It is often possible to make a congestion charge payment with a debit card.
Congestion charges are simple toll charges that are sometimes imposed in large cities. The idea behind the charge is to generate revenue from trips that take place in sections of the city where there is heavy traffic congestion at specific times of the day. However, unlike a traditional toll arrangement, there are no toll booths where a congestion charge payment can be made upon entering the area. Instead, many metro areas make it possible to pay the charge upfront, as well as pay it later if necessary.
Payment of the congestion charge can be made via text message.
One of the most common ways to pay a congestion charge is over the phone. By calling the numbers provided by the municipality, it is possible to connect to an automated system that will allow you to securely enter your credit or debit card details. In return, you receive a code valid for the period of time you intend to stay in the identified area of the city.
As an alternative to paying over the phone, many municipalities allow you to pay the congestion charge via text message. The process is similar in that you provide credit or debit card information that is used to record the charge payment. In return, you receive confirmation that the transaction has been completed. Some people prefer this method as it is a simple process to save the confirmation message and refer to it if necessary.
If you want to pay your congestion charge in advance, getting online is usually a quick and simple process. Accessing a website created and operated by the municipality, you can quickly make a secure online payment using your debit or credit card. In some locations, you may also have the payment deducted from your checking account. As with the phone and text message options, you also receive confirmation of your payment, usually in the form of a confirmation email sent to the address of your choice.
While not available in all situations, some municipalities also allow people to pay a congestion charge by mail. There are usually specific guidelines for submitting payment, especially if a check is used. Often, payments must be submitted by a certain date to be processed and credited on the day you plan to be in the area.
For people who prefer to make payments in person, you can often find authorized resellers who can take payments and process them on behalf of customers. For example, in the UK, it is possible to visit many convenience stores and pay the congestion charge in person. Payments can be made in advance or by midnight of the day following your visit to the area. However, paying after the fact often involves offering a higher jam price than paying before or on the day of your visit.