Below you will find useful information on tolls in the UK, France, Spain and Portugal so that you can plan your travel in advance and help you understand the various payment methods available.
The government website has a list of all the current major road tolls in the UK. See additional information on the Dartford Crossing below.
There are concessions for blue badge holders on most toll crossings, more details are here.
Many countries in Europe have congestion charging in cities and localised areas, a good source of information is the Urban Access Regulations website supported by the European Commission, this can be accessed here.
There is normally a simple system to pay as you go or buy preloaded cards depending on the specific system provided by the toll road operator. However, most tolls have special lanes with electronic tolls that have no toll booths, and the passage of vehicles is detected by means of electronic gateways and tag within the vehicle. See Toll tag.
Note many toll websites have route planning tools that can help determine toll charges for your chosen route.
The Tolls.EU website has some good general information on tolls across the whole of Europe. We suggest using this for research purposes only and when you are ready to commit find the official website links within your internet search tool.
France and Spain
Many motorways charge a toll fee. Toll roads are identified by the word ‘p.age’ in French and ‘peaje’ in Spanish. A ticket is taken on joining the road at the toll booth and then handed over at the next toll booth on the journey, where payment will be required by cash or bank card. The toll gates are often automated, so you can simply insert your ticket, then your credit card, as well as collect a receipt.
Travel on the motorways is subject to tolls, which in Portugal may be of two distinct kinds – conventional tolls with booths and those that are exclusively electronic.
At toll booths, payment is made with cash, bank card, or through an alternative form of payment, for example the Via Verde (Green Lane), an electronic toll system where the fee is debited directly from the bank.
Toll tag devices
Toll Tag devices can speed up travel and be cost effective for some so consider the below.
TopEurop is valid for all toll motorways in France, Spain and Portugal, and Italy can also be included for vehicles up to 3.00m high and 3.5t in weight, using an automatic device affixed to your windscreen. However, we understand this must be linked to a bank account in euros.
It is available from mango-mobilitesbyaprr.com/en (click on the language options tab on the top right of the home page).
Drivers of vehicles over 3.5t may wish to investigate Tolltickets. This website has useful information for toll tags especially if touring multiple countries. However, they do charge a premium for the tolls as it brings together many of the different schemes into one place. So do use it for your research and maybe find the official toll websites to pay.
Dartford crossing tolls
Information on Dart Charge tolls
The toll collection system for the Dartford crossings known as Dart Charge was introduced in 2014 and these arrangements aim to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow at the crossing by removing the need for drivers to stop at barriers to pay, however payment is still required between 6am -10pm every day.
How can I pay for a crossing?
You can make one-off payments:
• You can set up a pre-pay account at dart-charge or by calling 0300 300 0120
Is there anything else I should know?
- You will need to pay for each crossing you make in advance or by midnight the day after
Some crossings are not charged:
- For all vehicles between 10pm and 6am.
- Motorcycles, mopeds, motor tricycles and quad bikes
- Trailers are included in the vehicle charge.
- Disabled drivers receiving free vehicle tax have a concession, details here
Motorhomes must be identified on the log book (V5C) as a motor caravan to pay the lower rate charge, you can check what rate you would be expected to pay here and by following these instructions:
1. Select “Start Now”
2. Then select “Make one off payment”
3. Enter your vehicle registration number
4. Then press “find vehicle”.
Your vehicle details should now be displayed. If your motorhome is correctly registered it should state Class B, if not check your V5C and contact DVLA.
More details on vehicle classes are covered here in the charges and fines page.