When transport companies plan a trip to Europe, there are some important things to consider, such as heavy goods road tolls. Each country decides whether to apply fees and how they will be charged.
This informative article is entirely dedicated to transport and tolls in Europe for vehicles with a permissible mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes.
The payment of tolls in some European countries is made with vignettes that are valid for a certain period. Countries with vignettes are Bulgaria, Great Britain, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Romania and Sweden and the Netherlands.
Countries with road tolls are Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, France and Croatia.
It is important to specify that in some of them there are alternative options for paying the fees, but this information is found in the text for each of the countries in the article.
European countries that do not pay fees and do not buy vignettes are Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Ukraine.
- How are road tolls paid in Austria?
In Austria, vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes (including buses and trailer vehicles) must use an electronic toll payment system, GoMaut, with a GO-Box OBU. Tariff assignment depends on the vehicle category (number of axles and emission class), travel time (day or night) and distance traveled.
The on-board device is free of charge, but there is a one-off administrative fee of 5 Euros. It can be paid with a fuel card. Go Go Box can be paid in two ways:
– Pre-Pay, when passing through points in Austria, tolls are deducted electronically via the on-board unit previously charged with a maximum of EUR 400;
– Post-Pay, where the electronic toll network records mileage and fees are subsequently paid through the GO-Box.
Additionally, to get to the center of some cities in Austria with a vehicle you need an emission sticker stuck to the windscreen identifying the car’s emissions.
- How are road tolls paid in Belgium?
In Belgium, tolls for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are calculated on a distance basis and are paid by an on-board unit. The toll control system is Viapass. It is important to know that the country is divided into three regions, Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels, each of which has different tariffs.
To obtain a Satellic device, you must pay a deposit of € 135, which you can get back after returning it to the operator. Payment of toll charges can be made as a prepayment or subsequent payment.
In addition to the Satellic on-board unit, the toll can also be paid with combined devices approved for toll payment in Belgium (eg InterRoute +, Telepass SAT, etc.)
- How are road tolls paid in Bulgaria?
For off-road traffic in Bulgaria, a valid vignette sticker is required for all vehicles. The price of the vignette depends on the vehicle category (number of axles, weight, type of transport), emission class and period of use of the road network in the country.
In the case of an invalid, expired or missing vignette, a penalty is imposed for stopping the vehicle for 3 months and imposing a fine depending on the category.
It is expected that at the end of 2019 a toll collection system will be introduced in Bulgaria.
- How are tolls paid in the UK?
In the UK, a toll system, the HGV UK Levy, has been introduced for the paid use of separate public sections of the country’s road network for cars over 12 tonnes. The amount of the charge depends on the height, number of axles and weight of the vehicle and can be paid online or on selected items such as gas stations. There is a possibility for a daily payment, but a weekly, monthly or annual prepayment is more advantageous, the vignette received is only valid for one vehicle and can not be transferred to another.
If the fee is not paid in full, check-ins will alert the relevant law enforcement, with a penalty of 300 pounds on the spot, and if you can not pay the penalty, the vehicle will be detained.
- How are tolls paid in Germany?
From July 1, 2018, the passage of all motorways in Germany is payable. It is important to know that heavy goods vehicles with a gross weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes have to pay charges based on distance traveled, emission class and number of axles.
The system that collects the fees is Toll Collect, and payment methods three:
– Subsequent payment via a OBU, which is installed in a Toll Collect-approved service. The device is free of charge, but installation is paid;
– Prepay online and via the Toll Collect application, with pre-ordered highway;
– At terminals in Germany, a pre-ordered route can be set 24 hours before the trip.
In addition, to get into the center of some cities by vehicle, you need an emission sticker stuck to the windscreen. The stickers are of different colors, red, yellow and green, identifying the harmfulness of emissions from the vehicle.
- How do you pay the tolls in Greece?
In Greece, to use some of the main roads, you have to pay a fee based on the distance traveled and the category of the vehicle.
Highways are managed by different operators and payment is made immediately before entering the road section. The category is determined by the number of axles and the height of the vehicle.
Payment can be made by:
– FastPass on-board units, for the Nea Odos and Kentriki Odos motorways;
– E-way on-board for the Aegean Motorway, Attiki Odos, Olympia Odos and MOREAS Motorway as well as the Rion – Antirrion Bridge;
– Egnatia maps, for the Egnatia Odos State Highway.
Payment does not have to be done through devices and cards, but it is recommended as there is a discount and you can get your VAT refund. In case you do not want to use these services, you can pay at the points in cash, and in some places with a bank card.
- How are road tolls paid in Spain?
In Spain, for the use of motorways there is a mandatory payment for all cars above 3.5 tonnes and the tariff is according to their category, distance traveled, annual season and daytime passage. The category is determined by vehicle type, axles, number and type of wheels (eg four wheels, double tires).
Payment can be made via a VIA-T on-board unit requested by a fuel vendor. It is recommended for heavy goods vehicles as it passes through the toll sections quickly and easily, and thus benefits from a toll charge. This is because it passes through a tape reserved only for the holders of the device and the value of the charge is directly drawn from a fuel card. There are combined devices on the market that can be used in several countries, including Spain.
Payments can also be made directly to terminals, a manual payment bar, cash or bank, and fuel cards are no longer accepted.
- How are tolls paid in Italy?
In Italy, to pass through the road network, all cars pay a fee that is considered one of the highest in Europe. The tariff is calculated on the basis of the distance traveled and the category of the vehicle, which depends on the vehicle height and the number of axles. Here, it is interesting to specify that the amount of the fee varies between the different operators and always rounds off, eg:
– € 6.67, rounded up to € 6.70 or;
– 6.63 €, rounded up to 6.60 €.
The payment is a follow-up and can be done using a Telepass on-board or Viacard card, it is recommended that the truck drivers are provided with at least one of the two options.
If you have installed Telepass in your car, then the charges are automatically recorded and paid according to the card, this is the fastest way to go through the sections.
If you use, Viacard, then you are using a non-cash payment again, but you need to stop and pay with the card at the point and then continue. The card is not connected to a particular vehicle and can be used by the entire fleet, while the Telepass can only be used by the vehicle registered to it.
It is important to know that at the terminals there are special bands for each type of payment:
– Telepass – yellow tape;
– Viacard or bank card – Blue line, self-service;
– Cash or card pay – white tape, with operator and self-service.
- How are tolls paid in Lithuania and Latvia?
In Lithuania and Latvia, road traffic over 3.5 tonnes is paid in the same way via a vignette. The type of vignette sticker depends on the distance, weight and emission class of the vehicle. You can buy vignettes at the distributor’s points of the border operator and at selected petrol stations.
- How are tolls paid in Macedonia?
In Macedonia, crossing the main highways is subject to payment. Road toll rates are calculated based on the vehicle category, which depends on the vehicle’s height and number of axles.
- How are road tolls paid in Norway?
In Norway, there are 45 paid roads, tunnels, bridges and ferries, the passage of which is paid by all vehicles on a distance basis. For vehicles above 3.5 tons, the use of an on-board unit, AutoPASS Box (EasyGo) or BroBizz, is mandatory for toll payment.
To receive the AutoPASS Box, you must sign a contract with AutoPASS and pay a deposit of NOK 200. Upon receipt, you must stick it on the front windscreen of the truck as described. By using an OBU device, you must use the specially marked bar when passing through the checkpoints, paying automatically without the need to stop, and also discounts.
In addition, this device can also be used to pay bridges and ferry fees in Denmark and Sweden, and in these two countries the Eurovignette remains valid.
- How are tolls paid in Poland?
In Poland a system for the use of roads in the country has been introduced. Vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes are obliged to pay tolls via the viaTOLL system and be equipped with a viaBOX OBU device, except for private sections A1, A2 and A4, which can be paid by a fuel card. ViaTOLL OBU can be taken from viaTOLL customer centers after registration and payment of a deposit. The fee is calculated on the basis of the distance traveled, the weight of the vehicle or the combination of such, emission class and road category.
Payment of the charge with the device can be done in two ways:
– Pre-Pay, the device being pre-charged with a certain amount of credit before crossing the points in Poland or;
– Postpay (postpay) via the viaBOX device without constant charge.
- How are tolls paid in Portugal?
In Portugal, an electronic toll collection system has been introduced to pass through the road network. Tariffs depend on the height and number of axles of the vehicle. Here, for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, the use of an on-board unit is not mandatory, but it is advisable to travel frequently.
There are several ways to pay the fees; credit card, cache, or ViaVerde, with a payline for each paycheck.
If you have decided to use an on-board device, you can get it from ViaVerde’s offices, paying an initial charge of € 27.50, rental € 6 and a deposit of € 20 for heavy goods vehicles. Payment with device is automatically via Multibanco or bank card or prepayment.
For heavy goods vehicles, combined multi-country ropes may also be used.
- How are road tolls paid in Romania?
In Romania, crossing the highways and suburban roads is paid via an electronic vignette, Rovinieta. The charge depends on the vehicle category and the desired period of use of the vignette; daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual. If you do not have a vignette purchased or it has expired, you will be subject to a fine of 4500 lei.
The vignette can be purchased from gas stations, post offices or online. In the case of a check, for the sticker to be valid, you must keep the cash receipt and provide it to the relevant authorities.
- How are road tolls paid in Slovakia?
Road charges in Slovakia for vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes are managed by the MYTO system, which is a combination of GPS and microwave technology, and are paid via a SkyToll on-board, based on the distance traveled and the weight of the vehicle. To get it, you have to pay a deposit of 50 €, which will then be taken back when the device is returned.
Payment may be:
– Post-Pay, where the on-board unit reports charges that are then charged without the need for permanent charging, or
– Pre-Pay, where a device is pre-charged with a certain amount by a fuel card, bank card or cash, and the charges are automatically withdrawn when the terminals pass. This is recommended for irregular users of Slovak road networks.
- How are road tolls paid in Slovenia?
In Slovenia, a toll system is introduced, which is paid by cars over 3.5 tons via an on-board device, the others are obliged to use vignettes. Heavy-duty vehicles pay a fee based on mileage, number of axles and weight. To pay, they must be equipped with a DarsGo boarding device, which can be taken for free but paying 10 € for processing.
The calculated travel fee can be paid in a Postpay or Pre-Payment mode.
- How are road tolls paid in Serbia?
In Serbia, as well as in many other European countries, a toll has to be paid to cross the roads. This is determined by the distance traveled, as well as the axes and the height of the vehicle.
Charges can be paid in cash or with a bank card, but also with an onboard device that is recommended for cars over 3,5 tons. It is important to know that as a foreign company, you can use the ETC only in prepay mode. This happens by entering an amount you specify in the account associated with the on-board device.
- How are road tolls paid in Turkey?
In Turkey, off-road traffic is paid for a fee depending on the distance traveled and the category of the vehicle (number of axles and distance between them). There are two systems to pay for fees, contactless OGS and HGS stickers.
Stickers can be bought at the entrances and exits of highways, post offices and some banks. If you use HGS, then at the points you should use only the strip designated for this purpose, otherwise the system will not be able to read the sticker.
The automatic OGS system uses an on-board unit or even a transponder to be installed in the vehicle to account for fees.
- How are road tolls paid in Hungary?
In Hungary, to pass through the country’s road network, all cars pay a fee. Vehicles with a mass over 3,5 tonnes must use an electronic toll system. Fees are paid based on distance, road category and vehicle, as well as emission class.
It is recommended that heavy goods vehicles be equipped with an onboard device to use, but this is not required. The system that operates in Hungary is HU-GO.
Payments are made by:
– on-board unit in prepayment or;
– by means of a relay ticket representing an electronic reservation system giving information on the distance to be traveled, type of vehicle, emission class, number of axles and date of travel. The ticket can be reserved 30 days before the trip and is valid 48 hours from the start date, the payment is made at sales points.
- How are tolls paid in France?
In France, there is a system for the use of the road network. The tariff depends on the category (height, weight and number of axles) of the vehicle and the way traveled.
For vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, it is advisable to use an on-board unit that you need to request from your fuel supplier. By paying for it, you have the opportunity to get a discount on the toll paid. It is also possible to pay at a bank and fuel card terminal or in cash, but with this payment option, no discount is granted.
- How are road tolls paid in Croatia?
If you are traveling through Croatian main roads, you should know that there are tolls that are paid for on special motorway boats. Tol systems are operated by 4 companies, each responsible for a particular area of the country. The amount of the charge depends on the height and number of axles of the vehicle.
In Croatia, two toll systems are available, open for bridges and tunnels, and closed on highways with entry and exit. Through the closed system, a ticket is entered upon entering the section, which takes into account the distance traveled and the category of the vehicle, and the cost according to these criteria is paid on departure.
Payment can also be made via an ETC on-board, which is again recommended for frequent visits. The ETC is mounted on the windscreen and reports the charges automatically but can only be used on the Zagreb-Split-Ploče, Zagreb-Rijeka, Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac, B.Manastir-Osijek- Svilaj, Zagreb-Varazdin-Goričan, Krk Bridge toll plaza and Rupa-Rijeka.
A monthly prepaid card, valid for one car, which allows an unlimited number of passes, can also be used for passing through the highways.
- How are tolls paid in the Czech Republic?
In the Czech Republic, crossing the highways is payable for all vehicles, and for vehicles above 3.5 tonnes, the use of the Premid, a Czech-operated MYTO CZ system, is mandatory. Premid is free of charge, but a deposit of 50 € is paid.
Charges are based on distance, weight, number of axles, and vehicle emission class. The value can be paid by a procedure for:
– Pre-Pay, whereby the on-board unit is loaded in advance with a credit amount, and charges are automatically charged when passing through the stations; or
– Post-Pay, whereby the mileage is reported through the on-board unit and the fee is subsequently paid.
- How are road tolls paid in Switzerland?
In Switzerland, a toll is paid for heavy goods vehicles with a mass over 3,5 tonnes, most often with an ID card issued when entering the country. Charging is measured on the basis of distance, weight, and vehicle emission class. There is an option for making an on-board unit that is tied to a HVC account.
It is important to know that for issuing an ID card when entering Switzerland, you must enter the following information: registration number, country of registration of the car, vehicle owner, emission class and billing address.
Once you have an ID, you must enter the current mileage data of the vehicle, the truck and the trailer (if any) and the payment method. Here, we note that the form of payment can not be changed when traveling in the country. When leaving the country, you must enter the new vehicle mileage and your charge will be calculated, then you will pay it in the way you choose.
- How are road tolls paid in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg?
In Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the use of the road network of vehicles over 12 tonnes is paid through the Eurovignette. It can be bought at different distribution points in the countries or on the other