Toll Roads in Europe divide opinion with us more than Donald Trump or Brexit with many pluses and minuses on each side. The pros are that they act as a quick means of getting from A to B without getting bogged down by endless junctions, roundabouts and slow moving traffic while the cons are having to put you hand in your pocket to use them, having to stop and do the side-stand shuffle to get your money or bank card out (then waiting on the other side for your mates to come through) and that fuel prices on the péage is generally higher.
My own view point is to avoid wherever possible but use as a quick hop on to a main route to help get us to the fun stuff quicker and pass by the more mundane hum-drum areas.
My advice for tolls is to budget some in at the very start of your ride/trip so you’re not financially caught-out and feeling aggrieved at spending for a few euros here and there then they won’t ruin your trip as much.
Across Europe payment methods change from toll road style to vignette style one-off annual payments. While a toll has to be paid for each passage at least with a vignette you find you’re then covered for most major roads for the remainder of your trip - plus some riders feel the sticker is a bit like a “badge of honour” and a “look where I’ve been riding!”
If you’re choosing to use them then fine, enjoy the convenience they offer. If not, then plan your route well so you don’t fall foul of buying a vignette only to do 20 miles before leaving and never returning to that country again.
We have found, for your convenience and to assist planning, one of the better and clearer websites covering which roads, in which countries are charged.
tolls.eu breaks down the countries into tolls, Vignette and even reassures you about which countries do NOT have toll roads. It also covers the many bridges and tunnels in each country too so there really is an easy reference for your jaunts to Europe
To add to the hassle some cities now also charge an ‘Urban Access’ toll, aka a congestion charge or Low Emission Charge. The idea is simply to keep the big polluters out of the city, and that means ANYTHING burning fossil fuels, lorries, cars, motorcycles, the lot.
It’s worth spending a bit of time navigating around these sites as they appear to have all the info you need to assure you are not caught out.
The only thing which was a little frustrating was that I couldn’t find a ‘date’ of last update
We hope these links are useful. Ultimately, don’t let tolls ruin your trip! They’re just a handful of Euros here and there and how often do we find ourselves riding over such well maintained roads - certainly becoming a rarer thing to find in the UK these days.