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How does congestion charging work?


The Congestion Charge is an £11.50 daily tariff and payment enables motorists to drive around, leave and re-enter the charging zone as many times as required in one day.

There are no barriers or tollbooths; instead drivers are paying to register their Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) on a database.

Cameras read a vehicle’s number plate as it enters, leaves or drives within the charging zone and checks it against the database of those who have paid the charge or those who do not have to pay (because they are exempt or registered for a 100 per cent discount).

Once a VRN has been matched, the photographic images of the vehicle are automatically deleted from the database.

The daily charge can be paid before or on the day of travel, by telephone, text message, online, and by post.

Drivers have up to midnight on the day of travel to pay the £11.50 charge or £14.00 if they pay the next charging day after travelling in the zone. The charge can also be paid via Congestion Charging Auto Pay which is an automated payment system that has a discounted daily charge rate of £10.50.

Drivers need to register with Transport for London (TfL) to pay via Auto Pay and we'll automatically record the number of charging days a vehicle travels within the charging zone each month and bill your debit or credit card each month.

Drivers who have not paid the charge by midnight on the next charging day after they travel in the zone, will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice of £160, which is reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.

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