European Tolls, Vignette’s & Low Emission Zones


When travelling through Europe the road charges vary from country to country. In general, the A roads are free and in a lot of cases, the motorways are free too with just a handful of tolled motorways or tolled sections.  The toll systems operate very similar to the M6 toll road in the UK.

A vignette is just like a road tax disc – a payment upfront for driving on the roads. Tourist vignettes usually offer 1 week and 1 month vignettes as well as the standard 12 months.

European countries that do not have toll roads or vignettes include Andorra, Estonia, Finland, Germany (unless over 7.5 ton) Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican.

Toll Roads

Most tolled roads allow you to pay at the toll booth you can pay via cash, visa or credit card. However, it is increasing common to find electronic tagging and vehicle recognition a means to automate the collection of tolls.

France: Autoroutes – The majority of roads are toll free but motorways are charged with a toll.  These tolls are usually collected at the beginning or the end of the toll road via automated or manned booth.

Greece – The roads are toll free with the exception of a few sections of motorways. The tolls are all managed by different private companies, so it is not clear and easy to advance plan. Currently there are 6 different toll companies – AegeanAttikiEgnatiaMoreasNeaOlympia.

Italy: Autostrade – A small number of motorway sections are tolled for both vehicles under and over 3.5 ton. The tolls are collected via toll booths located at the beginning or the end of the toll. No need to pre purchase or register just pay as you go!

Norwegian: Autopass – There are a lot of toll roads (A roads and motorway) in Norway but the fees are usually quite small. The toll charges are automated via camera’s and number plate recognition. You can either register in advance of your journey and opt for prepayment or you can wait for the bill to arrive at the registered address and pay via call centre or on-line.

Poland: Viatoll – A handful of motorways are tolled. For vehicles under 3.5 ton you can pay in cash or card at the toll booth. For vehicles over 3.5 ton you must register for the road tolls and obtain VIABOX device.

Portugal: Portugaltolls– A number of motorways operate tolls and upon entry in to Portugal you can register your vehicle and credit card details. Alternatively, you can register your details on their website which supports both residents and visitors.

SpanishAutopistas – Some motorways are tolled but you can pay for the toll via cash at the toll booth. Alternatively, you can register on-line and pay electronically.

Vignettes

Austria – motorways only. Vignette for under 3.5 ton and Go Box for over 3.5 ton.  Our experience very confusing system with a very unhelpful customer service team. Our advice just stay to the non toll roads and travel free, its easier!

Bulgaria – you need a vignette for all roads. One vignette covers all types of vehicles unless you have more than 8 seats – daily, weekly or annual ticket. You can purchase the highway sticker at  border crossings and fuel station (OMV, Petrol, Shell, Lukoil).

Hungary – vignette for under 3.5 ton and e-toll tag (HU GO) for over 3.5 ton. You can either use toll payment Ad-Hoc for a pre-planned route, or the On Board Unit, a unit that must have traveled for a correct reading of the charging zones located on the front window. We used the preplanned route (no choice!) and found it very limiting as we had to stick to the exact route, no change permitted.

Romania – Log on time (in advance) and pay for your vignette. When passing through Romania, it is necessary to have a valid vignette not only on motorways but also when passing other roads belonging to the national road network. Different price for under 3.5 ton and over 3.5 ton.

Slovakia – only for motorways and national roads. One fee for under 3.5 ton and over 3.5 fee plus electronic tag for distance and category. We just travelled on the non toll roads, they were excellent condition and free!

Slovenia – only for motorway tolls and different rate for under and over 3.5 tons. Option for weekly, monthly, 6 monthly or annual.

Switzerland – one charge of €40 per vehicle per annum which can be purchased from any major fuel station. For vehicles over 3.5 ton an additional charge is made when entering the country but we were never asked for an additional fee.

Lithuania and Latvia charge tolls for vehicles over 3.5 ton.

Bridges & Tunnels

Belgium, DenmarkLithuania, Latvia, Netherlands and Sweden have a small number of bridge and tunnel charges.

Low Emission Zones

Many cities in Europe use low emission zones, urban road tolls, traffic limited zones and traffic restrictions to improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion and make historic city centres attractive to tourists. We use this website to check out certificate requirements 

 

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