If you are planning on heading south for your next holiday and exploring the Mediterranean landscapes of Portugal or Spain, it is a good idea to be in the know about how to pay for the road tolls in place in your destination. To make your vacation planning that much easier, we have brought together some of the most important information on road toll payment methods in these two beautiful countries.
Though there are plenty of toll-free motorways in Spain, toll roads can sometimes get you where you need to go faster, and thus be worth the money spent. There are two ways to pay for tolls: with card or cash manually, or electronically. On a toll road you are generally required to take a ticket from a booth when you enter the motorway, and then settle the amount of the toll at another booth as you exit, which will be determined by the ticket. Separate lanes exist for cash and card payments.
The automatic toll collection is in operation on lanes at tolling stations that are signposted “Telepeaje”, “VIA-T” or “T”. A device then registers the amount of the toll and you can pass through without having to wait. These devices are available from banks in Spain, when you also have an account at the bank, and are thus only a truly viable option for those who vacation in Spain extremely frequently or live there full or part time.
In Portugal, some motorway tolls can be paid for with cash or debit card, however increasing numbers of tolls a levied electronically.
Easy Toll – This payment method was introduced in 2012 and designed for tourists. You must sign up for an account at the border, and this will link your licence plate number to your credit card. You will receive a ticket as proof, which is valid for thirty days. To pay for the toll, the credit card must simply be entered into the payment terminal, and the licence plate will be associated with the credit card, which will deduct the relevant amount from the account linked with the card.
Toll Card – This is another payment option for electronically levied tolls. The card is activated by sending a text message with the card’s code and your licence plate number. The card differs from the Easy Toll as it is pre-loaded with a given amount, and this can be paid for by cash or debit card as well. You can check the balance left on your card online to make sure you always have enough for whatever distance you are driving, although an SMS alert will also be sent when the balance runs out.
Toll Service – These tickets are a convenient option for those who are travelling through the country for a shorter time period or have a defined journey in mind. You can purchase a ticket, for example, for unlimited use for the duration of three days, or for a specified journey, such as driving from Spain to Faro Airport via the A22 motorway. The price of the pre-paid tickets depends on your car and on the journey you are planning, if you are purchasing a ticket for a pre-defined journey.
Via Verde Visitors – The Via Verde device is more appropriate for frequent travellers to Portugal, or for longer stays in the country. Usable for both roads with electronically levied tolls as well as traditional ones, the cost of the device depends on the duration you are renting it for. A deposit is required for the rental of the device, and you are required to have an international credit card.
We hope you found this post useful, and hope you enjoy your Mediterranean road trips!