A Guide to Toll Roads in the UK
Read our drivers guide all about the country's toll roads
Ever had to pay to use a certain road within the UK? Then chances are that you’ve come across one of the country’s 19 toll roads! It feels unusual to have to hand over money in order to travel when so much of the UK’s road network is free to use - providing you’ve paid your Vehicle Excise Duty (that’s road tax) of course.
In this article, we’ll explain what a toll road is, how much toll roads cost, and where the UK’s toll roads are.
What is a toll road?
A toll road is a stretch of road, either public or privately owned, whereby anyone using it must first pay a fee. Many of the UK’s toll roads are river crossings, i.e. bridges, without which it would be pretty inconvenient to get from A to B! Toll roads are sometimes referred to as turnpikes or tollways, but you’ll most commonly find them called toll roads.
The money raised by toll roads contributes to the funds with which the rest of the UK’s road network is built or maintained. For example, in 2018, one of the most well-known toll roads, the M6, raised £89 million!
How much do toll roads cost?
There isn’t a universal cost to use a toll road, and the fee will vary depending on which one you use. The way you pay will vary too, so you may need to pay online (in advance or retrospectively), with cash, or by card. Toll booths are set up on toll roads that take any physical payments.
Is it possible to avoid toll roads?
In many cases, using toll roads is inevitable if there’s one between you and your destination, particularly if it’s one of the aforementioned river crossings. However, in some instances, alternative routes can be sought, but it’s worth weighing up the cost of the toll vs the fuel you’d use by diverting, as often you’ll be taken far out of your way.
In any case, we’d recommend researching any route that you’re planning to take so that you can anticipate any toll roads and plan to pay according to the rules, or find any alternative routes if you’re set on avoiding the toll completely.
Where are the toll roads in the UK?
You’ll find toll roads on motorways, A roads, and B roads, with the more famous being motorway tolls - you’ll have surely heard of the Dartford Crossing, for example.
Here is the full list of the UK’s toll roads and what you can expect to pay on each one for a car in peak time that isn’t pre-registered with a toll account/discount for that location - bear in mind that rates will vary for other vehicles such as bikes, vans and HGVs:
Charge for a car in peak time*
M6 - West Midlands
£8.60 for the mainline, £5.80 for the junction
M25 Dartford Crossing - Dartford
Must be paid online - £2.50
A4 Batheaston Bridge - Bath
A15 Humber Bridge, Hull
A19 Tyne Tunnel - Tyne and Wear
£2.20 (or £1.98 if you pre-pay)
A38 Tamar Bridge - Plymouth
A41 Mersey Tunnels (Queensway) - Liverpool
A57 Dunham Bridge, Lincoln
A59 Mersey Tunnels (Kingsway) - Liverpool
A533 Mersey Gateway - Cheshire
A3025 Itchen Bridge - Southampton
B471 Whitchurch Bridge - Berkshire
B3129 Clifton Suspension Bridge - Bristol
B4350 Whitney-On-Wye Bridge - Hereford
B4044 Swinford Bridge - Oxfordshire
£0.05 (yes, you read that correctly)
B5159 Warburton Bridge - Greater Manchester
Boat Lane, Great Ouseburn - North Yorkshire
Kingsland Bridge at Shrewsbury - Shropshire
Cartford Lane - Lancashire
*All prices are correct as of October 2023.