Find out how much it costs to use major UK tolls in our guide.
Paying a toll to cross a bridge or use a section of motorway is rarely a welcome prospect for the average motorist. But unfortunately, there is no way around paying them if a toll is on your route.
At present there are 23 tolls, of which 18 are river crossings.
This is an understandable question. Most of the UK's road network is funded through general taxation - of which Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is part. While decades ago VED paid for road upkeep, it is simply not enough to cover the maintenance of Britain's roads.
Tolls are a way of funding a particular bridge or road - helping towards repairs and improvements.
It might be possible in some cases to find a route that avoids a toll, but the extra time and fuel spent on the re-route may not be worth saving a few pounds. After all, tolls are often built to make travelling between two locations quicker and easier. For example, avoiding the Dartford Crossing between Kent and Essex would mean a big detour into East London in order to use the Blackwall Tunnel or the Woolwich ferry.
How much you pay depends on what type of vehicle you’re driving - a motorcycle will pay much less than a heavy goods vehicle, for example.
Sometimes motorcycles and local buses can use the toll without charge. See table below for updated 2020 charges.
The time of day you travel also matters; people are discouraged from peak-hour travel with higher tolls in these periods. Conversely, using a toll at 11pm can be cheaper, depending on the toll.
Yes, you can pay with cash or by card. If you use the toll often, it may be worth buying an advance pass - saving you money and time.
There may be circumstances in which you cannot pay. For example, you may not have any spare change, or your debit card fails. In this circumstance, you may be asked to pull over to a holding area, where you will be issued a fine and processing fee. The fine and fee will be detailed on a letter sent to the vehicle owner's address.
Charge for car at peak time
A4 - Batheaston Bridge
Note that the last two bridges are the same tolls - you pay £2 to cross both bridges (the A533 - Mersey Gateway Bridge and the A533 - Silver Jubilee Bridge).
Some toll fees may be lifted in emergencies - for example during the coronavirus lockdown.