Tolls – the mess!

Dear Editor,

I drive to my office in Central London every day so the concept of cameras catching my car journey and paying is not new to me.

My cars are registered, I pay by auto pay and should I bring in a hire car I can add a vehicle to my account for a day – relatively simple.

I came to the Algarve for the weekend and we took two short trips down the A22 in our hire car – junction 14 to junction 12 and back. From the scant information provided we owe 2 x 50 cents for our journey but how do you pay?

I offered the car hire company the money, but I was told they would send me the charge by post after they had received it! How ridiculous, it will cost them more in postage than I owe! My son also hired a car. His car hire company gave him different instructions to mine.

I went online to look to see if I could pay but I couldn’t find on the website (in Portuguese only) any means of paying my tolls. My neighbours tell me that I can go to the post office to get a transponder but it is closed at the weekend!

I come to the Algarve about six times a year, each time I hire a vehicle and I will drive down the A22 but I want a simple way to pay, can anyone help me?

What a shambles!

DAVID PATTERSON, Amersham, UK / Estoi, Portugal

Dear Editor,

I’ve been reading with interest your articles regarding the A22 tolls. I live near London. I’m visiting friends in the Algarve to the West of Lagos in a few weeks time on the Monday evening.

I’ve just spoken to Avis at Faro Airport to see what arrangements they have put in place for paying the tolls on the A22.

It appears they have not installed any tags in the vehicles and the hirer will be responsible for paying directly any toll at the Post Office.

The hurdle here is that you can only do it 48 hours later, so for my arriving journey that should not be a problem, sometime on the Thursday. I return home on the Saturday evening, but will be unable to pay the toll as you have to wait 48 hours – so forcing me onto the N125.

I cannot prepay for the return journey, by paying double for my original journey two days after I arrive.

This seems a very unworkable situation, which will cause traffic chaos in the region and a huge loss of revenue to the government.

JAMES SHORT, by email

Editor’s note: Dear David and James, thank you for your comments. Car rental companies are still waiting for a solution from the government that will make it easier for their clients to pay for the tolls. Until then, some companies are using the electronic devices and others aren’t – it will depend on the type of system they have registered for. Hence the different instructions David heard from the two companies.