I’m a resident of Portugal, living in the Algarve, and have followed some of the news about the toll road payment collection for the A22.
In the summer of 2012, my wife and I visited Norway by car, which is Portuguese registered.
In Norway, there are toll roads into cities/towns and on some of the main roads. There are no collection points and on the gantry above, crossing the full width of the lanes, it was written in Norwegian “Do not stop, we will send the bill”.
Having in mind the discussions about the A22, we did not believe we would get an invoice sent to Portugal but we did of course hope it would work.
After our return to Portugal we got in the regular mail some months later several envelopes containing very detailed description/records of when we drove under the gantry, photo of the car’s licence plate, time and date etc. Invoices for 2012 were in Norwegian and Portuguese with alternative payment methods. We paid them all by bank transfer, a very easy process.
In the summer of 2013, we again visited Norway. We did not do any pre-payments, we just drove on the roads, knowing that we would get the invoices later. Rightly so, invoices for 2013 are coming in the mail. Again, an easy wire transfer and it is done.
Our point with this is to inform you that there are alternatives to get the tolls paid as in Norway. They use EPC plc (Pan European Collection) for money collection. They again access the country’s database for car registration and send the bill to the address mentioned in the car registration documents.
What we find specifically interesting is that we drove in Norway with a foreign-licensed car, and there is no problem to record the vehicle’s movements and charge the toll.
In Portugal it seems that it is not possible to collect tolls from foreign cars other than from those who stop at the border and prepay. This is of course a loss for the country and troublesome for visitors. If the same system was applied in Portugal it would also make it easier for visitors. The majority want to pay what’s due.
Ideally, also in Norway they prefer being paid up-front, however we did not and it works well. No delays.
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