Toll fares can take away quite a chunk of the travel budget. The return fare to southern France from northwestern Europe will amount to about 120 euros (without trailer), but toll roads are relatively quiet and generally are in excellent condition, so speedy travel is almost guaranteed (apart from traffic jams in the holiday season). At regular intervals there are parking and toilet facilities, playgrounds for kids and catering options. However, fuel along the toll roads is considerably more expensive than elsewhere. Please check on our tips for cheaper refueling in Europe.
If you prefer to avoid toll roads, set this option in your navigation device or do not follow the signs Péage (France: follow par RN), Pedaggio (Italy) or Peaje (Spain). Many toll-free roads in France and Italy which serve as an alternative to the toll roads are plagued by heavy trucks and are very busy, so relaxed or fast driving is hardly an option. Besides, some highways in France (map of toll-free autoroutes), Spain (autovias) and southern Italy are toll-free.
The toll for some popular holiday routes as of july 2015 for a passenger car (in parenthesis: with caravan):
Tip: toll calculation
With an online route planner you can calculate the cost of the toll roads before departure.
Viamichelin provides the quickest or shortest route but also the toll that is due (with or without caravan) and the exact locations where the toll has to be paid. This Michelin route planner also has useful information about speed cameras and work on roads in France.
Toll rates in Spain are quite high, but there are many dual carriageways, the autovías, almost parallel to the autopistas (toll motorways with AP-number), which are free and almost as fast. These autovias are often busier and have more exits. The toll for some popular holiday routes as of July 2015 for a passenger car:
For all toll rates, see autopistas.com.
Compared with France and Spain tolls in Italy are somewhat cheaper. The toll for some popular holiday routes as of July 2015 for a passenger car:
For toll rates, see the official site of the Italian toll companies.
For toll rates, see the official website of the Portugese toll company Brisa. On the toll roads managed by this company, you can pay by credit card or cash. Other toll roads (for example the important A22 in the Algarve regio) have an electronic toll system that works out very complicated for foreigners. For more information, see Portugal Tolls..
In Switzerland for virtually all motorways a vignette is required. An Autobahnvignet for Swiss motorways (Nationalstrassen) costs 40 CHF or € 40 (as of February 2015), due for a motorcycle, car, caravan or trailer (!). The vignette 2015 is valid from December 1, 2014 to 31 January 2016 and is available from the Automobile Associations (ADAC, AA, ANWB), at the Swiss border posts, at petrol stations in Switzerland and the German and French border region, and at post offices in Switzerland. Penalty for violations: 200 CHF and the cost of a vignette. For road tunnels in Switzerland, there is no separate toll to pay, except for the Grand St. Bernard tunnel on the border with Italy (30 CHF or € 28, with a caravan or camper 46 CHF or € 43, motorcycles 17 CHF or € 16; there are 20% cheaper return tickets available, valid for 1 month). Note: The vignettes have an additional safety feature, which makes incorrectly pasted window stickers instantly recognizable.
An overview of open and closed mountain passes in Switzerland and surrounding countries can be found at Das Alpenportal.
In Austria there is a toll for driving on the highways (A roads) and several motorways (S-roads), in the form of an Autobahnvignet, available abroad at automobile associations (ANWB, AA, ADAC), at the border and at petrol stations in and around Austria. There is a one-week vignette (10 consecutive days, € 8.70), a 2-month vignette of € 25.30 and &a sticker for one year for € 84,40 (valid from December 2014 to January 2016). You don't have to pay extra for a caravan or a trailer, motorcycles have to pay € 5, € 12.70 and € 33.60.
The fine in the absence of a vignette is at least € 120 ("Ersatzmaut"), but can also be much higher, from € 300 to € 3000. Besides the vignette Austria has toll for a number of tunnels and mountain routes. The Brenner motorway is € 9 per passenger car, the Tauernautobahn, the Tauern Tunnel and Katschbergtunnel € 11 and the Großglocknerstraße will cost you €33. An overview of open and closed Alpine passes in Austria and other countries is at Das Alpenportal.
In the Czech Republic a vignette is required for most highways, which is available at the border and at major petrol stations. For passenger cars (including caravan), the rate for 7 days is CKZ 310 (approx € 11) for 1 month CKZ 440 (approx € 16) and for one year CKZ 1500 (approximately € 54). Annual stickers for 2015 are valid until January 31, 2016. Motorcycles are exempt from the toll.
For a number of highways in Slovakia a vignette is required. For 10 days it will cost € 10, for 1 month € 14 and € 50 for one year. The vignettes can be purchased at the border and petrol stations.
In Hungary a toll sticker is required for virtually all motorways and some other roads. There is no windscreen-sticker, you have to purchase an 'e-vignette' at the border or at a petrol station. This means that the car registration number is entered in the toll registration system — you just get a receipt. Your license plate will be photographed automatically at checkpoints along the highway. A vignette for one week (valid 10 days) costs HUF 2975 (€ 10) and one month will cost HUF 4780 (approximately € 15). Campers pay double, and heavy campers (>3500 kg) even four times as much. If you are not registered on the highway, the fine can amount to over € 400.
In Slovenia for cars up to 3.5 tonnes a vignette is required for the highways. This vignette replaces the toll collection. For heavier cars, the old toll system will be continued for the time being. There are vignettes for one week (€ 15 for cars with or without caravan, € 7.50 for motorcycles), one month (€ 30/€ 15) and a calendar year (€ 110/€ 47.50) for sale. The vignettes can be purchased at the toll stations, supermarkets and petrol stations in Slovenia and petrol stations in neighboring countries (border area). The vignette is not valid in the Karawanken tunnel (Austria-Slovenia border), where you pay an additional € 7 with or without a caravan.
In Croatia all highways are toll roads. At the toll stations you can pay with kuna, euro or credit card. Some tolls (also see the Croatian toll company):
A7 Rijeka-Rupa: 8 kn (15 with caravan)
Umag - Pula (Istria): 37 kn (58 with caravan)
Tunnel Ucka: 28 kn (40 with caravan)
Netherlands There are two toll tunnels: The Kiltunnel at Dordrecht (car € 2.00, € 1.45 card with telecard) and the Westerscheldetunnel, with a rate of € 5 for cars and small campers (with electronic T-tag € 3.80). A car with caravan and big campers (length >6 m) pay € 7.45 (€ 5.70 with t-tag). You can pay cash, with Maestro cards or with creditcard
Belgium has one toll tunnel, the Liefkenshoektunnel in Antwerp. The rate is € 4.95 for a passenger care when paid by credit card in the automatic lane (blue arrow) and € 6 if you pay cash. A vehicle exceeding a height of 2.75 meters (some campers!) pays € 17,60 or € 19 each way. The Liefkenshoektunnel may be an alternative when there are traffic jams on the Antwerp ring, for example at the toll free Kennedytunnel. In exceptional circumstances, traffic through the Liefkenshoektunnel is toll free, which will be announced on the notice boards along the road.
In Denmark you pay toll for the Storebaelt Bridge, connecting the islands of Fünen and Seeland on the route to Copenhagen. The fare is around € 33 for a passenger car up to 6 meters (with or without caravan), and for cars with or without caravan and longer than 6 meters around € 50. The Öresund Bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö in Sweden is also a toll bridge — for a car up to 6 meters the toll is € 52, and for a car with caravan or a camper longer than 6 meters € 104.
An extensive summary of European tolls can be found at the Belgian Mobility club VAB (Tolls).