By last November there were almost 78,000 accounts closed because they had been inactive and not used the crossing for 15 months. However, many of these road users would have had money stuck in their accounts in preparation for the next time they use the crossing.
Steve Nowottny, news and investigations editor at Money Saving Expert, has urged drivers with an account to “check if it’s closed” and whether they are due money back.
He warned drivers were “even more likely” to see their accounts expire under lockdown as many are no longer driving to their place of work.
He said: “Motorists who use the Dartford Crossing may be surprised to learn that cash can be stuck in closed Dart Charge accounts.”
He added: “If accounts are automatically closed due to inactivity, they won’t be automatically reopened when you next cross, even if there’s still money in there.
Drivers must pay the Dartford crossing charge by midnight the day after they use the toll road.
Road users can select two options for payment with a pre-pay system and a pay as you go online service.
Motorists must pay a minimum initial payment of £10 to open a pre-pay account but money will automatically be taken when using the road.
GOV.UK said road users can save on every crossing with the service said to be suitable for frequent users.
A Highways England spokesperson said: “There are several different ways for people to pay the Dart Charge. These include the one-off pre-pay option, which is handy for people who don’t use the crossing on a regular basis as payment can be made up to 12 months in advance, and must be made by midnight the day after crossing.
“If a customer’s Dart Charge Pre-Paid account has been inactive for over 12 months, we notify them to advise of this and of the steps they need to take in order to allow it to close / obtain a refund of their credit balance or to keep it open.
“This is in accordance with our terms and conditions, which advise customers that they need to contact us to get a refund of any account balance.
“Dart Charge does not retain any of the unclaimed account credit balances and these are instead, paid over to Department for Transport.
“If anyone does think they have a balance on an inactive account, we urge them to get in touch on 0300 300 0120.”