Toll Roads in France
If you are a seasoned traveller and have been to France before then you are probably already aware of the existence of French Toll Roads.
Toll roads are unfortunately just one of those things you’ll have to get used to if you’re planning to go driving in or across France. Although it is possible to travel throughout France without going on toll roads if you plan on travelling for long distances or during the busier times of the year then its something that you will have to put up with.
Unlike the UK, motorways or Autoroutes as they are known, are not owned by the government but are instead owned by a number of different companies who charge a fee or toll for their use. The fee pays for the upkeep of the Autoroute and any associated costs instead of coming from taxes.
If you are travelling across different regions of France you can expect to not only pay a number of tolls but may also end up paying several different companies. Also, because there are a number of different companies, tolls can vary from one to another. As such you may find some stretches of Autoroute seem expensive whilst on others you can travel for many kilometers at a relatively cheap price.
How do French toll roads work?
Toll road are used by paying a fee for travelling along a particular stretch of Autoroute or motorway. Toll payment booths are located at the beginning and any exits of each Autoroute. On the Autoroutes you’ll notice a blue sign with the word péage which means toll in French. As you approach the Autoroute you’ll see several lanes. You’ll notice that one lane will have a T above it which denotes that it is a Tag Lane only which we will come onto later on.
The other booths normally have some form of payment sign. When joining the Autoroute you get a ticket from the machine at the booth and then produce it again when leaving to offer payment. The amount you owe when leaving the Autoroute will depend upon the vehicle you are travelling in and the distance travelled. Although tickets are required on most Autoroutes, some do not require you to take a ticket as there is a fixed tariff.
Paying Autoroute tolls
You can pay your Autoroute fees in a number of different ways. Cash and credit cards are accepted at the toll booths and you can also pay by using an electronic toll tag. Cash and credit cards can be used at any booth with the appropriate sign. Toll tags can be used at any booth including the dedicated toll booths normally located at the far left or right of the set of booths.
Although many people use cash and cards, if you are using a number of different Autoroutes you may find a toll tag easier and more convenient. Tags can be bought from Emovis Tag UK details of which can be found below.
French Toll Calculator
French toll calculators are very handy to work out a rough cost as to how much your journey is likely to cost. Unfortunately, as the majority of long journeys through France mean you’ll be paying a number of different toll companies you’ll find that there isn’t one simple price structure. However, despite there not being a simple one price fits all you can use one of the following French toll calculators to help give you a rough price.
We’ve travelled in France many times and have used both of the toll calculators and can say that they were pretty accurate when we used them. Full information about each French toll calculator can be found on the respective websites which are https://www.autoroutes.fr/index.htm and https://www.viamichelin.com.
What is a French toll road tag?
A toll tag is a small electronic device that fits inside your vehicle. Many ferries, tunnels, and bridges around the UK already use such devices for fee payments. The tag will allow you to drive on Autoroutes without the need to stop and pay at the booths. Instead, you simply continue to drive slowly up to the barrier and it automatically opens. The tag registers your transaction and then you are billed on your return to the UK.
Why get a French road toll tag?
There are a number of benefits to buying a French toll tag including the following:
- Quicker travel by passing through tag only lanes without having to wait.
- No more storing change in the car.
- Less traffic at the toll booths as you can filter through any lane.
- Travel now pay later as payment is taken from your chosen account.
Where do I put the tag in my vehicle?
The tag must be located within the top centre of the windscreen of your vehicle so that it can be detected by the transponder at the barrier. Failure to place it in the correct place will leave it inoperative.
Where can I get a French Toll Tag?
Toll tags can be bought from Emovis Tag. Emovis tag was once called Sanef Tolling. On their website, you can buy a tag and also find useful information on where to put the tag in your vehicle.
For more information visit Emovis Tag here