Driving in Portugal
Electronic payment tolls are installed on a number of Portuguese motorways including the A22, which runs along the Algarve. In operation since the end of last year, they haven't had the smoothest of rides with residents and visitors so far…
With regard to the popular A22 in the Algarve, some short journeys between two adjacent exits are toll-free - a trip from Bensfarim to Lagos is one example. However, if you're heading to the Algarve and not looking to stay right by the airport, it's likely you'll need to pay a toll. Although this wouldn't normally be a problem, the electronic payment only tolls on this stretch of motorway mean that having some change in the car isn't going to help… Here's a quick guide on what to expect and your options if you're planning a trip to the sunny coastline.
Portugal car hire
All car hires should be fitted with specially designed 'transponder' devices and you'll be able to register your credit card details with the car hire company so payments can be made directly when you pass through a toll or tallied at the end of your trip and made payable once you return your Portugal car hire. When collecting your Portugal car hire, as well as doing the usual car checks - do also check with the company about the process for paying the toll as some operate their own toll management system.
Pay at any store with this sign
You can also make a payment at a local post office or any store with a payshop sign (see photo above) but the system only registers charges 48 hours after you've used one so you won't be able to make a payment until then… You'll also need to pay it before 5 days is up after using a toll or face a fine of between 25 and 125 euros.
You can put in your car hire's registration details on the CTT (Portugal post office) website to find out what charges have been made - but note you'll need to wait 48 hours after using a toll before it will show up. This only works for Portuguese license plates.
Taking your own car
If you're taking your own car, you can also rent a temporary transponder device for use whilst in Portugal for a deposit of €27.50, which you'll get back when you return the device. You can pick them up from local post offices and Via Verde shops. Alternatively, you can make a pre-payment online for a 3 or 5 day pass using this link.
More information on Portugal's toll system
Find out more on the CTT website. It should come up in English but if not, you can click on ENG on the top right hand corner of the page. Also see the Portugal motorways website for a map of toll roads as well as a toll calculator you can use to work out how much you might expect to pay.
Heading to Portugal and need a Portugal car hire?
Get a quote and fantastic prices throughout the country here.