Beware New Tolls in Portugal

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by motorhomer, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    We are currently touring Portugal, and have become very confused about new motorway tolls that are just being introduced..

    The problem is that 2 things are being done at the same time.

    First, most previously toll free motorways are now - or very soon will be - toll roads.

    Second, these new toll roads are to collect the tolls only by electronic means, ie no toll booths etc.. For portugese there are cameras that will work by number plate detection. But for foreign tourists the situation is far from clear. I have read that you should rent a temporary electronic device preloaded to pay tolls. But I also read that you have to take it back to where you got it from when finished - not good for touring. I have also read that you can pre-pay on a web site, but only in portugese!

    We have asked in camp sites, tourist offices, motorway services, and nobody knows which motorways are affected already - some are - or how it affects foreign tourists.

    The only safe way is to avoid these now electronic only motorways ( not easy to be certain which they are!) or to avoid motorways altogether - not always easy with the terrain here.

    Portugal is nice and it seems a shame that the authorities are doing all they can to persuade people not to visit! Nearby spain has none of these issues.

    Be carefull! I did read about a potential substantial fine! But I also read that foreigners may be OK because the authorities may not have the infrastructure to chase them for payment.
     
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  2. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    While in no way do I want to encourage people to avoid their responsibilities or take risks contrary to their nature but I asked some of my (Portuguese) people about this toll matter and they have no idea when it starts or not. Around Porto I know it has been going on for a few months but in other places it has been said to be happening but hadn't up to two days ago.

    However, some time ago I did go through some overhead toll machines in the Wagon (UK registered at the time) which were working and so I got Fatima (my "boss") to phone up and ask how I should pay...

    The answer (then) was ... "He has UK plates? Yes? Well I wouldn't bother if I was him... we won't be able to catch him..." and they offered me no other option.

    So... what is one to do I ask? I know what I do... when I can pay I will pay... (or change route) but until then...

    JJ :Cool:

    [HI]"it seems a shame that the authorities are doing all they can to persuade people not to visit! Nearby spain has none of these issues."[/HI]

    IMO this is a tad over the top...!!! I have seen many (and even been on one or two) Spanish toll motorways...

    I am not discouraged from visiting France or Spain or Italy because their governments have toll roads... why should people be put off from visiting Portugal because of them...?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
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  3. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    Its not that I would be put off because of the tolls its the uncertainty whether they apply or not.

    lunarman
     
  4. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    IMO there is uncertainty with the authorities too... If it was to worry me I would use the non-toll roads just as I do in France and Spain... this eliminates any uncertainties...

    JJ :Cool:
     
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  5. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    We were recently (3 weeks ago) advised by the Tourist Office at Aveiro that if we didn't have Portuguese plates we couldn't be traced for Toll dues.:BigGrin:

    Mike

    We will certainly be going back-regardless of Tolls -Mike
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
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  6. frogijock

    frogijock Funster

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    I will certainly go back to Portugal toll roads or not
    If cannot find a way to avoid a toll road I will use it, but will try to do as I do at present in France find alternative routes. :Eeek:
     
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  7. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    Just to say in answer to JJ, I have absolutely no problems paying tolls and do so happily in Spain, France etc. I also do so happily on Portugal on those roads with toll booths.

    My issue - and warning - was the uncertainty of when, and where it applies, and how to pay if it does. The portugese have provided a web site for advance payment, but it is only in portugese. I also read on one web site that fines for non payment range from 100 to 600 euros. So I am not inclined to take the risk.

    So I do not think my comment was over the top, I do not think the authorities have done all they should have to make this new system clear for foreign visitors, which at a time when they need to attract visitors to help their ailing economy seems very surprising.

    Some of the previously free motorways do not have very practical non motorway alternatives, so beware!

    But portugal is a very nice country, we are enjoying it here. People are very friendly.
     
  8. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    The little I know about Portugal leads me to find it difficult to believe an English registered motorhome will be fined up to €600 for being on a motorway which has just become an electronically controlled toll road... I wonder which website says this... Has anyone actually received such a fine? :Eeek:

    But as I did suggest earlier, it all depends on individual personalities... some people choose to do as much as they possibly can to avoid any risk no matter how small and others have a more laissez faire attitude.

    Each of us make our own choices...

    I choose to live in Portugal because I love it, it's weather, it's way of life and it's people (in general). :thumb:

    JJ
     
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  9. dshague

    dshague Funster

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