Budget-stretching toll roads

Risking life and limb on foreign high-speed toll roads isn’t the best way to start a relaxing well-earned holiday. It is also an expensive way to burn through your hard-earned budget. In an ideal world, reaching your perfect destination would involve a combination of leisurely meandering, combined with regular stops to admire stunning country or coastal views, and the opportunity to spend your hard earned cash on coffee or an amazing lunch. But this isn’t always achievable or is it?

Countries without toll roads

Surprisingly, there are a few popular holiday destinations which don’t charge tolls for using their major roads and could offer a cheaper start to your holiday. Small foreign island destinations such as Malta, Cyprus and Iceland are amongst them. As are the small principalities and microstates of Andorra and San Marino. More surprisingly the small mid-transit countries of Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Monaco are also toll-free. As are a few of the former Eastern bloc countries including Estonia, Kosovo and Ukraine. Unfortunately, high-speed driving in Croatia comes with a price tag. Albeit a slightly reduced one when visiting outside of the peak tourist season.

Occasional tolls and sticker schemes

Austria, Switzerland and many of the Eastern European countries have opted for an annual one-off sticker system to enforce road usage contributions. A scheme that favours the inhabitants rather than holidaymakers and is often jokingly referred to as an extra tourist tax. Controversially, Germany has just gone one step beyond by announcing a new toll road payment arrangement which could force foreign car drivers to pay up to €130 a year.

Budget breakers

The most popular holiday destinations with familiar toll road schemes include France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.  Offering the possibility of reduced congestion and journey times they are a logical choice if you need to travel a  significant distance to your destination and your time is of the essence. But the charges for driving on these main arterial routes come at a price. So be prepared to squander some extra euros Alternatively plan ahead and calculate the cost of your potential road routes before you decide on your destination. It could save you the equivalent of a nice meal out.

Posted by Sam Stone

Sam Stone

Sam has been involved in the creative arts industries for over twenty-five years in both France and the UK, working with a variety of specialised businesses and publishers. She is a freelance writer, whose work includes travel blogs, web content and script writing.

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