Exposed: UK’s toll roads with highest price hikes since 2020

Date Posted 19th April 2024
Read Time 5 min read

The UK’s cost of living crisis has significantly impacted drivers, with surging fuel prices straining household budgets and increasing the expense of commuting.

Drivers are facing yet another blow with the escalating costs of toll roads. Recent findings from car leasing company Hippo Leasing show that commuters are shelling out an additional £2,462 per year on toll road fees for their daily work commute than in 2020.

The research delved into toll road prices across the UK from 2020 to 2024, highlighting notable increases. Using this data, Hippo Leasing calculated the costs for commuters driving through toll roads twice daily, five days a week, comparing expenses from 2020 to the current period and translating them into weekly, monthly, and yearly costs. To help Hippo Leasing has shared four expert tips for toll drivers to save money on their commute.

Morning View of frozen UK Motorway.

M6 toll road price hike adds £1,056 annually to commuters’ expenses since 2020

#Toll RoadDaily Price Increase Since 2020*Weekly Price Increase Since 2020*Monthly Price Increase Since 2020*Yearly Price Increase Since 2020*
1M6 Toll£4.40£22.00£88.00£1,056.00
2Warburton Bridge£1.76£8.80£35.20£422.40
3Tyne Tunnels£1.20£6.00£24.00£288.00
4Mersey Tunnels – Queensway£0.60£3.00£12.00£144.00
5Mersey Tunnels – Kingsway£0.60£3.00£12.00£144.00
6Tamar Bridge£0.60£3.00£12.00£144.00
7Itchen Bridge£0.40£2.00£8.00£96.00
8Humber Bridge£0.30£1.50£6.00£72.00
9Batheaston Bridge£0.20£1.00£4.00£48.00
10Dunham Bridge£0.20£1.00£4.00£48.00
11Cartford Bridge£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
12Aldwark Bridge£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
13Kingsland Bridge£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
14Swinford Bridge£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
15Dartford Crossing£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
16Mersey Gateway£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
17Clifton Suspension Bridge£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
18Whitchurch Bridge£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
19Whitney-On-Wye Bridge£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00

* Cost to commuters passing through twice a daily, five days per week.

Tom Preston, CEO and Founder of Hippo Leasing comments “Our analysis reveals that ten out of the nineteen toll roads in the UK have raised their prices since 2020.

“On average, commuters now face an additional expense of £129.60 per year to access UK toll roads compared to 2020.

“While the M6 toll experienced the most substantial individual price hike at £2.20 per use, soaring from £6.70 per use in 2020 to £8.90 per use in 2024, the cumulative impact on commuters is staggering. For those using it twice daily, five days a week, the toll adds up to a significant annual burden of £1,056, exacerbating the strain of the cost of living crisis.”

The runner-up for the most significant toll road price surge since 2020 is Warburton Bridge in Greater Manchester, from 12p in 2020 to £1.00 in 2024. This means that commuters, who previously paid £57.60 annually to cross the toll twice daily, five days a week in 2020, now face a staggering £422.40 increase, with yearly costs soaring to £480.00.

Claiming the third spot for the most notable toll price escalation in the UK, the Tyne Tunnels in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, have seen their fees surge from £1.60 in 2020 to £2.20 presently. This translates to an annual increase of £288.00 for commuters, resulting in a total yearly expense of £1,056 for those traversing the tunnels twice daily, five days a week.

The UK’s most and least expensive toll roads in 2024 revealed

#Toll Road2024 (Current price)2023202220212020Price Increase (2020-2024)
1M6 Toll£8.90£8.20£7.10£6.90£6.70£2.20
2Tamar Bridge£2.60£2.60£2.00£2.00£2.00£0.60
3Dartford Crossing£2.50£2.50£2.50£2.50£2.50£0.00
4Tyne Tunnels£2.20£1.90£1.90£1.70£1.60£0.60
5Mersey Tunnels – Queensway£2.10£2.00£2.00£1.80£1.80£0.30
6Mersey Tunnels – Kingsway£2.10£2.00£2.00£1.80£1.80£0.30
7Mersey Gateway£2.00£2.00£2.00£2.00£2.00£0.00
8Humber Bridge£1.50£1.35£1.35£1.35£1.35£0.15
9Itchen Bridge£1.00£1.00£0.80£0.80£0.80£0.20
10Clifton Suspension Bridge£1.00£1.00£1.00£1.00£1.00£0.00
11Whitney-On-Wye Bridge£1.00£1.00£1.00£1.00£1.00£0.00
12Warburton Bridge£1.00£1.00£0.12£0.12£0.12£0.88
13Batheaston Bridge£0.80£0.70£0.70£0.70£0.70£0.10
14Whitchurch Bridge£0.60£0.60£0.60£0.60£0.60£0.00
15Dunham Bridge£0.50£0.40£0.40£0.40£0.40£0.10
16Cartford Bridge£0.50£0.50£0.50£0.50£0.50£0.00
17Aldwark Bridge£0.40£0.40£0.40£0.40£0.40£0.00
18Kingsland Bridge£0.20£0.20£0.20£0.20£0.20£0.00
19Swinford Bridge£0.05£0.05£0.05£0.00£0.05£0.00

The M6 toll in the West Midlands not only boasts the largest price hike since 2020 but also holds the title of the UK’s priciest toll, commanding £8.90 per passage—a hefty £6.30 more than the second-costliest, Tamar Bridge in Plymouth.

Following closely as the third most expensive toll in the UK is Dartford Crossing in Dartford, Essex, where drivers shell out £2.50 per use, though prices haven’t increased since 2020.

In fourth position, the Tyne Tunnels toll roads in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, charge £2.20 per passage, marking a 60p increase since 2020. Tied for fifth place are the Mersey Tunnels, with both the Queensway and Kingsway tunnels setting commuters back £2.10 per crossing—an uptick of 30p since 2020.

The research uncovered that on average drivers pay £1.63 per use of toll roads in the UK, with an average of 29p price increase per toll since 2020.

Experts share four tips for toll road drivers to save money on their commute

Tom Preston, CEO and Founder of Hippo Leasing has outlined four effective strategies for drivers whose daily commutes include toll roads to save money.

1. Strategic route planning to avoid toll roads

One way to cut down on toll road commuting costs is by researching alternative routes that bypass toll roads. By diversifying your route options, you can potentially find more cost-effective paths that still meet your commuting needs.

2. Carpool with colleagues who also use the toll road

More than one person in the office is likely using the toll road to get to and from work. Rather than each paying for the toll road costs individually, organise a carpool arrangement with those affected. Sharing rides divides the toll costs among multiple passengers, lightening the financial burden for each person.

3. Negotiate employer benefits

Ask your employer about potential benefits or reimbursement programs for toll road expenses. Some companies offer commuter benefits packages that include subsidies or pre-tax deductions for tolls, helping to offset the financial burden on employees who commute via toll roads.

4. Combine errands to reduce the amount of time using toll roads

If you have any errands or appointments outside of work that require you to use toll roads, plan them on a working day to minimise the number of trips you need to take on toll roads. By planning ahead and grouping tasks together, you can reduce the frequency of toll road usage, ultimately saving money on toll fees.

Methodology: To collect the data, we used official websites for each toll to find the current prices per use, then incorporated to determine the prices of using each toll in previous years, dating back to 2020. Using this data, we were then able to calculate the price increases per toll over time, as well as the potential cost to commuters if they used each toll twice per day, five days per week (to commute to and from work).

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