This is a very important article for those who plan to travel around Portugal by car, especially if they plan to rent not in Portugal, but in other countries. I’ll tell you about several ways to pay for roads and share my experience.
Let me remind you that we rented a car for our trip to Portugal in Valencia . We are already used to the fact that toll roads in Europe, and the payment didn’t panic anymore: I didn’t hear anything about vignettes in Portugal, which means I thought the usual payment with barriers. But it was not there. Just a few days before departure, I find out that some roads in Portugal can be paid exclusively electronically . And every year the number of such roads should only increase.
Map of toll roads in Portugal
I found 2 good road maps of Portugal : the first is a map of all roads, it is quite detailed, and if something happens to Google or maps.me, you can use it.
The second card helped me a lot. It shows roads with electronic payment. They are highlighted in red. Be sure to download it to your smartphone.
Of course, in auto travel, I recommend using the navigator. If the Internet is not connected, then maps.me , but it does not take into account the traffic situation. If there is Internet, then Google maps haven’t come up with anything better .
Toll roads of Portugal. Fare on toll roads.
All motorways in Portugal are paid. If Google is building a short route, then most likely this route passes through the autobahn, and you will have to pay for it. In preparation for the trip, I calculated that in Portugal 1 hour of time saved costs 10 euros. That is, if you go on a toll road, then save 1 hour, but pay about 10 euros.
The fare on toll roads in Portugal, as well as in other European countries, depends on the type of vehicle; cars and motorbikes are included in the first fare, about 10 euros per 100 km.
Also payable is travel on some bridges . In Lisbon, this is the Bridge on April 25 (1.75 euros) and the Vasco da Gama Bridge (2.75 euros).
How to pay for roads in Portugal
So, you can pay toll roads (for now I’m talking about ordinary roads, where it’s possible to pay manually) you can:
- By cash or card to the operator (you must enter the strip marked with the sign on which the little man is drawn)
- By cash or by card through an automatic machine (sign on the strip “bank card and coins”)
- Pay electronically using ViaVerde. On the strip is such a green sign:
If you pay manually, entry to such a strip is prohibited.
To pay using ViaVerde, you need to rent a special device (transponder), you can rent it at the company’s offices, or at stations along the road. Most likely, you can rent it in the office of the dealer, if you rent a car in Portugal . The rental price is 6 euros for the first week (1.5 euros for each subsequent) + deposit 27.50 euros (returned upon delivery of the device) + deposit for payment. A deposit of at least 10 euros. For payment, you can attach a bank card (do not forget to untie it when you rent a car!) Or make an advance payment (unused balance is not returned).
Portugal roads with electronic payment: how to pay.
Roads with electronic payment are those toll roads that cannot be paid manually, either through the operator or through the machine. There are no barriers on such roads, only cameras (or some other devices) hang that record your entry to this road.
A few kilometers before the start of the road with electronic payment, a sign hangs:
Usually it is in front of the congress, where you have the opportunity to take another (free) road. I recommend that you think carefully if you decide to get off the autobahn. For example, on a site near Vila Real, a free road passes through the mountains, there is a serpentine.
At the entrance to the road section with electronic payment you will see a sign with tariffs. About this
My advice: remember (or even write down) this number! Later you will understand why.
So, how to pay for the road electronically.
Option 1. For cars with Portuguese registration.
When you rent a car in Portugal, the dealer will tell you about payment methods. Most likely, there will already be a device in the car for electronic payment of roads (whether it will be ViaVerde or some other, I, unfortunately, do not know). You can also pay after the fact at the Post office (within 5 days from the end of the trip, but the information will be processed only 48 hours after the last paid site).
48 hours is a period officially declared. It will be difficult to say how it will be in fact.
If you rent a car at the airport and fly home, this method is definitely not suitable.
Option 2 . ViaVerde for cars with foreign registration.
I talked about this method above. You must rent a device and attach your card to it, or make an advance.
Option 3 . EASYToll for cars with foreign registration.
EASYToll is a fairly modern, but not suitable for all our tourists solution. To pay for roads in this way, you need to link your credit card to your car number .
This can be done at four border posts (immediately after entering Portugal). They are marked with signs.
On the road, they are also marked with this sign, look like machines for paying parking. The registration fee is 60 euro cents + VAT, for each trip, in addition to the tariff, 26 euro cents + VAT is charged.
The main disadvantage of this system: a binding to a credit card that is valid for 30 days, you can cancel it by calling 707 500 501 (from Portugal) or 00 351 79 555 2128 (from another country), or through the website www.portugaltolls.com
It’s hard to say how the decoupling happens, and how fast. But personally, I did not take risks. I chose the following option.
Option 4 . TOLLCard for tourists (for all cars with foreign registration)
This option seemed to me the most simple and convenient. In fact, I had to suffer a bit and get nervous.
The essence of the method is to purchase a prepaid card for 5, 10, 20 or 40 euros. You can buy a card at Easy Toll’s Welcome Points, at the post office, service stations in Portugal and Spain. Hotels and tourist offices are also announced. Most importantly, you can buy online www.ctt.pt.
The card is valid for a year, the balance can be checked via the Internet.
Buying a card was the easiest. Chose for 10 euros (+0.74 euros service charge). You can buy a card at http://www.tollcard.pt/fetcwcm/wcmservlet/en/home/index.html
When buying, the country of registration of the car and its number are indicated, as well as the mobile number to which notifications will be sent if the balance ends (in fact, nothing came).
After payment, an Access Code is assigned, which must be recorded (it will be needed to register a personal account).
Judging by the information on the Internet, then the card must be registered. Following all the instructions, they lost 1.5 hours and did not figure it out, decided to go this way, and upon entering the country, in which case, to buy a new card is no longer online.
Upon entering Portugal, we were lucky, and we managed to get to the tourist office, where the employee said that you do not need to register anything , that the card is already tied to the number (well, of course, we indicated it when buying), and the balance can be tracked through the website (data will be updated within a couple of days).
For the next couple of days, we waited for the money to be debited, but the balance was kept at 10 euros. They began to write to the support service, which they recommended to start a personal account. And they specified that payment can be debited “in some cases, up to 60 days”
I copy the text of the letter, how to register a personal account
Thank you for your contact, which deserved our full attention.
Please be advised that toll charges are not debited immediately after you have passed on the electronic tolls. Usually it takes up to 48h (and in some cases it may take up to 60 days).
Please be advised that you may check both moviments and balance on the account by following the following instructions:
- Access the link bellow
- Press “here”
- Log in to the site or register if do not already have site access account.
- Go to the top right side of your screen, hover your mouse over by the world icon and the languages menu shall appear. Select the one of your choice)
- In the “Vehicles” tab should select the “Device Activation” and select “Non-Portuguese”.
- You should then enter the activation key your access code and the registration of the vehicle your vehicle number
Please be advised that you may provide us a phone number and international dialing code to receive a SMS alert when there is not enough balance to make the payment of a particular toll
It was also possible to register the cabinet no less than a day later, as if the employees were registering it manually, and in the evening no one was working :))) The balance was still at around 10 euros.
As a result, the picture is as follows:
The first payment for September 28 was debited on October 5 !!!! After 7 days, when we were already flying home on the plane.
Since it didn’t even occur to us to remember the fare on the roads, we couldn’t even roughly calculate how much we had on our balance when we left Porto for Madrid. I had to give a circle, so as not to go into minus and not get a fine. Therefore, as I recommended above, write down all tariffs when entering roads with electronic payment!
Now, when writing an article, I realized that for each operation a service fee of 32 cents is still charged. As a result, we have 0.25 euros left on our balance sheet!
Here is a screen from your account:
Strange, but for some reason, the first two lines got someone else’s trips, already without payment. I understand that the card was tied to the car number, but the card is almost empty! Portugal has remained a mystery to me.
To summarize. The latter option still seems to me the most appropriate for paying for Portuguese roads with electronic payment. Except that the payment is withdrawn for a very long time. Therefore, I recommend once again to record the tariffs (do not forget to add 0.32 euros each time) and “figure out” your balance yourself.
If you also have experience paying for roads in Portugal, share in the comments, this will greatly help other travelers make a choice in favor of this or that way and understand the intricacies of traveling on Portuguese roads!
If you found the article interesting, keep it in a bookmark and share it with your friends!