Car insurance to become “more expensive” as drivers shun ‘formerly toll-free’ highways

Portugal’s association for car insurance companies (APROSE) has admitted that insurance policies could increase soon in areas that have registered a higher than usual number of accidents and deaths on national roads – especially the Algarve’s EN125 “road of death”.

According to the latest data from the national road safety authority (ANSR), nearly 7,800 accidents happened on Algarve’s roads between January 1 and October 15 – a significant increase compared to the 6,878 accidents registered during the same period in 2014.

The number of deaths has also skyrocketed from 19 last year to 32 so far in 2015.

“From the moment that the economic crisis started and the formerly SCUT highways started being tolled, a lot of traffic was pushed onto national roads,” APROSE president Luís Cervantes told Correio da Manhã.

He gave the example of the EN125 which is used by thousands every day to dodge the tolls on the A22 Via do Infante.

“The number of accidents in the Algarve is impressive, especially head-on crashes,” he said.

This summer was especially tragic for the Algarve, with six people dying on Algarve roads in August (see ‘Three dead with EN125 in state of war’ and ‘Victims were travelling at crazy speed as they returned home from Vilamoura disco’ at

It remains to be seen whether or not the fight against regional tolls will receive more parliamentary attention now that João Vasconcelos – the head of anti-toll group CUVI – has been elected an Algarve MP for the Left Bloc (BE).
But what is seems certain is that regional drivers will see insurance premiums increase.

Said a source from APROSE: “It is natural that regions that have seen traffic diverted (to national roads) will see their risk aggravated.”

By MICHAEL BRUXO [email protected]