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Highway tolls, parking fees & more

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Highway tolls

Europe does not have unified standards when it comes to tolls.

In the majority of European countries, highways are toll roads.

Some European highways require the purchase of a highway pass (a vignette) or renting a toll payment device.

Examples:

In France, highway tolls are payable by credit card or in cash.

In Switzerland, a toll pass (vignette) is required and the majority of countries in Eastern Europe have opted for this system as well. You can obtain a vignette in highway department offices and larger service stations located near highways.

In Portugal, there are two kinds of highways, toll roads like in France and electronic toll highways indicated by panels that read, ‘Electronic toll only’. You must have a special card in your possession linking the vehicle registration to your credit card, or a payment device (Easytoll, Tollservice, Tollcard or Viaverde). To learn more about this subject, please visit the following website: www.portugaltolls.

Note: Some bridges and tunnels may also require toll payment. Do your research before you head out or visit the following website: tolls.eu.

Environmental passes - vignettes

Some countries require a special vignette in order to access specific areas (a city, for example).

This is also the case in Germany where they have established areas called ‘environmental zones’ in many cities and where a pass (vignette) is required to drive or park legally. These zones are identified by roadway signs. If you do not have an environmental pass and you drive in these zones, you are at risk of receiving a fine up to €80. Do your research prior to departure and purchase your pass online.

In downtown London, you must possess a ‘Congestion charge’ pass to drive legally from 7 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. If infringed, the penalty could be as much as 130£. Learn more by visiting the following website: www.cclondon.com.

In Italy, the historic city centres of major cities (Rome, Turin, Bologna, Milan, Florence, Pisa, etc.), have limited traffic zones. You must hold a special permit delivered by city hall. Alternative circulation has been used for many years in the big cities during peak pollution times.

Other restrictions apply in various countries across Europe. Be sure to know before you go!

Parking fees

In the majority of European cities, parking fees apply.

Be sure to pay, because if you don't, you will receive much higher fines in the mail.

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