We are seeing a significant increase in enquiries via our helpline or online Enquiry Form from motorists where a bailiff is enforcing multiple Dart Charges that they had been unaware of. Many times, the amount being requested can run into thousands of pounds. In most cases, the reason is found to be due to one or more of the following:
Dart Charge correspondence had been sent to a previous address.
This is usually because the V5C/Log Book (and not the driving licence) had not been updated at DVLA following a change of address. Sadly, since the scrapping of paper tax discs and the requirement to tax a vehicle online, many people forget to update their V5C/Log Book when they move address. This is very common problem indeed and so much so, that a short while ago, the Ministry of Justice issued a public Consultation on this very subject.
Dart Charge correspondence had been sent to the vehicle hire company.
This is very common indeed. If you hire a vehicle and fail to pay the Dart Charge, notices from Highways England will be sent to the registered keeper…..this would be the hire company. They in turn will request that liability be transferred to the hirer. The hire company would rely upon the name and address provided at the time of hire.
Dart Charge correspondence had been sent to the finance company.
In many cases, the V5C (Log Book) is held by the finance company. In such cases, it is important that if you move address, that you inform the finance company of your new address.
Dart Charge account closed due to insufficient funds.
If you have a Dart Charge account and there are insufficient funds in your nominated bank account on the day of the crossing, this could lead to Highways England (who administer the Dart Charge) closing your account.
Dart Charge account closed as payment card had expired.
If you have registered your bank details with Dart Charge so that crossing charges are deducted automatically, you need to be aware that if your debit or credit card expires, you must update your Dart Charge account with the new card details. Failure to do so, will lead to the account being closed.
Dart Charge Out of Time Witness Statement (TE7 and TE9)
If you have received a letter, text message or visit from Marston Group, or JBW Judicial Services Ltd in relation to multiple Dart Charges that you were unaware of, legislation is in place to protect you. All bailiff enforcement will be placed ‘on hold’ for a short while (approx 4-6 weeks) if a Dart Charge Out of Time Witness Statement (TE7 and TE9) is submitted to the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC). If accepted, all bailiff fees will be cancelled and Highways England will issue you a new Penalty Charge Notice allowing you to pay at the earlier discounted rate. Our page on this subject can be read here.
Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online
If you have multiple Dart Charges, it is really important that you seek advice before completing an Out of Time witness statement. please consider contacting us before have a query that you would like to ask us about any of the above you can email a question to us using our online Enquiry Form. Alternatively, can contact our free helpline. Details are on our Contact page.
Our Simplified Guide to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 can be read here.