Avoid road tolls and charges

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Here's our guide to tolls and congestion charges in the UK

With more and more cars on the roads, governments across Europe are introducing a number of charges in a bid to get motorists using quieter routes in order to ease congestion on the main roads.

In the UK, for example, we have the London Congestion Charge and the M6 Toll - the country's first attempt at a pay-as-you-go motorway. Governments also use certain key routes to generate revenue, for example the Dartford Crossing and Severn Bridges in the UK and toll charges for bridges, tunnels and autoroutes in Europe.

Pay or delay?

To avoid paying the charges, either find a different route or use an alternative mode of transport. In the case of the M6 Toll, there's a clear alternative in the 'ordinary' M6, plus the nearby major A-roads. But as these are all liable to peak time congestion, the stark choice is often pay up or hold-up.

Much the same applies for the Severn Bridge crossing - many motorists heading from England to Wales are prepared to take a detour via Gloucester to avoid the toll. And in Europe there are other ways round, but they're likely to take longer.

However, there is one charge that most motorists in London will not be able to get away without paying - the London Congestion Charge. But, there are some vehicles which are exempt.

The Ultra Low Emissions Discount (ULED) was introduced in July 2013 and provides a single 100% discount on the Congestion Charge for all electric vehicles and for ultra low emission cars and vans.

To qualify for the new ULED, vehicles will have to be either electric or one that emits 75g/km or less of CO2 and meets the Euro 5 emission standard for air quality. Plug-in hybrid cars and vans have additional electric range and top speed criteria.

Blue Badge holders in the European Economic Area are also eligible to register for a 100% discount even if they don't own a vehicle or drive. You can register up to two vehicles that you would normally use to travel within the Congestion Charge zone - this could be your own vehicle or one you travel in.

Read more about the highs and lows of British toll charges

For more information visit TfL

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