Portugal Electronic Tolls
The system for collecting Portuguese motorway tolls can be a minefield if you are not prepared for them especially if you have used the motorways in France and Spain.
This info only applies to foreign tourists using motorways with electronic toll systems. I’ve just set out the two systems Easytoll and Tollcard which I think will cover most tourist needs.
The EASYToll system is a method for automatic payment of electronic tolls, for tourists and immigrants, with the association of a credit card (Mastercard and Visa) to the license plate of the vehicle.
The driver, not having to leave the vehicle, enters the credit card in the payment terminal and the system automatically associates the vehicle’s license plate to the bankcard. The tolls rates owed are directly debited to the account associated with the card.
At the time of sign up, valid for 30 days, a ticket is issued as proof and must be kept.
The sign up has a cost of 0.60€+VAT and each journey has an administrative cost of 0.26€+VAT.
Sign up at the Welcome Points located at the border posts at the following locations:
A28 – Viana do Castelo; A24 – Chaves; A25 – Vilar Formoso; A22 – Vila Real de Santo António
We have used this system at the A22 Vila real and found it simple to use. The system is well signed and should be easy to find. The ticket took a few moments to appear and we had almost given up when it appeared, so don’t panic. The credit card was returned almost immediately. Portuguese vehicles only have six digits on a number plate and we noticed that the first letter of our number plate was missing. One can only assume the system can only deal with six digits.
The TOLLCard is an “on the shelf” product, activated through an SMS, with a fixed amount to be consumed depending on circulation. This solution allows payment in cash or with bankcard, is valid for one year and your balance can be found on the Internet. It is aimed at tourists and immigrants. The driver can buy a pre-loaded card with 5, 10, 20 or 40 € (with an added service cost of 0.60€+VAT for each purchased card).
After purchasing the card, the driver shall proceed to its activation by sending an SMS by mobile phone with the code printed on the card and the license plate of the vehicle (instructions on the card), so that it is associated with the license plate of the vehicle. You can activate more than one card, with the accumulation of balances. The driver can check the card balance HERE and when the card balance runs out, the customer will receive an alert SMS. The activated balances will be consumed depending on the use of highways with electronic toll collection only and for each journey it´s applied an administrative cost of 0.26€+VAT.
Each card is valid for one year after its activation.
A tollcard that is not activated or damaged can be returned in any CTT office and its purchasing cost will be refunded. The remaining credit can also be refunded if a credit card was used for the payment (as long this was ordered during the sign up), in a 6 month maximum period.
Buy it at CTT post-offices, at Portuguese highway´s service areas or at www.tollcard.pt.
We bought the toll card on line and it has worked very well. I’ve topped it up twice and we have more than enough credit to get us out of Portugal when we leave. As it’s valid for a year I can top it up before we leave home next October.
It takes about 2/3 days for your account to be updated after using the toll road.
Details of toll card here http://www.tollcard.pt/fetcwcm/wcmservlet/pt/home/