We are more free than ever when traveling across the European Union and are largely without the restrictions of borders and customs seen elsewhere in the world; however, different rules and policies between countries within the EU remain firmly in place. Some countries have roads free of toll charges whereas others charge for the use of similar roadways. You should be mindful of these differences lest you be greeted by a penalty letter upon returning from your happy road trip!
Some countries’ toll roads don’t utilize toll barriers/toll stations/toll booths, and in their absence it can be difficult to determine whether or not you’re actually traveling a toll road. Sometimes only small, discreet signs indicate if you’re on payment/toll road and video cameras are set up along the travel way to record your number plate for penalization in the event that you don’t pay the toll properly.
I describe the varying toll methods below and if you’re careful, you won’t be in any trouble.
Europe Toll Road Payment Systems
There are several options for toll roads in Europe. These options are:
- Vignette: This is sticker. This sticker should be on placed on your windscreen throughout your road trip.
- Electronic Pass Gadget: This is electronic equipment and must be attached to your windscreen while traveling along any roadway that utilizes this form of payment.
- Barriers / Toll Stations / Toll Booths and Cash/Credit Payment: These structures are on the end of highway roads. Generally you receive your ticket when you enter that road and at the end of that road you will reach a payment point. Payment points will feature either automatic electronic payment devices or will be fulfilled via an actual person. These stations might accept only local currency.
- E-vignette: These systems available in gas station and start with registering you car plate number. You do not need to fix any sticker on you windscreen of your car. You should keep this copy of receipt. Important point is starting date and ending date and time.
Vignette / Sticker
Whole part of road or some part or road could be charged in some countries. Easy way of avoiding any confusing is paying entering the road. When you enter from the border, you should be carefull about vignette selling point. Generally after custom, there will be a small shop or follow your way to find the most closest gas station. Do not think about not care much, this is very expensive way. Easy and cheap way buying before to enter the road. Either you drive your car or rent a car, end of day you should pay it.
Generally, vignette has a duration such seven days or ten days. Last time I paid €11 for Romanian roads for 10 days.
You Should Buy Vignette in These Countries
As I mentioned before, you could buy vignette from gas station but also you can bu e-vignette from gas station also. You should provide car license to staff of gas statiton, they will sell e-vignette to you. They need some information for correct type of e-vignette. If you drive caravan, you must be carefull about details of you vehicle. After these procedure, they will give a reciept of e-vignette. You should keep during your trip and also keep after your trip for a while against to any matter of problem. These vignettes available after custome section of border. I bought vignette in Bulgaria from such a small shop on the border. This vignet was not electronic so I put on windscree of my car which is instructed behind the sticker. şekilde. Each vignette has a differen procedure, you should be carefull how should to use it.
Toll Roads in Countries
Some countries do not need to buy any vignette etc. These countries has simple payment points after or before toll roads. As a sample in France, there is barrier system in toll roads and you should pay cash or credit card before enter to toll road. Also Serbia is similar. Some countries has different system like to take ticket on entrance and you should provide your ticket to cashier. This ticket helps to how long you had use the road. If you loose ticket, you have to pay the longest cost.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Germany (over 7,5t)
- Great Britain
- Macedonia F.Y.R.O.M.
Toll Roads in Poland :
- A1: Rusocin, Stanisławie, Swarożyn, Pelplin, Kopytkowo, Warlubie, Nowe Marzy, Lisewo, Lubicz, Nowa Wieś
- A2: Konin, Września, Poznań, Nowy Tomyśl
- A4: Katowice, Myslowice, Jaworzno, Chrzánóv, Kreszowice, Kraków
Countries that only charge of Bridge and Tunnel
These countries have cashier before or end of the tunnel or bridge. This point could accept Euro if country in Euro Zone adn credit card. You should be ready for any trouble due to local money acceptance. I recommend to get local money when you enter any country without any exchange office. You can find an open bank with cash machine, then you can withdraw small amount of money. If any cash machine problem, you can ask their help of bank staff. You can pay small amount of commision to your bank.
- Denmark (watch video of bridge payment)
- Lithuania (toll for vehicles over 3,5t)
- Latvia (toll for vehicles over 3,5t)
Free of Charge Roads in Europe
The following countries do not need to pay any fees.
- San Marino
Countries that have City Tax
- London, England: Congestion Charge area in city centre of London and you should pay before or till to midnight when you enter to this area. You could pay also via internet. This is offical website:TFL of system please have look before to go.
- Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweeden: There is control system of entrance. You can pay advance. Price is different depend on time of use this area. Weekends are free. Holidays and previous days free and month of July is free also. Payment details available on this page Transportstyrelsen and for payment you can go this page: Payment Page
- Jurmala, Latvia: You should pay between3rd of April – 30th of September. It is like acar park payment as advance. Electric car has not to pay. If you enter to the city except these date, you do not need to pay. Payment point before enter to city. Also there is application for payment you can check their website: Mobilly
SixT rent a car has very usefull and updated website for current fees of roads, bridges, tunnel etc. You check this out this website.
Special thanks to Benjamin Cat (Reddit user) for his valuable contribution about grammer correction on three paragraphs of this article.