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This summer we'll go to France by car for the first time. I noticed that some motorways on our route require road charge to be paid (in case it matters - we're going from Freiburg to Perpignan).

How is this charge implemented in France? Can it be paid in advance?

  • 1
    "Can it be paid in advance?" No. You can pay by credit card or cash. Locals have a "beeper" on their window (look for the "t" logo) and they just drive through and a computer system charges them, sending a monthly invoice. – Fattie Jun 26 '15 at 1:41
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The charges ("péage" in French) are collected on site. On the roads subject to fees there are toll stations ("gare de péage") where you will have to pay. There are two types of stations. In the first situation you have to pay a lump sum for using a given road section. In the second you get a ticket when you enter a section subject to fee. When you leave this section you will have to show your ticket and pay. If you enter your itinerary into the ViaMichelin route planner, you will see how much you will have to pay for your trip.

You can pay by cash or by credit card. There are special lanes for people who want to pay by credit card.

There is also a system called "Télépéage". For that you will need a subscription. If you have it, you can use special lanes and drive through the toll stations without having to stop. The fees are then billed every month. This system only makes sense if you use these roads frequently.

  • This system only makes sense if you use these roads frequently - well, the fee for the system is only for the months when it was used. So it makes sense to have one if you ever use tolls and do not care about the extra few euros for the month(s) télépéage was actually used. – WoJ Sep 10 '18 at 12:50
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You will usually pay as you exit a big city and enter another one. That is the main idea.

You can calculate exactly how much it will cost on the French Motorway Company website (I picked up the english version for you): http://www.autoroutes.fr/index.htm?lang=en, before getting on the road.

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There are toll booths when you enter and leave the péage. When you leave, they look at the ticket you got when you got on to see how much to charge you.

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