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Toll highways in France

Bruce Pollock

10+ Posts
We'll be doing a fair amount of driving in June when we visit the Loire > Dordogne > Provence. I see there's a resource elsewhere on the Slow Europe pages for driving toll highways in Italy, but wondered if anyone has tips/tricks for negotiating toll highways in France. I'm more interested in the mechanics of entering/exiting the toll highway. I assume credit cards can be used to pay the toll? Other things to pay attention to?
 

chachalaca

100+ Posts
Chip cards! Be sure your cc has a chip. You can also use change - which at times you'll find yourself with a pocket-full! Look at the panels above all the lanes - you want one that has a cc image, cash image - if you're paying with cash - and/or the tollbooth man image, which means there's a person manning the booth.

Sometimes you're paying and some times you're just taking a ticket only to pay later on down the freeway.

Everyone has "a story" about the toll booths, so don't get all hot and sweaty when the time comes and you're making your own story! I've heard that you're supposed to save your receipts, we do but have never needed them. Have fun!
 

Laurie Roth

New Member
Try Bip&Go. You can get a transponder for the toll booths so you don't have to worry about credit cards or coins and it also works in many parking garages. It's affiliated with Amereican Express, so it's easy to sign up through them and then pay your bill once a month through your Amex card.
 

Andrew

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
My information from a few years ago was that different autoroutes were managed by different companies, and with one of them non-French or non-EU credit cards didn't work in the automated booths; I don't know if that's changed. I would avoid counting on credit cards at unstaffed booths, and know that, if they work at one booth, they may not at another.
 

Bruce Pollock

10+ Posts
...different autoroutes were managed by different companies, and with one of them non-French or non-EU credit cards didn't work in the automated booths; I don't know if that's changed. I would avoid counting on credit cards at unstaffed booths, and know that, if they work at one booth, they may not at another.
Hhmm... exactly the sort of thing I didn't want to hear. Recognizing what you say about your info being possibly out of date, this is still a potential worry. I have chip/PIN cards so I was hoping this wasn't going to be an issue.
 

chachalaca

100+ Posts
Andrew is correct, different cos. , however we were there this past summer and had no issues at all -we usually run into at least a couple difficult routes, not this time.
 

veronicafrance

100+ Posts
Chip cards! Be sure your cc has a chip. You can also use change - which at times you'll find yourself with a pocket-full! Look at the panels above all the lanes - you want one that has a cc image, cash image - if you're paying with cash - and/or the tollbooth man image, which means there's a person manning the booth.
I can't remember the last time I saw a person in a toll booth in France. They've all been modernised to take chip cards, notes, or coins (change given). So no need to panic.
 

chachalaca

100+ Posts
Well, we saw a few manned booths this past summer. Also, depending on the highways there are some booths that only accept one or two types of payment.
 

Kathy

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
I drive on toll roads in France often. I try to go through the lines where you can pay with cash (marked with a green pointing-down arrow)... it's just easier. I do have a French bank account, and can pay with my chip and pin card if I end up in the wrong lane. I wouldn't count on a card from the USA working... it might, but it might not.

If you plot your route on viamichelin.com, it will tell you the location and amount of the tolls.
 

veronicafrance

100+ Posts
I drive on toll roads in France often. I try to go through the lines where you can pay with cash (marked with a green pointing-down arrow)
All the open exit lanes have a green pointing down arrow. The ones that are card only have a card symbol, so if you're wanting to pay cash avoid those. But actually most of the new machines in our area handle cards, change, and notes.
 

phirhon

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
We are Australian and we have had a chip and pin Mastercard for years. We are never asked for a pin in France and always have to sign. It does not work in toll booths or at unmanned service stations. It seems to be unpredictable as some people have no issues and some do. We always pay cash at toll booths. Apparently it is to do with how the pin is stored - online or offline.
 

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