Press release

Thousands on course for Dart Charge savings

More than 100,000 vehicles have been registered for a Dart Charge account, the Highways Agency revealed today.

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Since account registrations went live on 5 November up to 2,200 people every hour have visited the Dart Charge website to sign up for a pre-pay account, which means they’ll save up to a third on each crossing. Setting up an account takes less than seven minutes on average, and around 30 % of accounts have been set up using a smartphone or tablet.

To help ease congestion at the Dartford Crossing from 30 November drivers will no longer stop at a barrier to pay the Crossing charge. Instead, they will pay Dart Charge online, by phone or post or at one of thousands of retailers nationwide.

Highways Agency project director Nigel Gray said:

For most people using the Dartford Crossing, a prepay account will be the cheapest and most convenient way to pay the crossing charge. I’m really encouraged by the take up so far, but urge all drivers who use the Crossing to sign up for an account and benefit from the discount it offers.

Fleet operators and haulage firms have been among the first to sign up. 1157 business fleets have already been migrated to Dart Charge, and the Dart Charge team are working with the 100 largest fleet operators - between them covering more than 20,000 vehicles - to help them prepare for the changes.

Foreign drivers have been setting up accounts too, with 3% of overall accounts - around the same proportion of foreign vehicles that that use the crossing each day. Registrations from 52 different countries have been received so far.

All existing DART-Tag customers should now have been contacted with details of how to migrate their account. Any who have not yet been contacted should now call the Dart Charge team.

Work to remove the payment booths and introduce a new road layout will begin on 28 November and will be completed in spring 2015 when drivers will feel the full benefits of the improvements. All road works are being planned to minimise disruption.

Dart Charge in numbers

  • £2.50 the new cost for a car to use the Dartford Crossing from 30 November – reduced to £1.67 if paid using a prepay Dart Charge account
  • Over 77,000 number of accounts set up so far – covering over 100,000 vehicles
  • 53% of people a day are registering for auto top up so they don’t have to remember to pay
  • It takes less than 7 minutes on average to set up an account
  • 12% accounts set up on a mobile device
  • 18% of accounts set up on a tablet
  • 52 - number of countries where users have registered for account, including Germany, France, Netherlands Belgium, Spain, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain plus one from … New Zealand

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 17 November 2014