Euro Touring tip: Pay less for road taxes and tolls

By Ped Baker -

Touring & travel

 24 September 2010 13:45

If you’re travelling from the UK to Italy (or any country in south east Europe) choose a route through Belgium and Germany instead of France. It’s no further (though not as pretty) and there are no road tolls on the motorways.

Austria and Switzerland run a Vignette (road tax sticker) system that is policed efficiently at service stations and not having one will cost you upwards of €150 in fines.

Vignette’s can be bought in post offices, border crossings and, in Austria anywhere that sells cigarettes. In Switzerland you only need a Vignette if you ride on a motorway (green signposts) so in theory you could reach Italy without any extra cost. Swiss Vignettes cost €27 and lasts for one year. In Austria you can buy a ten day motorway Vignette for under €5 but you’ll also need to pay to use tunnels and some mountain passes such as the famous Gross Glockner. 

If you use the Autoroutes through France don’t be tempted to use the credit card lane at the pay tolls. Bikes are half price but you’ll be charged as a car. You can still pay by credit card at the manned stations.