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How to pay tolls in Portugal when there is no toll booth

How to pay tolls in Portugal when there is no toll booth

Apr 1st, 2011, 07:04 AM
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How to pay tolls in Portugal when there is no toll booth

There have been a few posts on this board about the confusion in Portugal, which has been caused by the creation of some new toll roads that have no human beings and no way to pay with a credit card or money at the exit. These are mostly in the north, and very soon, the east-west highway in the Algarve will switch over, too.

I am in Lisbon now and have rented a car recently. The car rental agencies do not have transponders in the rental cars, at least not yet, so you have to arrange to pay the toll yourself. It's not too difficult.

Within five business days of going through the toll booth, you must go to either a post office (Correios) or any store in the country with a "pay shop" sign in the window. These are stores that sell phone cards, bus and metro cards, etc., and can be newspaper shops, tobacco shops, cafés, all kinds of little businesses seem to be set up with this service. Post offices tend to be open from 8:30 or 9:00 to 6:00 or so -- they do not close for lunch like they do in Spain.

The only information you need to bring is the license plate number. All of these places have access to the computer account that took your car's picture when you went through the highway exit -- your toll will be calculated by the computer, but the woman I spoke with said it's a good idea to have a list of your actual dates and trips because especially if it's a rental car, you might have other unpaid tolls on the list.

Apparently this is generating a lot of badly needed cash for the sinking Portuguese economy, so at least we can feel like we're contributing to a worthwhile cause.
lreynold1 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 07:42 PM
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What great info! Thank you so much. We may end up in Portugal soon, and I was a little worried about that bit of the trip.
Sassafrass is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 09:15 PM
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That sounds like an excellent system, although it will be even better if people can pay online by credit card.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2011, 12:08 AM
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Thanks for the information - very helpful. Do you know if there is a facility to pay any tolls incurred at Lisbon airport - especially if we are dropping off a car on a Sunday morning just before our flight?
spiral is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2011, 04:18 AM
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Hi Laurie. This is great information.
The last time we drove from the airport North toward the coast we were very confused because always there had been a person to hand out a ticket.
We neglected to take one or missed it, I don't know. Anyway when we got off around Obidos, we had to pay about E50 fine. The toll operator was very apologetic saying that a new system had been introduced and they were fining people with no tickets.
It was a mistake on our part but one we will not make again.
I would have been very confused if I had taken a ticket and couldn't find anyone to pay!
Sher is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2011, 04:27 AM
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How on earth would anyone know this if it weren't for this post? There are going to be a lot of confused tourists; thanks for helping sort it out for the privileged few who read these posts.
Nikki is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2011, 05:22 AM
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Nikki - I agree with you. I would assume that the people at the rental office would explain the toll situation to tourists.
SashieZ is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2011, 06:24 PM
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I was surprised that my car rental agent didn't raise the topic with me -- it was only after I asked that she explained the system, so I assume that there are a lot of unknowing tourists in Portugal in rental cars who are unaware of this whole mess.

Spiral -- There is not a place at the Lisbon airport where you can pay these tolls. Which, of course, creates all sorts of confounding situations -- for instance, what if I am driving on a Sunday to the airport from northern Portugal and go through some of these tolls? I assume that these are some of the many kinks that will have to be worked out but I don't know what it means for people who have to deal with it today.

Kerouac, I agree that online payment with credit card would be a logical next step but have not heard anything along those lines.
lreynold1 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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I rented a car at the Lisbon airport on March 18th and returned it on March 27th at the Porto airport. Because I had read here on the forum about the possibility of an unmanned, unmachined toll booth, I asked Hertz at the airport if they had any guidance on the issue. They did not but suggested I stop by the tourist booth at the airport. The first person I spoke to at the tourist booth had no idea what I was talking about but she asked around and came back to me with a piece of paper on which she had written a big V. Just avoid the lanes with the V she said. Well, we never ran into a toll booth without a way to pay (we were no farther north than Porto)and after the first toll booth we encountered we realized that even the second person did not understand the question. It was obvious that the V lane was for a car with transponder but that did not answer the question about a toll booth without human beings or without a way to pay with credit card or money. Both the Tourist office and the car rental agencies need to step up and improve their guidance on this issue.
jmgorga is offline  
May 7th, 2011, 09:53 AM
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I am not sure if this is an official website or not, but the information here is more complete that anything else I've seen, and it is consistent with what I was told about paying at Post Offices or at shops with a "Payshop" sign in the window. There's also a good listing of all the roads where you will find the electronic toll booths.

lreynold1 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2011, 07:13 AM
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Latest update (in Spanish) A22 in the south to be tolled by the end of 2011.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Sep 4th, 2011, 09:26 AM
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Thanks for the post, lr

ira is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 02:52 PM
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I was in Portugal in January. we could not use the motorway to the East algarve as we arrived on Friday mid day and were leaving for Ireland early on the Monday morning and there is no facility to pay the tolls unless the car rental company bill you but this incurs an admin fee of 20 euros which we did not feel we should pay. The N125 because of this was very busy with a lot of trucks etc on the road. There was no one using the motorway.
Helen_Mulcahy is offline  
Feb 15th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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For almost daily updates on the new tollroad A22 (Algarve) check out Tripadvisor. There are numerous interesting postings on this subject.
MyriamC is offline  
Mar 24th, 2012, 04:45 AM
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Living down in the West Algarve and using the A22 from time to time I would like to inform:

It is not 5 business days! You have 5 days time to pay at CTT (Post office) or all PayShop locations. So, please do count Saturday and Sunday (and holidays) into the 5 days.
And, the 5 days count 2 days after your trip on the highway.
(It takes 2 days for Via Verde to update the data for payments)

So, if you use the highway on Monday, you have from Wednesday on 5 days to pay. Our rental car company does send a bill after receiving the none-payment notification.
algarvissimo is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 06:07 AM
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We won't be able to pay our tolls, then.
We leave Tavira on June 21st and drive to Porto (along the A22). We fly back home from Porto on June 23rd in the morning.
Oh well, so be it.
MyriamC is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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Update, after having some talk at the CTT (post office)
If you have a none Portuguese license plate on your car, you can`t pay in Portugal at all. You have to wait until they send the invoice to the address the car is registered.
(just had a very stunned Swedish tourist in front of me. i am stunned, too.)
algarvissimo is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 01:09 PM
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We will have a rental car with Portuguese licence plate and the rental company does not supply the device necessary to drive thru the elecronic tolls.
MyriamC is offline  
Nov 17th, 2014, 08:24 AM
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I believe the unmanned toll booths and the 50€ fines are intentional and planned rip-offs. Just like the unreasonably and humongously expensive car import into Portugal is unlawful rip-off and Portuguese government is paying fines to the EU Parliament rather than change the profitable law breaking.
WetMars is offline  
Nov 17th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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good info, I tend to use bikes and trains in Portugal but one day.....
bilboburgler is offline  

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