Highway tolls, area passes and parking in Europe

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Highway tolls in Europe

In terms of tolls, there is no uniformity across Europe, but in most European countries, highways are toll roads. Some European countries require the purchase of passes or even renting a payment device for toll fees. For example:

  • In France, highway tolls are charged to credit cards or paid in cash.
  • In Switzerland, a highway toll is required, and most Eastern countries have also chosen a pass system. You can purchase a pass in a highway agency or in major fuel stations located near the highway.
  • In Portugal, there are two types of highways: toll roads like in France and electronic toll roads identified with signs reading Electronic toll only. You must have a special card (linked to your credit card and vehicle registration) or a payment device (Easytoll, Tollservice, Tollcard or Viaverde).

Please note that some bridges and tunnels may also require a toll fee. Get informed before taking to the road.

Area passes are required in certain countries

Some countries require an area pass to access specific areas (a city, for example).

In France – Air quality certificate – the French pass, Crit’air: even though all our buyback vehicles are not affected by possible driving restrictions relating to pollution warnings in the major cities of France, the Crit’air pass must still be purchased by the owner of the vehicle, the buyback contract signee. For gas models, you must purchase the Class 1 and for diesel models, the Class 2. The pass will be sent to the car owner’s home, so for Canadians to Canada, and the email receipt will serve as proof in the case of a police verification. You can learn more on the website Obtaining your air quality certificate from the Ministry of ecological transition and solidarity.

This is also true in Germany that has also created "green zones" in various cities where passes are required to drive or park. These zones are identified with road signs. If you do not have an area pass and you drive in these places, you could be fined up to 80 €. Get informed before you leave and purchase a pass online.

In downtown London, you must first have a "Congestion Charge" pass to drive legally from Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the case of an offence, the fine may be up to 130 pounds.

In Italy, in the major historic centres of the big cities (Rome, Turin, Bologna, Milan, Florence, Pisa, etc.), there are limited traffic zones. You must first have a special permit issued by city hall. Alternate transportation options are also invoked for the past few years in the instance of peak pollution times.

Some restrictions also apply for other European countries. Learn more before you go!

Parking fees

In most major European cities, parking is available for a fee. Pay these fees because if you don’t, you will receive a hefty fine by mail when you arrive back home.

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