Congestion Charges Update
I am terrible for not reading posts properly and I am far too lazy to search the web, so here's some FAQs somebody at my company wrote which seems to summarise the congestion charges !
Q: How can you pay?
A: Up to 90 days in advance or on the day by post, phone, internet, text message, dedicated street machine (look for the big red C), and shops with Paypoint terminals (nationwide).
Q: So I can't pay by text message then as you only get a text message as a receipt?
A: Yes and no. If you don't register for a FastTrack card you can't use texting (well, you can, but you can't expense it!). If you do register for a FastTrack card you have the option of posted / e-mailed receipts after every transaction, or sent out on a monthly statement.
Q: So basically FastTrack is the least hassle?
A: Yep, register once, set up your car, receipt and charging preferences and away you go. Otherwise you have to give these details over every time you pay. The FastTrack card is a physical, credit card-sized, piece of plastic for use in shops and the street machines. The card number can also be used online or by phone to speed up payment as they then have all of your details to hand.
Q: Can't I just register a credit card and my registration and get billed £5 every time?
A: Nope, unless you buy a weekly, monthly or annual season ticket you have to make a manual effort on every day you need to pay.
Come on, that'd be common sense, they've got to make sure that everyone has an equal chance of being fined!
Q: What if I forget to pay?
A: If you don't pay by 10PM, the fee goes up to £10, if you don't pay by midnight there's an £80 fine. Like parking fines, these are not expensable so you have an incentive to pay up on time.
the other 100 FAQs can be obtained from: http://www.cclondon.com/ That's also the easiest place to set up a FastTrack account; it's free and you don't have to use it to keep it active; in fact you may never use it, but it's probably worth saving the faff of having to do a manual purchase.