or pay using the phone service.

    • D says:

      I occasionally use a hire car, added the first to my account and both journeys charged the same day. The second time the 1st trip charged but the second hadn’t after 5 hours. Problem is i returned the hire car and need to remove the vehicle to avoid charges if others use the same car. Spoke to the help desk who state it can actually take 7 days (not the 48hours stated) for this to show up. The other option is to pay it over the phone at £2.50 even though the first operator agreed to charge me the lower amount before I got cut off. The other 2 operators insisted on the £2.50. Unfortunately my employers expect me to set up an account to reduce the fees. I asked to speak to a supervisor and guess what…… It takes up to 48 hours for them to ring back.

  243. Lin says:

    Have set up an account OK and used it twice. I now have a new debit card and can’t find out how to change my card details on the website. Tried sending an email from the Govt. site but it said ‘problem with server! It isn’t urgent as I live in France so not a regular user but at some point I’ll have to top-up. Would be interested in the answer to inquiry about whether the amount on the account is held for more than 12 months as well!

    • Linda says:

      Go into your account details; change payment method; select Manual Top Up. Go back to change payment details and click “pay automatically” which is the ONLY way to add a new card. Cack handed site.

  244. folasade ogunyade says:

    I forgot to pay by midnight, and I remembered just this morning about 6 am to pay. I paid It immediately, will I still be fined?

    • Pete Barden says:

      Technically you should be fined, but the Highways Agency is giving 14 days’ grace to anyone who forgets – as long as it is their ‘first offence’. So, providing you’ve not previously forgotten, you should be ok. Sign up for Dart Save, perhaps, if you are using the crossing occasionally, or get a Dart Charge account if a regular user. See our feature for full details on these.,

  245. michelle E says:

    Added a new registration to my account not knowing my fiance’s work has added it to there account and we have both been charged! How do i get reimbursed for this if thats possible!?

  246. road runner says:

    How are foreign drivers going to be chased when they don’t pay,. i see foreigners putting parking tickets in the bin regularly in Dover. it’s a joke!!

    • Pete Barden says:

      Well, the Highways Agency claims to have employed a debt collection company that will go after foreign drivers, but I doubt that it’ll have much success. I am sure there is a better way of doing it.

  247. Alexandra Campbell says:

    Forgot to pay my first crossing on Friday 23rd Jan. Set up a payment account on 26th Jan after crossing again. But can’t find out if my setting up the payment account (with £50 in it) will pay both these crossings or whether I could get a penalty notice because it takes the account a while to activate?) Do I need to do anything else, like pay for these first two crossings individually? I tried to use the ‘help’ section under ‘contact us’ on the government site, but every time I tried to fill in a form it told me there was an error on the site. Grr. I just want to pay!

    • Pete Barden says:

      Just wait for a letter from Dart Charge and it should give you an extra 14 days to pay from the date of the letter. This will apply to ‘first offences’ only, but as you’ve set up an account you should be fine – and not fined.

  248. Andy B says:

    Anyone know whether the advance payment of £10/£20 rolls over into the following 12 months if not fully used? I contacted Dart charge customer services and they could not answer this fully, and appeared confused. The terms and conditions also fail to highlight this.
    Looks like you lose any money not used within 12 months!!

    • Pete Barden says:

      I am not sure. I can’t see why not. You should send an email and demand a definitive answer.

  249. M Knight says:

    I live in France and have French number plate and use the crossing six times a year bur cannot get internet when in uk so how do i pay and not also have to pay for telephone call.
    Rip off Britain

    • Pete Barden says:

      You can set up an account from your home in France – where you can get internet access? Failing that, you can pay in advance by post.

  250. John Nottingrade says:

    Yes- typical Britain. We all get ripped off and nobody does a thing about it. We moan and groan yet we keep on paying more, and more and more. That is why they do it- because they can. And we keep on bending over and taking it all day long.

  251. Vic Oliver says:

    I came through the Tunnel on Wednesday evening on my way home to Suffolk.
    Decided to pay the Toll Charge online.
    During the initial process, the system said that there was a fault that had occurred and that I should try again, which I did !
    All went through OK on the second attempt.
    At 21:50 & 22:01 I received 2 receipts by email ! ! ! So I was charged TWICE !

    If this system is meant to be SO sophisticated, How can this happen ? ?

    How do I get my £2.50 back ?

    • Puff 69 says:

      You won’t! I was charged 4 times for a single crossing – done on the phone – promised money back and not happened. Then told they can’t pay back to my visa and wanted all my bank account details over the phone!!! Have since contacted Barclaycard and they have instigated a fraud investigation – no one has the right to take money without my permission – which I never gave for 4 charges…. All I got offered was 3 extra crossings within the year – but I very rarely use the crossing – and why should they keep my money becuase they seem to have no way or willingness to pay me back!

      • Phil says:

        You’re right, and if I were you I would make that point to them and if they are refusing to refund I would do as you have done and report it as a fraudulent transaction (which it is), but do bear in mind that it may cost you more than £7.50 to pursue the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.

        I must say, though, whoever thought the signage they’ve opted for would be anything adequate for a road that handles significant traffic from the channel ports and Eurostar terminal and tourists driving hire cars north from Gatwick, is both stupid and arrogant.

        I hope somebody who has been caught digs their heels in and the matter comes to court, because their penalty charge will probably not survive scrutiny by a court or tribunal until they put proper signs up.

        By the way, can anybody explain to me why you still have to stop at a barrier when you don’t have to (and can’t) pay when you cross? Today was the first time I used the crossing since cash payment was abolished (I use it maybe three or four times a year on average) and I was just astonished that anyone could go to this much trouble and create this many problems for people wanting to pay and then not realise the main benefit of freeflow charging i.e. vehicles not having to stop! That really is quite an impressive level of incompetence.

  252. Clinton foord says:

    Forgot to pay charge .still don’t understand why the penalty charge is £70. I mean what’s the £70 actually paying for.what has my £2.63 late payment actually done.it’s a joke !!

    • Pete Barden says:

      Don’t forget, if it’s your first offence, you should get notification giving you an additional 14 days to pay the original charge – if it’s the first ‘offence’ in that vehicle. See below. Aside from that, if you look at the obscene amount of cash the fines are expected to raise, it is a little dubious.

      Processing of the first penalty charge notices that will be issued to drivers who have used the crossing but have not yet paid the crossing charge has now started. To give these drivers a further opportunity to pay the charge, the first penalty charge notice issued for each vehicle will include a warning letter giving the driver an extra 14 days in which to pay their original crossing charge without a penalty. In addition, any further crossings made in that vehicle can also be paid at the standard rate as long as payment is received within the same 14 day period.

      • Will Hirst says:

        Pete Barden,

        where is this “first penalty warning” officially stated? I crossed over Christmas period having travelled from Switzerland. I am not sure how on earth I was ever expected to realise that I should have to pay via internet, and frankly the signs are worse than useless if you don’t know what they are talking about. Also some third party “epcplc” now appear to be chasing my fine .. in German .. without any warning. I would like to make representation and just pay my £2.50. Is that possible?

        Will Hirst

        • Pete Barden says:

          We agree, the signs are appalling. If an agency is chasing you for money, you should demand the same concession as Brit drivers and be given the right to pay for your first ‘offence’ at the normal tariff within 14 days of a notice letter.

        • Sharelle Wodehouse says:

          I also did not get a “first letter” and others also have not received it. I think they fail to send it because you have less rights to appeal so they just get their free £105.

          So many people are affected by this appallingly incompetent system.

          Perhaps if we all complain en mass to https://www.dartford-crossing-charge.service.gov.uk/Static/Complaints.

          If we don’t get a response in 10 days there is a link to the HIGHWAYS ENGLAND who oversee the Dart Charge. If enough of us do this at least we have a shot and getting this addressed :)

  253. colin says:

    Tried to set up account,what a chore, still not succeeded. And i crossed 21days ago.

  254. KENNETH ROBERTS says:


    • Stephen Norton says:

      As a TV producer I have to say – what a completely useless film. “Acclaimed” ? Fit for the bin more like. They needn’t have bothered !
      But as a regular user, the Crossing is now much easier and quicker, and certainly less stressful. Well done.

    • Billy Williamson says:

      I paid my toll charge on Tuesday 1st April 2015. Because of high winds and build-up of traffic I never used the crossing. I intend crossing on 8th April 2015, will that payment cover me?

      • Pete Barden says:

        They usually require the toll is used on the day booked. However, I believe the bridge was closed due to high winds so you should be able to get in touch and get it changed. You will have have to contact them though.

  255. frank says:

    Bloody joke so much for cheaper x-ings when we paid for the bridge 11 years ago , it’s nothing but a disgrace typical Britain

    • Pete Barden says:

      Fair enough, if the Govt had kept its word from back in the day, the crossing would actually be free now – rather than simply another way to use drivers as a cash cow… allegedly.

  256. Sara Brignall says:

    I forgot to pay the charge before Christmas. I went online to find out how to pay a late fee of £35. It said that I would be sent notification of how to pay, however, I have yet to receive any notification. Will they now try and fine me £70?
    It’s a joke, and the joke is on the public who have already paid for the bridge many times over.
    The government said the change is necessary to limit demand…. considering there’s no other way to cross that truly is not only a lame excuse but a rather stupid thing to say.

    • Pete Barden says:

      Hello, Well the good news is you should avoid having to pay the fine altogether. When you get a notification from Dart Charge, it should give you 14 extra days to pay the original charge at the standard rate. Find out the full details on our new late payment feature right here

      • Gavin Morton-Holmes says:

        Can I just confirm that I should be receiving a notice in the post which will allow me to pay the £2.50 within 14 days? I forgot to pay the toll last Thursday (09/01/15). My understanding is that I need to pay £35 by 23/01/15 and £70 if after that. I don’t want to wait and pay £70!

        • Pete Barden says:

          Hi – well here is the information from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Providing it’s your first ‘offencee’ you should get 14 days to pay, according to the official quote from the Highways Agency.

          Processing of the first penalty charge notices that will be issued to drivers who have used the crossing but have not yet paid the crossing charge has now started. To give these drivers a further opportunity to pay the charge, the first penalty charge notice issued for each vehicle will include a warning letter giving the driver an extra 14 days in which to pay their original crossing charge without a penalty. In addition, any further crossings made in that vehicle can also be paid at the standard rate as long as payment is received within the same 14 day period.

          • Jane says:

            My sister from Germany who used the crossing in March has only just received a penalty notice asking her to pay £70 plus £2.50 or if paid within 14 days £35 plus toll. Is there a way to only pay the toll and not the penalty? I remember her saying that they were surprised that there was no charge, but they didn’t see any instructions on what to do next, so assumed there was no charge. Does the 14 day grace period apply to drivers from abroad as well? The paperwork seems to have been issued by epcplc on behalf of Dart crossing.

      • david says:

        riduculous that such a heavy fine for being late . a reasonable time should be a week where people can be at home over the weekend
        Another money making scheme like the wheel clamping operators
        How can they claim that a person that is late in paying should pay such a fine ???
        No one has commited an offence so why a fine ?

      • John Dwane says:

        My wife is a wheelchair user, and has a Disabled Blue Badge. We are exempt from Congestion Charge in London, are we also exempt for the Dartford Crossing?. We crossed southbound at about 8.30 on Friday evening and were totally unaware of the payment changes. The signage seemed woefully inadequae, I glimpsed one sign only, but it did not tell us what we had to do.Your advice much appreciated, many thanks in advance.

        • Pete Barden says:

          Exemptions remain the same, but the following applies…

          You may not have to pay the charge if you don’t pay vehicle tax because you’re disabled.

          You’ll still have to pay if:

          you have a Blue Badge but aren’t exempt from paying vehicle tax
          you travel in a vehicle that isn’t exempt
          You don’t need to do anything to get the exemption. Your vehicle details will be checked with DVLA when crossings are made in your vehicle.

      • jodie constantine says:

        please can I have some advice. I have received 12 fines!!! this is because its for an old vehicle of mine. You didn’t take the payments out of my account which is your mistake in February, i sold the vehicle in march so obviously deleted it off from my account. Now in May i am receiving all these fines that equal upto like £700!!!! I cannot pay this. I have put a bit more money in my account and added my old vehicle onto it so you can automatically take the £1.60 out of my account for each crossing you was late in taking the payments for. This new system is a joke. You should make it free of charge i have spent like £300 this year on crossing that stupid bridge! I have appealed so i just want to know what chances i have in it getting accepted.

  257. H.Y. van der Graaf_Lindeman says:

    nowhere on this road is a sign telling me it is a TOLLroad/bridge. nowhere tollbooths, no paypoint. how will i find out? because you send a BIG fine. i can not pay by telebanking, you have no banknumber . so because i have no creditcard i am fined it is ANTI TOURIST and ANTI FOREIGNER and stupid. not all the world has creditcards and tablets and takes computers with them. Think of normal people.
    i have to ask someone i know if he will pay my bill, because you only have the stupid option of creditcard.

    • Geoff says:

      It’s not even obvious to brits who are not regular users. Like a lot of things here, it is only simple if you know how it works. Previously the first sign saying that the bridge was a toll bridge was positioned after the last chance to exit the motorway.

    • carl says:

      I receive two PCN having already paid online complained and got them cancelled had to wait awhile more than a month. Not happy with just a cancelation complained further. I believe compensation should be receive when falsely
      issue. still awaiting reply, not expecting to be successful but worth making the point.

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