Navigating toll roads in Portugal can be a breeze, thanks to the country's well-organized system and user-friendly payment options. However, even the most cautious drivers can occasionally miss their turn or be caught off guard by an unexpected toll plaza. If you find yourself in this situation, don't panic! Portugal has a system in place to handle these situations, ensuring that you can pay your toll without incurring additional fines or penalties.
Paying Tolls in Portugal
Portugal has a mix of traditional toll booths and electronic toll systems. The traditional tolls are straightforward – you pay as you pass through the booth. Electronic tolls, on the other hand, use an automated system to record vehicle passages and calculate charges.
For Foreign Vehicles
If you're entering Portugal with a foreign vehicle, there are four main options for paying electronic tolls:
EASYtoll: Links your license plate to a credit card (Visa or Mastercard). The toll rates are debited directly from your bank account. Valid for 30 days, it can be subscribed at certain border entries or online at portugaltolls.com. Subscription incurs a fee of €0.74, and each journey has an administrative fee of €0.32, aside from the toll rates.
Toll Card: A prepaid card available in values of €5, €10, €20, or €40. It can be purchased at Portuguese post offices (CTT), service areas, or online at tollcard.pt. Activation and association with the license plate are done via SMS. Each journey incurs an administrative fee of €0.32, in addition to the toll rates.
Toll Service: A prepaid ticket valid for 3 days, costing €20 plus a €0.74 administrative fee. It can be purchased at certain service areas, Porto Airport, Portuguese post offices, or online.
Via Verde: A windshield-mounted device valid on all Portuguese highways, allowing for seamless toll payment. More information can be found at visitors.viaverde.pt.
For Rental Cars
If you're renting a car, you have two options:
Via Verde Device: Ask for a ViaVerde device when renting your car, which allows you to pay tolls upon returning the vehicle. It costs €1.50 per day (up to a maximum of €18.50 per rental).
CTT Payment: If you don’t opt for Via Verde, you can pay the electronic tolls at Portuguese post offices by providing the rental car’s license plate. Payments must be made within 5 days after using a toll road.
For Residents or Local Vehicles
Residents or those with Portuguese-registered vehicles can opt for:
Via Verde Device: Purchase costs €27.50, and tolls are debited directly from your bank account. It's valid on all Portuguese highways.
CTT Payment: Pay at CTT stores, post offices, or via the Multibanco network (ATM terminals) or Homebanking.
What are Portugal’s Toll Rates?
Toll costs in Portugal vary based on the type of road, distance traveled, and vehicle class. Here is a table of the toll rates for the most common types of vehicles:
Short Journey (10-20 km)
Long Journey (100-200 km)
€0.50 - €1.50
€5.00 - €10.00
€1.00 - €3.00
€10.00 - €20.00
€1.50 - €4.00
€15.00 - €25.00
€2.50 - €6.00
€20.00 - €40.00
Please note that these are just the standard toll rates. The actual toll fee you may be charged may vary depending on the specific toll road and the time of day. You can find more detailed information about toll rates on the website of the Portuguese Roads Administration.
Tips for Tolls in Portugal
If you’re renting a car, ask the rental company about their toll payment policies.
Always check your route in advance to know which toll system applies.
Pay attention to road signs and lane markings at toll plazas. Be sure to enter the correct lane for your payment method.
Keep some cash handy for traditional toll booths, though most accept cards.
If you plan to drive on Portugal's highways frequently, make sure you have a Via Verde or Via T tag. This will save you time and hassle at toll plazas.
If you miss a toll booth, you can still pay for it at a later date. There are several post-paid toll collection options available.
What if I Miss a Toll as a Tourist?
If you miss a toll as a tourist in Portugal, there are a few things you can do.
If you have a Via Verde or Via T tag, you can pay for the missed toll at a later date. The toll booth attendant will scan your tag and charge your account for the missed toll.
If you do not have a Via Verde or Via T tag, you can pay for the missed toll online or at a post office. You will need to provide your vehicle registration number and the date and time you passed through the toll plaza.
You can also pay for the missed toll by mail. You will need to send a check or money order to the address on the toll notice.
It is important to pay for missed tolls as soon as possible to avoid being charged a fine. The fine for a missed toll in Portugal is €25.
Conclusion: Toll Booths in Portugal
Portugal's toll road system offers a convenient and efficient way to travel throughout the country. With a variety of payment options, including electronic tolls and manual lanes, tourists can easily navigate the toll system and enjoy the scenic routes. However, it is important to be aware of the toll rates and payment procedures and to avoid missing tolls to prevent fines. By following these tips, tourists can experience the best of Portugal's highways without any hassle.
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