A definition of the term "toll"

The term "toll" is derived from the Old High German mūta and stands for a geographically limited customs duty for the use of structures for road traffic such as bridges, tunnels or motorways. The payment of a toll is intended to enable users to participate in the financing of the infrastructure used. 

Other historical names for tolls included road tolls, road tolls and bridge tolls. Nowadays, tolls are also referred to as road user charges or digital route tolls (in contrast to parking charges in urban parking zones, for example). 

A further distinction can be made between an urban toll such as the city toll for Rome, London or Prague, and an interurban toll for the use of motorways and motorways such as in Austria or Switzerland by means of a vignette or on-board unit (e.g. a toll box).

Tolls in Europe

Whether on vacation, a business trip or commuting, anyone traveling by car in Europe must pay tolls for the most part. But the different regulations are complicated and involve a lot of effort. 

It becomes especially confusing and time consuming if you want to cross several countries

With us — maut1 GmbH — you get an overview of tolling in the most popular European countries: Italy, France , SpainPortugalCroatia (without Istria) and Austria.

Our tip: Use the reserved lanes at the toll stations with the maut1.de toll box and simply drive past the traffic jam in the lanes to pay with cash or credit card!

Types of tolls in Europe

The most common form of freeway and toll charges in Europe are both flat rates (for example vignettes) and distance-based charges on selected routes. 

High tolls are charged in western and southern Europe in particular, but many countries in eastern Europe also charge tolls. On average, French freeways are the most expensive. 

Basically, there are two types of tolls in Europe: the distance-based toll and the time-based vignette. 

  • In the case of the distance-based toll, the toll is calculated according to the number of kilometers traveled, although the toll is not always due on the entire freeway and expressway network. The toll is then paid at the respective sections of the route. In some countries, electronic payment systems are also used. 

  • The time-linked vignette is used for tolls in Bulgaria, Austria, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, which are regulated very differently. The vignette is purchased in advance at border crossings in all sales points with a vignette symbol and, for example, at gas stations and post offices.

Tolls in European countries: Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Croatia

In Europe, there are route-related tolls in more than ten countries, including France, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Whereas some parts of the highway and expressway network may not be subject to tolls. 

Depending on the country, payment is made on entry or exit, and in some countries electronic payment systems are used. Special tolls may also apply for bridges, tunnels and mountain passes. 

In eight other countries, a vignette must be purchased for travel on highways and freeways. 

You can read the exact details of tolls in AustriaSpainFranceItalyPortugal and Croatia (without Istria) here.

Select your destination country for more information:







maut1 Newsletter
Order now