Paying the toll in Portugal can be a little bit more tricky than expected. Unlike other European countries, you won’t find the typical toll booth with onsite manual payment; the only way to pay is through an electronic-only toll point.
The passage of vehicles is recorded by some equipments located at the beginning of the lanes, which are identified by “Electronic toll only”.
The vast majority of visitors who need to know how to pay for the motorway in Portugal rent a car at the airport of Lisbon, Port or Algarve.
In this case the situation is slightly easier, because when you sign the car rental contract you will be asked if you wish to pay some extra to receive an electronic device called Via Verde.
If you decided to drive to Portugal with your own car, you will be able to rent your Via Verde device at any Toll agency, at Post Office or at any Via Verde Portugal store.
The Via Verde device remains valid for 90 days after the last recharge; after 90 days it will be deactivated. If there is still credit, it won’t be recovered.
Easytoll is an automatic payment solution for Portuguese tolls; it is great for tourists and foreign workers. It is based on the association of a Visa or Mastercard credit card to the vehicle’s license plate.
The driver, without having to leave the vehicle, places the credit card inside the machine and the system automatically associates the vehicle’s license plate to the card. The toll rate will be automatically debited on the card.
Signing up to Easytoll costs 0,60 euro and each trip has an administrative cost of 0.26 euro. It is possible to subscribe to the service at the following Welcome Points located at the following locations:
The Tollcard is a card that can be activated through an SMS; it is a prepaid card with a fixed amount that is scaled depending on the use. It is possible to purchase it in cash or credit card; it is valid for one year and you can check your balance online.
There are pre-loaded Tollcards of 5, 10, 20, or 40 euro, with an added purchasing service cost of 0,60 euro). After purchasing the card, it needs to be validated by sending an SMS with the code printed on the card and the license plate in order to associate it to the card. Don’t worry, you will find all the instructions you need on the card. It will be easier than you think.
The Tollcard is valid for one year after its activation. If it is not activated or damaged, it can be returned and the purchasing costs will be refunded.
It is also possible to the pay the Portuguese highway by purchasing a pre-paid ticked with an unlimited use for three days called Tollservice. This service has a cost of 20 euro per vehicle to which is added a service cost of 0,60 euro and an administrative cost of 0,26 euro for each trip.
These is also the opportunity to purchase a pre-paid card with not previously defined dates. The Tollservice can be purchased at Oporto and Faro’s airports, or at any service areas along A24 or at the Ikea point of Matosinhos.
The last way to pay the highway in Portugal if you don’t have a credit card or if you can’t use any of the previous options, is to go the post office.
If the vehicle is not equipped with the electronic device, the car’s license plate will be photographed and filed until the payment of the toll – which can be made starting from the second day after the passage to a maximum of 5 working days at any Post Office (CTT) or at any “Rede Payshop” points of sale.
After the deadline for payment, you will incur a penalty and you will be charged for fines in addition to administrative costs. Do not try not to pay, you will receive a ticket at home.
The toll needs to be paid in the following highway sections in Portugal.