France is an extremely popular destination for those that are looking to explore Europe. The country is of a decent size, but not so big that it can’t be negotiated by road; making it a common choice for driving holidays. Whether you want to experience the breathtaking scenery of the Alps, enjoy a romantic stop off in Paris, or take a step back in time in relaxing Southern France; the country provides a wealth of holidaying experiences. However, one consideration that you should take into account when undertaking a driving holiday in the country is French tolls that are incurred through the use the Autoroute.
How it works
The Autoroute is part owned by the government and part owned by mandated private companies that are allowed to run sections of the road system. In order to maintain the road to high standards the private companies charge motorists to use them. Whilst French tolls can be avoided by using smaller roads; doing so will mean longer travel times and also increase the chances of getting lost. Major drawbacks when you are trying to get the most out of your vacation time.
The cost of French tolls can vary greatly dependent on which company part-owns the road you are using at the time. In addition some tolls cost more due to the area that they are located in; for example the Autoroute around the French Alps is expensive due to the impact on the environment. However, on average you are likely to be charged around €1 for every 10km of Autoroute that you travel on. What may be more worrying for those undertaking a drive vacation is that French tolls can mean delays as you look for change, make payment and even sit in queues.
One way that you can avoid the delays and inconvenience posed by French tolls is to buy yourself a Télépéage tag. This device fits to your windshield behind the rear-view mirror and is detected by a beacon as your approach the toll station. Once the beacon senses your tag it automatically opens the barrier and allows you to travel through without stopping. The toll cost will automatically be deducted from your allocated bank account. Whilst there is the initial cost of purchasing the device and also an annual management cost; the extra outlay is minimal in contrast to the convenience that it provides and time that it saves.