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Driving in France : Autoroute / motorway toll charges

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Key points about this information item Driving in France : Autoroute / motorway toll charges


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French Autoroute (motorway) peage (tolls) and telepeage (automated payment)

 

If you are travelling any distance in France and particularly if you have a deadline to meet, then you are more than likely to use one of the motorways (autoroutes).

 

Many miles of the French motorway system are toll roads, operating in an almost identical manner to the M6 toll motorway in the UK.

 

The level of tolls varies considerably from just a couple of euros for short stretches to 30€ or 40€ for longer sections.  Use the ASFA website to give you an idea of the level of toll charges for your route, plus it also has live traffic information showing roadwork’s, accidents and queues.

 

There are a number of ways of paying the tolls as well :

 

  • Cash, with a cah attendant symbol – all toll booths will have a machine that accepts cash – both notes and coins.
  • Card, with a CB symbol – You will always find at least on booth that accepts debit and credit cards.  Fortunately, most UK credit and debit cards are now accepted.
  • Telepeage, with a “t” symbol – an automated system with a transponder fitted to the car.

 

Driving in a right hand drive car, without a passenger, causes a little difficulty at the toll booths and involves the driver having to stop at the booth, get out of the car and walk round to the pay booth or machine.  Obviously, if you are travelling with someone, then they can do all this.

 

As a tourist, just visiting for a week or so, there is no easy solution, but as a resident using the autoroutes all the time there is and it is especially helpful if you have decided to bring your right hand drive car with you to France.

 

The solution is telepeage.

 

Have you ever noticed while queuing to pay that there are always some toll booths that are empty?  And they usually have an orange “t” symbol?  These are the telepeage booths that require an electronic tag to operate.

 

There are a number of systems in place, but they all operate identically at the booth, it is just the method of collecting the payment that varies.

 

With a telepeage system, you simply drive into the telepeage lane and a sensor at the booth reads the electronic device that you have in your car.  This identifies you and your account, puts a charge against your account and opens the barrier.

 

There are two basic systems in operation :

 

  • Your bank account is debited each time you use a toll road
  • You are charged at the end of the month for that month’s usage.

 

Within these basic schemes, there are also other choices.  If you use the motorways regularly, then a lower monthly debit may be available, but it is taken every month regardless of whether you use the tolls or not.  Other schemes charge a slightly higher monthly rate, but only charge when you use the system.  It is all a question of your anticipated usage.

 

Have a look at the ASFA webpage for all the details and how to sign up.

 

 

 

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