Road Toll Vignettes

Old Nov 14th, 2019, 06:07 PM
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Road Toll Vignettes

Next year we will be driving through several countries that use road tax vignettes rather than charging tolls for individual roads. I've struck vignettes before, in Austria and the Czech Republic, and found the system easy enough. However some of the countries we're visiting this time are less clear in their rules - especially in their information as to where vignettes can be purchased. (I'm ignoring the buy-online option - our dates are too fluid for that, and I prefer a "physical" sticker anyway). When we bought Czech vignettes a few years ago, the options were: at Czech border crossings, Post offices or petrol stations - including petrol stations near the Czech border in (some of) the countries bordering the Czech Republic. Can I count on all of these same options being available for vignettes for Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia as well? Thanks...
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Old Nov 14th, 2019, 07:36 PM
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I'm from Hungary and we were driving in Czechia last year and drive to Austria every year. In general vignettes are available where they always used to be: petrol stations are the best bet or some pop up shops selling them right on the border.

In Hungary you don't have to stick the vignette to the windshield anymore. You get your car registered online when you buy a "vignette" at the petrol station, you just need to keep the receipt.
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 01:13 AM
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I know you didn't mention Slovenia but it's probably similar. We bought a vignette at the first petrol station/store which was immediately over the border in Slovenia. They didn't speak English but I had read up on the options and managed to just point at a sign and pay. Quick and easy.

Kay
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 01:45 AM
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Bulgaria uses e-vignets. You can buy them online or at terminals at sales points. There is no sticker.
Same with Hungary and Romania. You need the registration number of the vehicle and ID. Keep the receipt, just in case.
Ifaik there is no toll in Slovakia.

Sales points Bulgaria: https://www.bgtoll.bg/en/
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 10:40 AM
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As mentioned above, Romania has electronic vignettes (no stickers). Paying online is the simplest option but you can also get them after entering the country at some gas stations (Rompetrol, Lukoil, MOL, OMV), post offices etc.
Another option, if you'll get a Romanian SIM (highly recommended for cheap/fast data access), is to pay by SMS.
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Old Nov 16th, 2019, 12:57 PM
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In the rules of one of the countries mentioned (not sure now which one it was) it said vignettes bought online had to nominate dates of use, and could not be used until at least 18 days after purchase. It's rules like this that turn me off the idea of e-vignettes. But if you can buy them at the border for immediate use, that may not be so bad.The whole business of e-vignettes is a turn-off - I've read so much bad stuff on other forums about people who bought e-vignettes and still got pinged and are still arguing with the authorities 12 months later trying to get their fines refunded! Hungary is especially bad, apparently. And "hetismij2" - I didn't understand what you said about Slovakia?
Buying them after getting into the country seems risky - it surely means keeping off motorways until you find somewhere that sells them? And that raises a question about Romania. The tolls.eu website is so badly translated into English as to be almost incomprehensible. One thing it seems to say is that their vignettes apply not just to motorways but to all roads in the national network. What does that mean exactly?
Recently I passed through a corner of Switzerland. The Swiss don't have tourist-friendly weekly or 10-day vignettes like other countries; they have annual ones - priced accordingly! I had to carefully plot a non-motorway route to where I was going and back out again. I mention this because it may be relevant to our time next year in Romania. I'll be buying a Romanian vignette of course. But in one corner of Romania, well away from everywhere else we're going there, is Timisoara. It may be better fitted in another part of our trip completely, flitting between Serbia and Hungary - but at a time when my Romanian vignette may have expired. Would my Swiss strategy of keeping off motorways to dart into Timisoara (from Belgrade) and back out again (to Szeged) not work because of Romanian vignettes apparently covering all main roads rather than just motorways?
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Old Nov 16th, 2019, 01:57 PM
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"The whole business of e-vignettes is a turn-off - I've read so much bad stuff on other forums about people who bought e-vignettes and still got pinged and are still arguing with the authorities 12 months later trying to get their fines refunded! Hungary is especially bad, apparently."

Well, I live in Hungary and we never had any problem with the e-vignette. I'm afraid you have only one alternative: Don't drive on the toll roads or buy the e-vignette and hope for the best.

"Buying them after getting into the country seems risky - it surely means keeping off motorways until you find somewhere that sells them?"

It was never a problem to buy one right after crossing the border.

"The tolls.eu website is so badly translated into English as to be almost incomprehensible. One thing it seems to say is that their vignettes apply not just to motorways but to all roads in the national network. What does that mean exactly?"

Well, it's quite clear to me, although being a non-native speaker of English may help. It's true that you need a vignette to use any road in Romania, not only for motorways(there aren't many motorways in Romania anyway),
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Old Nov 17th, 2019, 12:39 AM
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To be specific, in Romania the vignette is only required for trunk roads (called "drumuri nationale" = national roads, marked DN on maps) and for the few motorways. You don't need it if you drive on minor roads (whatever is not marked as DN on maps), though it's impossible not to cross a trunk road somehow.

When you buy the vignette online you need to enter the date you want its validity to start from, but that's easy. If you enter the current date and pay, it will be valid in a few minutes.

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Old Nov 18th, 2019, 01:11 PM
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After reading these replies I feel somewhat reassured. Thanks everyone for your help.
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Old Nov 18th, 2019, 05:22 PM
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Millions of foreigners drive in these countries every year and 99% of them without any problem(as long as they inform themselves and pay attention to buy the vignettes).
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