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  #1  
Old 4 Jul 2012
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Peage for French Autoroutes

Most will know that the french motorways/autoroutes have a plethora of peage toll booths to collect fees for use of those "A" roads - fair enough, that is one of their ways of funding their road construction and maintenance.
Now, those booths are increasingly switching over to un-manned, automated methods of collecting the tolls.
The payment can be made by means of an automated system whereby each vehicle drives slowly through the peage station and the fee is collected automatically, or via what appear to be pre-paid cards to be entered into the machines BUT the average foreign visitor will not have these two choices to hand.
Historically, I have paid cash but this option is rapidly disappearing as the un-manning of the booths continues which leaves me with just a debit/credit card to use in the machines; the downside of this is the bank charges back at home - you can pay what amounts to a very small fee to use a short section of autoroute and end up with fixed charges by your bank that raise that fee by well over 100%.
If travelling longer distances on the A roads, the charges still accumulate on your home bank account because use of each and every toll booth incurs another standing charge for foreign exchange services.

Somewhere in another thread is discussion of the pros and cons of using pre-paid foreign exchange (forex) cards whereby you can buy what amounts to credit that is placed on a card; does anyone know if these will work in the french toll machines?
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  #2  
Old 4 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Most will know that the french motorways/autoroutes have a plethora of peage toll booths to collect fees for use of those "A" roads - fair enough, that is one of their ways of funding their road construction and maintenance.
Now, those booths are increasingly switching over to un-manned, automated methods of collecting the tolls.
The payment can be made by means of an automated system whereby each vehicle drives slowly through the peage station and the fee is collected automatically, or via what appear to be pre-paid cards to be entered into the machines BUT the average foreign visitor will not have these two choices to hand.
Historically, I have paid cash but this option is rapidly disappearing as the un-manning of the booths continues which leaves me with just a debit/credit card to use in the machines; the downside of this is the bank charges back at home - you can pay what amounts to a very small fee to use a short section of autoroute and end up with fixed charges by your bank that raise that fee by well over 100%.
If travelling longer distances on the A roads, the charges still accumulate on your home bank account because use of each and every toll booth incurs another standing charge for foreign exchange services.

Somewhere in another thread is discussion of the pros and cons of using pre-paid foreign exchange (forex) cards whereby you can buy what amounts to credit that is placed on a card; does anyone know if these will work in the french toll machines?
I have been all over Europe and so far I've not found one that don't take cash. Any way I have one of these pre paid card's. Mine is Fairfx, can find them on face book. Dead easy to use. And the exchange rate is dam good. New people get £5 paid in-to their account on there first card load. I usually put a £1,000 on mine. Use it when I have to. Another thing I use is one of them snap open purses. You know the thing, a bag with a couple of spring clip's to open it. Load that up with a 10 euro note and some change. Slip that in the map holder. Come to pay. You can get the purse out with your gloves on, pass it over and the lady usually knows what to do. Ask her to put the ticket in side. That way you can work out how much you have paid on tolls.
Hope that helps
John933
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Old 5 Jul 2012
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If you're on a bike, you should go through the manned ones wherever possible - I'm pretty sure if you go through the automated ones you just get charged at the car rate rather than the lower bike rate.
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Old 5 Jul 2012
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Moto's are Class 5. If the automated booth does not recognise you as such, press the help button and tell them you are a moto. Can create quite a tailback at peak times

For info: Prix des péages en France - WikiSara

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Old 10 Jul 2012
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I have managed to avoid peage on the bike for the past 20 years but use them a lot in the car. More often than not there is no manned booth and only occassionally have I seen one of those baskets for throwing coins into. I'm always conscious of causing a delay but then I always seem to be the one in the credit card channel who gets behind the car whose card doesn't work.

If you are in a high top van you also need to be careful that you don't get charged the commercial vehicle rate at automatic booths. Like John says push the help button - they always speak English in my experience.
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  #6  
Old 10 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
I have managed to avoid peage on the bike for the past 20 years but use them a lot in the car. More often than not there is no manned booth and only occassionally have I seen one of those baskets for throwing coins into. I'm always conscious of causing a delay but then I always seem to be the one in the credit card channel who gets behind the car whose card doesn't work.

If you are in a high top van you also need to be careful that you don't get charged the commercial vehicle rate at automatic booths. Like John says push the help button - they always speak English in my experience.
Ah! That is more or less what I was trying to describe in a long-winded kind of way!
I was last over there about 2 weeks ago and I don't recall seeing a single cash basket between Calais and Toulouse.
At one of those unmanned toll booth machines I may have even paid as a truck because the bottom set of slots were not taking my debit card, so I reached up on high and used the top set of slots for ticket/debit card/receipt.
Anyway, my main point/question remains unanswered - will those prepaid cards issued in the UK, such as Fairfx etc, work OK in the French peage booths?
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  #7  
Old 10 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Anyway, my main point/question remains unanswered - will those prepaid cards issued in the UK, such as Fairfx etc, work OK in the French peage booths?
Cant answer that, BUT, you can get a Telepeage transponder in the UK now from Sanef:
https://www.saneftolling.co.uk/

They charge a little more and if you want to use it on a moto:

4.4. I’ve got a motorcycle?
You can use a Liber-t tag with a motorcycle with some limitations, the main one being that to avoid being charged as Class 1 vehicle you must use the manual lane and hand over the tag to the person in the toll booth. They will use a barcode scanner to read the tag and will charge you as a Class 5 vehicle. The main advantage is that it saves you fumbling for cash / payment cards with gloves on but you should not use the automated lanes.

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Old 10 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redboots View Post
from Sanef:
https://www.saneftolling.co.uk/


4.4. I’ve got a motorcycle?
The main advantage is that it saves you fumbling for cash / payment cards with gloves on but you should not use the automated lanes.
So my personal protest campain, that I reported on another thread, is being noticed (not that I have ridden in France for 3 years!) - they are aware of the time nusiance of motos going through toll points.

When will they finally make autoroutes free for motos?

We don't generate vast revenue for them. It will keep us out of towns and villages and encourage us to use the safer autoroutes.

They used to do it nationwide for the extended Bol d'Or weekend for just those latter reasons, but gradually reduced the free area.

It won't cost them much to implement - just stick a post in the middle of one lane so only solo motos can get through.
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Old 10 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
It will keep us out of towns and villages and encourage us to use the safer autoroutes.
Ah, well Tony. At my age I start to nod off after a few hours on the autoroutes so I avoid all toll sections and go for the more interesting D roads.
You save money on tolls/gas and get an interesting ride

John
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Old 10 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dash View Post
If you're on a bike, you should go through the manned ones wherever possible - I'm pretty sure if you go through the automated ones you just get charged at the car rate rather than the lower bike rate.
true - but if you happen to be 2 x bikes (or 3x) you can all sneak through on the one payment if you are feeling naughty.

I've seen it done, clearly - I would personally never condone the behaviour
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Old 10 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by schiannini View Post
true - but if you happen to be 2 x bikes (or 3x) you can all sneak through on the one payment if you are feeling naughty.

I've seen it done, clearly - I would personally never condone the behaviour
In Italy near Milan I once 'inadvertently' followed a car through the booth, never heard anything from it.
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Old 11 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
In Italy near Milan I once 'inadvertently' followed a car through the booth, never heard anything from it.

I've done that as well. Same zip. happed.
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  #13  
Old 11 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Historically, I have paid cash but this option is rapidly disappearing as the un-manning of the booths continues which leaves me with just a debit/credit card to use in the machines; the downside of this is the bank charges back at home - you can pay what amounts to a very small fee to use a short section of autoroute and end up with fixed charges by your bank that raise that fee by well over 100%.
I have just this week received a free (i.e. no fee) VISA debit card from comdirect bank, which allows me to retrieve money from every cash machine sporting a VISA logo without any charge (as in NO CHARGE), which will be debited directly from my free (i.e. no fee) comdirect account. I have to test it with a toll booth, though. If at all, I´ll end up with a 1,5% surcharge (not if charged in Euros, though), which is far away from 100%.... I´m eternally grateful to the person pointing this option out to me.

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  #14  
Old 11 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
We don't generate vast revenue for them. It will keep us out of towns and villages and encourage us to use the safer autoroutes.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Welcome to economics 101.

Cheers
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Old 28 Feb 2013
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thread bump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redboots View Post
Cant answer that, BUT, you can get a Telepeage transponder in the UK now from Sanef:
https://www.saneftolling.co.uk/

They charge a little more and if you want to use it on a moto:

John
Getting a liber-t tag from these guys isn`t the cheapest option, as they charge a hefty service fee, deposit and set their own £/€ exchange rate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanef UK;
Subscription Fees
  • a refundable security deposit of 20€ (no TVA payable) for each Tag issued by Sanef ("Tag Deposit");
  • the annual management fee of 6€ + TVA payable in advance; and
  • a non-refundable application fee of 10€ + TVA.
Total up front fee of 39.14€ (including TVA) of which 20€ is refundable when you return the tag
iii. Monthly Active Service Fee
A monthly fee is payable for each calendar month that you actively use your tag in France but only up to a maximum of €10 in a single year i.e. if you purchase a tag in June and then use your tag in July and August, you will be charged €10 (€5 for July and €5 for August) but you will not be charged a monthly active service fee for the remaining months up to and including the following May. A new 12 month period would start in June.
iv. Toll Charges
All toll charges incurred.
All fees and tolls will be collected by direct debit in £GBP. (the exchange rate used in outlined in section 1.4 below)

1.4. What exchange rate is used when my bill is converted to GBP?

The exchange rate that we use is set on a monthly basis on the day that we do our invoice run (usually around the 14th of the month) and is based on the average mid market commercial exchange rate for the month that the tolls were incurred The daily historic mid market rate used to compute the average are sourced from exchangerates.org.uk.
There is a 2%+TVA (equivalent to 2.39%) foreign exchange finance charge when converting the currency but the overall exchange rate is still competitive.

An example is provided below and is based on rates obtained on 8th July 2011.
TVA (French VAT) is charged at 19.6%
Exchange Rate £1 = €1.11520
Foreign Exchange Finance Charge: 2%+TVA (equivalent to 2.392%)
Example invoice:

Total bill in Euros inc. TVA: €100
Total foreign exchange finance charge @ 2.392% inc. TVA: €2.392
Total bill in GBP (converted at £1 = €1.11520): £91.81

This is more favourable than rates provided by a leading UK trusted brand on the same day:
M&S Travel Money (0% commission, £1 = €1.0672): £93.70
M&S Visa Card (2.99% commission, £1 = €1.1131): £92.52
Aquiring a liber-t TAG direct from France has always been a sticking point, as the opperators where becoming less willing to issue a tag to new customers without a french bank account, and the option for existing customers to alternately pay with a credit card was being phased out towards the end of 2012.

However a little research has turned up a potential cheaper option for new customers outside france to get hold of a liber-t TAG without paying the hefty fees levied by sanef UK, and be able to pay the toll costs to the French opperator via credit card. (Albeit consideration to the fees levied by the credit card Co for the exchange rates needs to be considered)
So if anyone is still thinking about getting hold of a French Liber-t toll tag, https://www.telepeagepourtous.fr/fr/.../vos_avantages they are offering liber-t tags for free, abeit with a €10 setup fee (€10 refundable on your 1st bill)
However unlike most french Liber-t tags you don`t need a french bank account to apply, as you can pay via a credit card (mastercard/visa)
service charges: online billing charges at €1.60, or paper billing at €2.10 per month only (for only the months you use it + the toll fees you accrue).
apply here: https://www.telepeagepourtous.fr/fr/...crire/en_ligne
There are no deposit fees for the tag persay as the initial €10 fee when yuo apply is refunded. The only additional fee I can see for using it, beyond the billing fee & toll costs, is that you pay €3 for delivery.
No doubt someone more fluent in french will be able verify the details of this offer by the opperator.
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