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London congestion charge

London; A buzzing metropolis where you’ll always find something to do, whether that be driving to the West End, or going to your daily 9-5. Whatever you may decide to do, watch out for the dreaded Congestion Charge!

London congestion charge

Introduced by Ken Livingstone in February 2003 and now administrated by TFL (Transport for London), the Congestion Charge requires non-exempt motor vehicles which are travelling between Monday - Friday, 7am to 6pm or 12 -6pm Saturday-Sunday (plus bank holidays) to pay a standard daily fee of £15. The charge is only enforced within specific charging zones, covering parts of Central London and the West End.

The charge is a means of ensuring that those travelling on the busiest roads make a financial contribution to raise funds for London's transport system and, effectively, reducing congestion. This, in turn, increases usage of different modes of transport such as; cycling, the bus and the tube which can be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

A lot of businesses, such as removal companies operating within the London area, tend to use Congestion Charge Auto Pay (CCAP). This pre-paid automated system allows businesses to pay a reduced charge which is applied to their accounts at the end of the month. For van drivers this means that they are able to enter congestion charging zones without worrying about finding somewhere to pay the charge, trying to avoid going through the charging zones, receiving a Penalty Charge Notice or even forgetting to pay the charge!

Paying the congestion charge and fees

With many things to consider when moving home, it is important that you remember to organise paying the congestion charge for your London home move. There are a number of ways you can do this.

• Congestion Charge Auto Pay (CCAP)

This method of paying the congestion charge is an automated payment system. TFL monitor and record the number of days the driver has entered the congestion zone, and charge £15 per driver per day to the debit/credit card accordingly at the end of the month.

You can sign up to 5 vehicles to a Congestion Charge Auto Pay account. If your
account is live, any registered vehicles are protected from receiving Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).

• Fleet Auto Pay

You can join Fleet Auto Pay if you have 6 or more vehicles operating in the Congestion Charge zone and pay monthly in arrears. Once registered for Fleet Auto Pay, payments will be taken by direct debit and charge £15 per driver per day.

• Paying in advance

The vehicle driver can pay by midnight on the day they travel. This equates to the standard charge of £15.

• Paying later

The vehicle driver can also pay up to midnight on the third charging day after travel. Paying late, results in the fee to be paid increasing to £17.50.

If the charge is not paid before midnight on the third day, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be sent.

• London Residents

Those who live within the Congestion Charge zone or nearby can apply for a 90% congestion charge discount, as long as your main property is residential and you are over 17 years old. Read more about this discount on the TFL website.

Ways to pay the Congestion Charge

• Internet
• Telephone
• Automated telephone service
• Via post

Paying the Congestion Charge:

If you wish to pay congestion charge via the Gov.UK website, you can do so here.

Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)

Failure to pay



If you are issued a PCN (Penalty Charge Notice) it will state a charge of £160 to be paid within 28 days. This can be paid or challenged.
If you pay your PCN within 14 days, it will be discounted and you will iinstead pay £80.

After 28 days

Failure to pay PCN results in a Charge Certificate, increasing the initial penalty charge by 50% to £240, to be paid within 14 days. This also means the driver can no longer make a legal representation.

After an additional 14 days

Unpaid Charge Certificate results in an Order of Recovery including debt recovery fees. At this point the penalty charge due increases by the debt registration fee.

Non- payment of Order of Recovery

Final course of action: Bailiffs and enforcement officers sent to the offenders' residence in order to obtain value of outstanding fees/charges owed.

Updated October 2022 by Jeremy Greer

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