How do I know to register for Congestion Charge?

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Friday 23 September 2005 10.21am

I live in Cheshire and drove into central London this week for the first time ever. I had heard about the congestion charge and that you get your number plate photographed and sent an invoice...yet it's for 50 if I pay immediately or else 150!!

Being someone from outside London / South East, how am I supposed to know that you have to register first to pay the standard 8 charge?

Is it possible to appeal against this?

regards, Tom
Anonymous User
Friday 23 September 2005 10.30am
You don't need to register to pay - they'll take your money off you any way they can - you can pay at a number of outlets inculding shops, petrol stations etc.

I wouldn't reckon your chances of appeal - they'll just say you should have considered how you were going to pay prior to your journey.

Good luck though.
Saturday 24 September 2005 10.53am
Of course, not everyone who drives in the zone without paying gets caught!
Saturday 24 September 2005 1.52pm
But with the introduction of new technology (see southwark mini zone) that will change.

Saturday 24 September 2005 8.23pm
Your cards are marked, magoot
Saturday 24 September 2005 11.56pm
You seem to have misread my comment. My point was that tomblack might not have to worry, as he may not even have been picked up by the cameras.

(incidentally I have no car, so I have no cards to be numbered).

Sunday 25 September 2005 10.06am
I rather read tomblack's post as saying that he had already received his penalty notice - hence why the invoice he's received is for 50 and he wants to know if he can appeal against it.

I regret to say that I agree with Birdie - ignorance of the law and all that...
Monday 26 September 2005 2.02pm
I hate to say it, but as a grumpy scooterer it's no surprise to me that there are car drivers out there who can drive through the C-Zone and not notice that they are in it.

Perhaps they should make the bright-red 10-foot-wide circles in the middle of the road with a "C" on them a bit more conspicuous.

...if you press it, they will come.
Monday 26 September 2005 3.08pm
Just to clarify...I did get picked up by the camera and received a bill for 50 fine.

My point was, people living in London / South-East presumably have been made aware by the Mayor / media precisely how the charging and payment system works?

For someone outside the area, where the media has simply reported 'there is a congestion charge, photo technology is being used and you will receive a bill if you have not registered", how are they supposed to know the bill you receive is actually a fine for not knowing how to pay.

Thanks for the helpful comment Ivanhow, but I was aware I was in the C-zone and assumed I would be sent a bill for the charge (8) not a fine. Please tell me where on the C-zone signs it says if you have not registered / paid you will be fined?
Monday 26 September 2005 3.30pm
There are clearly marked road signs that warn you BEFORE you go into the zone that you are about to go in the zone and (I'm pretty sure about this) giving you a number to call.

When I google "congestion charge paying", the first answer is a summary of how and where to pay, and the third answer is the website for CCLondon (the body in charge). They're hardly keeping it a secret.

If you were unable to use a computer on the day in question to check what you needed to do, then the simple method of asking anyone on the streets (perhaps another car driver) would have easily got you the info you would have needed.

Failing that any of the shops, petrol stations, etc displaying the pretty clear "C" sign on posters saying things like "You can pay your C-Charge here" might have given you a clue.

And the idea that they would send you a bill, rather than you actually having to take the initiative and pay yourself, is delightfully quaint but I struggle to think of any other life situation where it works like that.

So I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm an uncharitable soul.

...if you press it, they will come.
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