|Don't Pay Over The Odds Through Unofficial Sites|
TfL warns motorists to avoid unofficial Congestion Charge websites
Transport for London (TfL) is reminding motorists to take extra care when paying the London Congestion Charge online and to make sure they are using the official website: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging.
TfL is aware that a number of websites offer to pay the Congestion Charge on behalf of drivers. However these websites are not official payment channels and they charge motorists a premium, in some cases as much as £6.
Unofficial sites pay search engines to promote their businesses and ensure they are the top items when people use terms like ‘Pay Congestion Charge’. Around 1,000 people per day are, in many cases, unwittingly using unofficial sites to pay the Congestion Charge.
The unofficial websites justify their inflated prices by claiming they offer extra services for customers such as email confirmation and a dedicated phone helpline. However TfL offers these services for free.
There have also been a number of cases where these unofficial sites have failed to pay the Congestion Charge on behalf of their customers, resulting in drivers receiving a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) from TfL for non-payment of the Congestion Charge.
By paying via the official TfL website customers will avoid any unnecessary charges imposed by unofficial websites and they will remove the risk of receiving a PCN.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said:
“We are doing as much as we can to minimise the risk of unofficial websites or adverts misleading customers into paying more than they need to, including talking to Trading Standards, the Office of Fair Trading, the Advertising Standards Authority and search engine providers. We will continue to pursueDecember 11, 2013e and only use TfL’s website.”
Customers can avoid paying via unofficial websites by registering with TfL for the automatic payment service, CC Auto Pay. TfL automatically records the number of charging days a vehicle travels within the charging zone each month and bills the customer’s debit or credit card monthly.
With CC Auto Pay, registered customers never need to remember to pay the charge again; they pay a reduced daily charge (£9 instead of £10) and are protected from receiving Penalty Charge Notices as long as the vehicle is registered with TfL and the CC Auto Pay account is active.