Understanding the Dartford Crossing Congestion Charge: What You Need to Know

The Dartford Crossing is a major road connection between Kent and Essex in the United Kingdom. It consists of two tunnels and a bridge that span the River Thames. As one of the busiest crossings in the country, it is subject to a congestion charge during peak hours. In this article, we will explore what you need to know about the Dartford Crossing congestion charge.

What is the Dartford Crossing Congestion Charge?

The Dartford Crossing congestion charge is a fee imposed on vehicles using the crossing during peak hours. The aim of this charge is to reduce traffic congestion and encourage drivers to consider alternative routes or travel off-peak. The charge applies to both cars and commercial vehicles.

When Does the Charge Apply?

The Dartford Crossing congestion charge applies during specific times known as “charging hours.” These charging hours are from 6 am to 10 pm every day, including weekends and public holidays. Outside these hours, there is no congestion charge, and drivers can use the crossing free of charge.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of the Dartford Crossing congestion charge varies depending on several factors such as vehicle type, payment method, and frequency of use. For cars, motorcycles, and small vans (up to 3.5 tonnes), the standard fee is £2.50 when paid in advance or by midnight on the following day. If paid after this time frame or at any time on-site or by phone, it increases to £3.

For larger vehicles such as lorries and coaches, which fall under different categories based on weight and number of axles, higher charges apply. These charges range from £6 for some categories up to £12 for others.

How Can You Pay?

To pay for the Dartford Crossing congestion charge, there are several options available. The most convenient method is to pay online in advance or by midnight on the following day. This can be done through the official Dart Charge website or using the Dart Charge app.

Alternatively, drivers can also pay in person at one of the many Payzone retail outlets across the UK or by phone. However, it’s important to note that if paying by these methods, the charge will be higher than if paid online in advance.

Another convenient option is to set up a pre-pay account with Dart Charge. This allows regular users of the crossing to automatically pay their charges without having to remember to do so each time they cross.


The Dartford Crossing congestion charge is an important measure aimed at reducing traffic congestion and improving journey times for drivers using this busy crossing. By understanding when the charge applies, how much it costs, and how to pay, motorists can navigate this toll system with ease and avoid any unnecessary penalties or fines. Whether you are a regular user of the crossing or planning a one-off trip, being aware of these details will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.