At Bailiff Advice Online, we receive a significant number of enquiries via our helpline and online Enquiry Form regarding Dart Charge enforcement. Hopefully the  information on this page will be of assistance to you.

When using the Dartford Crossing, you can either pay the charge in advance or alternatively; make payment by midnight the following day. The payment system is called the Dart Charge and is administered by National Highways.

How does the Dart Charge work?

It works by using number plate reading cameras, lasers and tag readers to identify the vehicle using the Dartford Crossing. If you have set up a Dart Charge account, crossing fees will automatically be deducted.

How much is the Dart Charge?

The Dartford Crossing is free to use between the hours of 10pm and 6am. At all other times, the Dart Charge is payable.  The amount varies according to the vehicle class which is detailed below. Further details can be found on the official Dart Charge Help Page.

Vehicle class A: Free

Vehicle class B: £2.50

Vehicle class C: £3.00

Vehicle class D: £6.00

How to pay the Dart Charge

For frequent users of the Dartford Crossing, the simplest (and cheapest) payment method is a pre pay account. Users receive a discount of up to one third on every crossing. You can also pay the Dart Charge by any of the following methods:

Online by visiting the official Dart Charge payment page.

By phone on 0300 300 0120 (lines open from 5am to midnight)

By using the Pingit app on any smartphone, available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone

By opening a Dart Charge Auto Pay account. Crossing fees are deducted automatically from your debit or credit card.  With this type of account, you will be entitled to a one third discount.

By setting up a  Pay as You Go account. This is a ‘top up’ account and is ideal if you do not use the Dartford crossing on frequent basis. You will not get a discount with this type of account.

At any one of the thousands of retail outlets displaying the Payzone sign.

What happens if I fail to pay the Dart Charge by midnight the following day?

If you do not pay the Dart Charge by midnight the day after using the Dartford Crossing, a Penalty Charge Notice will be issued.  Most importantly, the amount will significantly increase to £70 (discounted to £35 if paid within 14 days). If you have never used the Dartford Crossing before, you should receive a Dart Charge Warning Letter. This letter will advise you  that payment will be reduced to £2.50. If you do not pay or make representations within 28 days, a charge certificate will be issued. The penalty charge of £70 increases by 50% to £105.

I paid the Dart Charge late.

Late payment of a Dart Charge is very common indeed. However, any payments made after midnight the day after the crossing, will not be credited towards a previous crossing. Instead, your payment will remain as a credit towards future crossings. Further information can be found on the Dart Charge Help Page.

Will Dart Charge enforcement include bailiffs?

Yes it will. If the Charge Certificate remains unpaid, National Highways (who administer the Dart Charge) will register the debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre. At this stage, you will be sent a third notice.  This notice is called an Order for Recovery (OfR). If payment is not received within 21 days of the Order for Recovery, National Highways will request permission to issue a warrant of control.  At this stage, the debt owed will increase to £190.50 to include bailiff fees which are outlined on this page.

We have an entire page on our website regarding Dart Charge and Bailiff Enforcement.

Bailiffs and Dart Charge enforcement.

The bailiff companies enforcing unpaid Dart Charges are Marston Recovery and  CDER Group (pronounced…cedar). Many motorists only become aware that a Penalty Charge Notice had been issued when they receive a Notice of Enforcement, text message or personal visit from one of the two enforcement companies. This is usually because  all previous correspondence had been sent to a previous address (due to the V5C (Log Book) not being updated when moving address. In such cases, bailiff enforcement will be temporarily placed on hold by completing an Out of Time Witness Statement (forms TE7 and TE9).  We have a page dedicated to this subject here. 

Commentary  from Bailiff Advice Online:

If you have received a letter  or a visit from a bailiff or have any queries about Dart Charge enforcement, you can email a question to us using our online Enquiry Form.  Alternatively, you can contact our free helpline. Please refer to our Contact page for further details.