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VIA Verde – Portugal

The Portuguese toll collection system is named VIA Verde. It covers approx. 3,000 kilometres of the country’s motorways. Statistically speaking, Portugal has four times more kilometres of motorways per person than the UK, and 60% more than Germany, a country with superbly developed road system.

How does the system work?

Drivers can pay tolls at traditional toll gates or electronically, driving under special gantries.

Which vehicles have to pay toll charges?

Road toll are collected from all vehicles, regardless of their weight. However, the rates depend on a vehicle’s size and number of axles.

Detailed information on the classification of vehicles and a toll calculator may be found here.

Which roads are toll roads?

Tolls are charged for driving on motorways designated with letter A and numbered from 1 to 17.

It is worth noting that until recently several toll-free SCUT motorways have been available in Portugal.
However, the toll scheme has been extended to these roads in the wake of the worsening economic crisis. Only the VIA Verde system operates on these motorways, identified by “electronic toll only” signs placed at entry points. These motorways have no toll gates. They are reserved exclusively for vehicles registered in Portugal, therefore drivers travelling on them cannot use the post-payment option. Still, tolls can be pre-paid in one of the following ways:

  • by charging an On-Board Unit (such as DKV BOX),
  • by making an advance payment at post offices (CTT), PayShop points or fuel stations, where special stickers can be purchased,
  • by making the payment at one of the four points at border crossings.

A fine for driving without a valid ticket or an On-Board Unit is usually the ten-fold amount of the rate that should have been paid for travelling on a given section of a toll road, and may not be lower than EUR 25.

How to pay?

Tolls can be paid at toll gates located at motorway entries or exits. Rates depend on a section of a motorway and a vehicle’s category.

The following modes of payments are accepted:

  • in cash,
  • by debit cards,
  • by fuel cards issued by different operators, such as DKV.

Please note: credit cards are rarely accepted.