French Autoroutes - a tip

Discussion in 'France' started by ruthiebabe, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. ruthiebabe

    ruthiebabe Funster

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    i have posted this before on a forum a used to belong to but on our travels I am still surprised how many people don't know about it, so here goes:

    French autoroute prices put anything over 3.5t and /or over 3 metres high in Class 3 which is a lot dearer than Class 2. If you are even a tiny touch over 3 m high ( even if it's only your satellite dish) the auto sensors will put you in Class 3. This is the category we fall in to. I can't say what might happen if you have a really huge Motorhome that clearly exceeds these categories by a mile.

    Please bear in mind that their pricing structure is published and you have no ' right' to a lower price band. However we have noticed that every time we go to a manned booth, the operator overrides that and charges us Class 2. It is so commonplace that we wonder if they are trained to use discretion. After all it is encouraging custom and tourism.

    Anyway, some years ago, as automatic booths seemed to be creeping in more and more, we thought, let's see what happens if we ask. So we started pressing the intercom and saying " Bonjour, c'est un camping car s'il vous plait". Every time bar one they have very cordially changed the class and wished us good day. You could always mention "la parabole" if necessary.

    I would never argue, as we do technically just exceed 3 metres, but it's worth a try, as I say it is usually overridden if it is a human being.

    Last night, a first, a pleasant male operator who did the override (unasked) even tried to advise us that this was what we should do if we arrived at an automatic booth....so it does seem to indicate flexibility.

    Happy travels, I hope this might reduce your costs if you weren't aware of it.
     
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  2. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Tried that and it worked a couple of times but more often we are told "non, giant" so this time avoided all together on our way down To Spain, didn't pay a Cent.

    We are 3.3 metres tall.

    Martin

    Should have added it was the tolls South of Bordeaux last year that I thought were automatic so I got the fright of my life when the "yellow coats" came out with a tape measure and spoiling for a fight.
     
  3. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Works for us!

    Bonjour Madame/Monsieur, nous avons une camping car. Est le tarrif correct sil vous plait?
     
  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    You get more sympathy if, like us, you are in a French built motorhome I reckon Martin!

    We probably aren't the only country in Europe who can't forget the war!:)
     
  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Ah well,

    Not a good enough reason to change, as long as we stay below 7.5 tonne we can avoid them at the moment, and I do like roundabouts.

    Martin
     
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  6. ruthiebabe

    ruthiebabe Funster

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    Not surprised to hear that they have a cut off point, has to be said you are tall

    I guess it's down to their interpretation of margins and also their goodwill....
     
  7. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    He might be able to shave off enough by lowering the Flair's air suspension!:)

    And tyres!
     
  8. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster

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    What is the price difference BTW. Average ish, if there are loads of different rates
     
  9. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    On the Sections South of Bordeaux a car was €3.5 class 2 €5.60 and we were €14.40 I think they were having a laugh.

    Prices quoted are from memory but won't be far out.

    Martin
     
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  10. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    We can get it down to 3.2 to comply with ADAC recovery, but that needs the suspension lowering and the sat dish off the roof, (which isn't that difficult).

    Martin
     
  11. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    We're 5 tonne tag axle but only 2.95 high with sat dish down and in 5 years have only ever been charged Class 2. Friend has same van with a sat dome which just makes him a few centimetres over 3m gets charged Class 3 everytime.:)
     
  12. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    It's height that clicks it, but if your friends wants to argue they might then count the axles as well. I know people that have taken a dome or air con off for the same reason.

    Martin
     
  13. scotzsue

    scotzsue Funster

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    We have hap operator come out and crawl under our last van to check the number of axles. We are a tad over 3M now, but not before, this year our friends in a 2.9 M van were charged group 3, we were charged group 2 after speking to someone.
     
  14. parigby

    parigby Read Only Funster

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    We spent four weeks in France last Summer almost always using toll roads. We are nearer to 3.2 than 3.1 and at each and every Toll Booth (the vast majority being automatic ) we were charged class 2 by default.

    Don't ask me - l can't explain it.
     
  15. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Not bad..honest! But if yours is a SHE, all ours are HEs. So there: Nous avons un camping car, le tarif est-il correct , s'il vous plait?
     
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  16. ruthiebabe

    ruthiebabe Funster

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    I suspect that is because they don't weigh, or even really look, it's just the height sensor that alerts them....which if you think about it is unfair...a very heavy vehicle wears down a road more than a sat dish sticking up on a lighter vehicle
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  17. ruthiebabe

    ruthiebabe Funster

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    Class 3 is at least a third dearer more like double at times
     
  18. ruthiebabe

    ruthiebabe Funster

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    By way of adding to the discussion we found the Frejus tunnel leniant on it as well, travelled through twice in last month and both times charged Class 2 without having to ask...thank goodness as its double the cost.
     
  19. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Merci!
     
  20. jonegood

    jonegood Funster

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    Ive had conversations with French TAG owners who say it is a problem for them as the rules can be interpreted as over 3m plus 3 axles is a classe 4.

    Their advice - press the button it usually works.
     
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