Dart Charge in a rental car – Dartford Tunnel / QE2 Bridge

Dart Charge in a rental car – Dartford Tunnel / QE2 Bridge

If you hire a car in London, or elsewhere in the UK and drive to London, you need to know about the toll charge for using the Dartford Tunnel or the QE2 Bridge. Depending on which rental agent you use will depend on how you need to pay the Dart Charge. If you don’t know about the charge, or what your responsibilities are you could be left with a hefty fine and an administration charge to boot.

dart charge rental car how to pay

We look at the leading UK car rental agent terms and conditions to see how each agent manage the Dart Charge. On the face of it, Avis and Budget are the most Dart Charge friendly car rental agent in the UK as they will manage the payment of all Dart Charges on your behalf and simply collect the toll fees incurred from your payment card at the end of your rental, avoiding the risk of forgetting to pay the toll or even just being unaware that could lead to a fine from the operator and an administration charge from the rental agent. Most rental agents pass full responsibility to you, the renter.

Car rental agent policies for the Dart Charge

Most rental agents require you to pay the Dart Charge directly, failure to do so will result in a penalty charge notice (PCN) being issued that will be passed onto you, the renter. Only Avis and Budget automatically pay the Dart Charge on your behalf and counter charge you the toll fee only.
 
Rental Agent
Who Pays
Terms (failure to pay toll)
Alamo
You
Alamo will settle the PCN and counter charge you plus administration fee
Avis
Avis
Avis cars are pre-registered and crossing fee automatically paid by Avis and countercharged to your credit card held on file, no administration charge, risk of PCN
Budget
Budget
Budget cars are pre-registered and crossing fee automatically paid by Avis and countercharged to your credit card held on file, no administration charge, risk of PCN
Dollar
You
Dollar will pay the PCN and counter charge you plus administration fee
Easirent
You
Easirent will pay the PCN and crossing fee(s) on your behalf and reclaim from your credit card held on file, plus £55 administration charge
Europcar
You
Europcar will either supply the driver details to the issuing body so the fine can be redirected (28 day period will restart from date fine re-issued) or pay fine and charge renter fine, plus crossing fee(s), plus administration charge
Green Motion
You
Green Motion will pay the PCN and crossing fee(s) on your behalf and reclaim from your credit card held on file, plus administration charge
Hertz
You
Hertz will pay the penalty charge and crossing fee(s) on your behalf and reclaim from your credit card held on file, plus administration charge
National
You
National will settle the PCN and counter charge you plus administration fee
Sixt
You
Sixt will pay the PCN and crossing fee(s) on your behalf and reclaim from your credit card held on file, plus £40 administration charge

What is the Dart Charge?

The Dart Charge is a toll for using the section of the M25 between junction 31 at Thurrock and 1a at Dartford that crosses the Thames. Northbound traffic uses the 400m long Dartford Tunnel under the Thames whilst southbound traffic uses the QE2 bridge over the Thames. The toll is £2.50 in either direction and is due for any journey in either direction between 6am and 10pm, charges apply every day including weekends and bank holidays.

How much is the Dart Charge?

You can pay the Dart Charge in advance by registering your rental car number plate and paying for the number of expected journeys, or you can pay after you use the tunnel / bridge. You must have made payment by midnight the day after you use the crossing or face a fine.
 
Vehicle Class
Vehicle type
One-time payment
Account holders
A
Motorcycles, mopeds and quad bikes
FREE
FREE
B
Cars (including trailers), motorhomes and minivans with 9 or fewer seats
£2.50
£2.00
C
Vehicles with 2 axles
£3.00
£2.63
D
Vehicles with more than 2 axles
£6.00
£5.19

How to pay the Dart Charge?

If you need to pay the Dart Charge in a rental car, you can pay the charge online at www.gov.uk/dart-charge, over the phone by calling 0300 300 0120 or via a Payzone retail outlet such as a Post Office.

What if you forget to pay the Dart Charge in a rental car?

If you’re not a regular user, or are a first time visitor to the UK, it’s not uncommon to forget to pay the charge, or you may not even know about it (there is little excuse as the toll is well signed as you approach the Dartford Tunnel / QE2 Bridge). Unfortunately, neither are excuses that will be met with sympathy. If you fail to pay, or pay late a fine will be issued to the rental agent as the registered owner of the car, however the rental agent will either reassign the fine to you as the registered driver of the rental vehicle at the time, or pay the fine your behalf. Either option will result in an administration charge from the rental agent to cover the time incurred handling the fine.

What is the Dart Charge penalty charge?

Timeframe
Fine
Within 14 days of PCN issue date
£35 + Crossing charge
Within 28 days of PCN issue date
£70 + Crossing charge
Outside 28 days of PCN issue date
£105 + Crossing charge

As with car rental and the Congestion Charge, you need to know how to pay the Dart Charge and how needs to pay and when as falling foul of the charge can be a costly mistake. No matter if you’re a UK resident or visiting from overseas it pays to check the rental agent terms before you travel, however we always advise you to check with the rental agent representative when you collect the car to confirm your plans and your responsibilities.

 
Posted: November 13, 2019 by Phil Partridge | with 0 comments
Phil Partridge
About the Author

This article is written by: Phil Partridge - Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Phil Partridge
Posted: November 13, 2019 by Phil Partridge | with 0 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Thursday, November 14, 2019
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