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VIA-T – Spain

The Spanish toll collection system is named VIA-T (short for Via de Telepeaje). The system, covering nearly 3,000 kilometres of motorways, has been operational since 2003. It’s worth noting that road tolls are charged on only 23% of the Spanish express road network, whose total length is almost 15,000 kilometres. Spain is thereby the country with the most extensive system of express road network in Europe.

How does the system work?

The toll road network in Spain has been developed based on a public and private partnership model. Roads are administered by concessionaires (licence holders), or private operators who have been awarded licenses from the state. Currently, roads in Spain are managed by 32 concessionaires.

The VIA-T system uses the DSRC microwave technology. It is composed of two elements: toll gantries and On-Board Units. The OBU communicates with gantries and the toll is charged automatically as a vehicle drives under a gantry.

Which vehicles have to pay toll charges?

Road tolls are payable for goods vehicles and coaches with a weight as of 3.5 tonnes.

Which roads are toll roads?

Roads in Spain are divided into a number of categories. The following designations are used:

  • A – toll-free motorways
  • AP – toll motorways
  • N – national trunk roads and expressways (autovias)
  • C – regional roads

Tolls are charged for driving on designated motorways and bridges.

To see a complete list of Spanish toll roads, click here.

How to pay?

Road toll payments can be made in the pre-paid mode (manually) and in the post-paid mode (automatically).

Pre-paid method

Payments in this mode are made at toll stations or at a motorway exit, before a vehicle passes a gate. Upon making the payment, a driver should collect a receipt by pressing the relevant button of the toll machine. Drivers should be aware that queues are frequent at toll gates.

Hauliers may use the following three payment modes:

  • by a fuel card (e.g. a DKV CARD),
  • by credit card,
  • in cash.

Useful information:

  • Sometimes the toll is a fixed sum charged regardless of the distance travelled.
  • Credit cards issued by Polish banks are often not accepted in Spain.

Post-paid method

The post-paid mode is recommended for hauliers frequently travelling in Spain. If tolls are post-paid, a driver does not have to wait in a queue to pass the toll gate. Every entry and exit of the vehicle is registered automatically. Thanks to this, hauliers can enjoy a range of benefits:

  • save time and money,
  • gain access to a non-stop lane at motorway toll gates,
  • can use the cash-free tolling mode, being thus able to better control costs incurred in transit.

A discount system is an extra bonus – the post-paid mode offers even 50% savings on travel costs.

Please remember that on some motorways toll rates depend on a season or time of day (higher tolls are charged during rush hours).

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