Portugal without tolls on 7 of its highways: Our neighboring country eliminates them

Portugal eliminates some tolls

Finally it will be possible to do caravanning in Portugal without tolls! This news is a dream come true for all Spanish van owners who want to save a lot of money while traveling to the neighboring country ūüęį. Stay with us and discover all the details of this good news.

As much as we like to drive around the house, having to pay tolls is always a nuisance. After all, it makes life difficult when it comes to planning the route and, to top it all off, there are various toll systems. Fortunately, the Lusos will be saying goodbye to this nuisance very soon.

Portugal without tolls: get up to date with our FAQ

Indeed, both Portuguese and Spaniards were eager to shout adeus aos ped√°gios (goodbye to tolls). After all, this measure benefits everyone: from carriers to caravanning enthusiasts. That’s why we’re telling you about it!

Why are freeway tolls being eliminated in Portugal?

The rationale for this decision is to reinforce road safety, as it applies to high-capacity highways that do not present a safe alternative route. In other words, the aim is to prevent drivers from putting themselves at risk in order to save a few euros on tolls.

The conservative government of Luis Montenegro was in favor of implementing a progressive reduction of tolls. However, the socialist group proposed its total elimination on certain roads. In the end, it was the latter idea that obtained the majority vote, thanks to the support of the left and the extreme right.

The Portuguese Parliament voted definitively in favor of this bill last Thursday, May 2, 2024. Its implementation is expected to cost a total of 157 million euros.

It is worth noting that this decision is also supported by the recovery of the Portuguese economy. Certainly, the decision to start charging for the use of previously free highways (SCUT) in 2012 was one of the revenue-raising measures taken in the midst of the financial crisis ūüíł.

When will you be able to travel to Portugal without tolls?

Although the measure was approved in 2024, its entry into force will not be immediate. In fact, it is expected to begin to apply from January 1, 2025. Aren’t you looking forward to traveling with your van to Portugal from that date onwards?

Will it affect all Portuguese highways?

We would love to tell you that leaving Portugal without tolls is a global measure. However, it only affects 7 highways (which is not little). Of these, 5 connect the neighboring country with Spain.

Which Portuguese highways will eliminate tolls?

The toll exemption affects these five freeways linking Portugal and Spain:

  1. A4 Highway (Trasmontana): this is a major 10 km highway connecting Zamora with Oporto.
  2. Highway A22 (Algarve): the also called Via del Infante is a 137 km highway linking Huelva with the Algarve, which it crosses from west to east.
  3. Highway A24 (Interior North): this 110 km highway runs from the north of Portugal to Orense Galicia.
  4. Highway A25 (Beira Litoral and Alta): this highway is almost 200 km long and runs from Fuentes de O√Īoro (Salamanca) to Vilar Formoso.
  5. Freeway A28 (Minho): this 93 km freeway provides a link between Vigo and Minho. It is important to point out that the toll exemption will only apply to two sections of this road: Esposende-Antas and Neiva-Darque.

How much money does Portugal’s no-toll measure save you?

The truth is that the idea of leaving Portugal without tolls saves us van drivers a lot of money. On the one hand, of course, it avoids having to pay tolls. On the other hand, it prevents us from being fined for not being able to adapt to the peculiarities of the Portuguese system.

In the case of motorhomes, the toll on the A24 is ‚ā¨13.05 (vehicles of 1.10 m or more) and ‚ā¨16.80 (if they have a trailer). These prices would be ‚ā¨10.70 / ‚ā¨13.75 for A22 and ‚ā¨14.25 / ‚ā¨18.50 for A25. The costs would be significantly lower for A4 ‚ā¨1.05 / ‚ā¨1.30 and for A28 ‚ā¨4.00 / ‚ā¨5.05 (only part of the cost is reduced).

Aveiro motorhome

What you should know about tolls in Portugal

Since Portugal’s toll-free measure is only partial, you should not forget how Portugal’s intricate system for charging for the use of highways works. Thus, it includes two types of tolls:

  • The manual (with toll booth and barrier) is paid with cash or bank card, although there are also electronic toll lines (paid with a Via-T device).
  • The electronic one (with license plate reader) is based on gantries with video cameras that record the license plates of vehicles passing in front of them. In these cases, toll payments can be made by a number of methods: Tollservice, Tollcard, Via-T, temporary device (Via Verde) and Easytoll.

While the manual system does not pose conflicts for Spaniards, the same cannot be said of the electronic toll. At the end of the day, crossing the gates without having an enabled payment method will result in the corresponding complaints and fines (even if you live in Spain).

In case you still have to use the electronic system in your van trips in Portugal, we recommend the Easytoll method. This consists of associating the registration number of the motorhome to a credit card so that the tolls are automatically charged to it. Use it by registering online!

5 van destinations to enjoy in Portugal

If you like to travel by motorhome, you have every reason to rejoice that they have decided to eliminate tolls in Portugal. What’s more, there are several destinations and routes that you can travel without opening your wallet :ūü§Ď

  1. Porto (A4/A28). The plan to travel to Portugal without tolls cries out to go to the second largest city in the country. In addition to tasting its exquisite local wine, architectural gems such as the Palacio de la Bolsa and the Igrexa do Carmo await you.
  2. Algarve (A22). From Sagres to Tavira, the Portuguese coastline will make you live an idyllic sun and beach vacation.
  3. Vila Real (A24). Manor houses and religious buildings are a constant in this ancient stately village.
  4. Aveiro (A25). Did you know that Portugal has its own little Venice? Discover Aveiro by motorhome and stroll through the picturesque Beira Mar district or cruise its canals aboard a moliceiro!
  5. Viseu (A25). An unmissable event for wine tourism and nature lovers.

As we have seen, the initiative to make Portugal toll-free is a great opportunity for any caravanning enthusiast. Start planning your next getaway and pay our Portuguese neighbors a visit for less.

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