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Rodeo
24-10-2013, 10:16
Hi All
Have been to France ,but never used the motorway tolls!.........
So ,the kiosk will be on the left,which means the passenger ie SWMBO will be dealing with this? Do we just get a ticket,present it at the other end where we exit the m/way,and they calculate the amount? OR do we have to tell the person at the entry toll where we intend to go off and they charge us at the outset? I believe there is a choice of booths when approaching the toll point? Is there one specific to campervans/motorhomes? Do we have to pay in exact money,or do they give change? Can we pay by visa card?
Any help appreciated
Thanks.

antiquesam
24-10-2013, 10:47
Just aim for the ones without the height barrier and take the ticket. When you come to the next peage either hand your ticket to the cashier (quite rare now) or put your ticket in the machine and either stick a credit card in, or start feeding it with money to the value showing on the screen. The ones close to the ferries often have a choice of languages.

shortcircuit
24-10-2013, 11:16
The tolls at Boulogne and past Rouen have ticket machines both sides to cater for RHD vehicles obviously Brit lorries, keep to the right hand lane. Found we collected ticket on entry and when leaving ticket went in followed by credit card if unmanned which as we had a problem are linked by intercom. My problem was I had a new Halifax Clarity credit card and had not told them we were going to France or Spain so card was rejected. Now cleared with bank and it has no charges for cash withdrawals or transaction fees so worth a thought.

vwalan
24-10-2013, 11:21
i try to avoid tolls but if i have to do use them . but stop get out take your time . either pay cash or card dont worry about holding up traffic just get sorted and after all its the op holding you up . not your fault. if its really busy ,go slower . ha ha .

Kryten
24-10-2013, 11:26
The toll you pay is based on the distance you travel. So if you want to stop at a service station for a few hours, for a nap, then you are ok to do so. i have slept overnight on an auto-route service station before, I just parked in the middle of the truckers. Many services have showers as well.

The distance between your entry and exit points are known so if you reach your exit quicker than is expected then you will probably be fined for speeding as well.

richardstubbs
24-10-2013, 11:29
All take major credit cards, so you shouldn't need a handful of change.

The categories change at 2m height, 3m height and 3.5t GVW. If you fit into the lowest class (under 2m and 3.5t) then you can go through the automatic ones with the height barrier, otherwise you have to go to the ones with a person in them. Avoid the 'Télépeage' (orange) ones though - you need to buy a special tag to use them. It's not worth it - there's no discount.

Most work as described - you stop next to a machine and take a ticket, at the end of the péage or your journey you either put the ticket in the machine or hand it to the attendant and an amount comes up on a screen. You pay by inserting your card in a slot (automatic ones) or handing it to the attendant. It doesn't ask for your PIN. You can use cash, but only in the attended booth.

Some ask for payment up front for a fixed distance - this is mostly older toll roads and bridges. It's self-explanatory really - there won't be a ticket machine.

Toll costs vary widely. Generally avoiding the Paris / Isle de France area is much cheaper. When we lived in the Dordogne it cost about €20 to Calais / Dunkerque in the car if we went through Rouen, about €10 more via the périphérique (Paris ring road). I think over 2m is about double.

The toll roads are generally excellent and save loads of time, but boring. Service areas are mostly rubbish too.

Their website is quite useful and in English now!
ASFA - French Motorway companies association (http://www.autoroutes.fr/index.htm?lang=en)

Hope this helps,
Richard.

Sparks
24-10-2013, 12:30
Post Deleted

Kryten
24-10-2013, 13:12
Be prepared to part with a couple of limbs because the tolls will cost you an arm and leg to use. For this reason they tend to be quieter, especially during the evening, unlike UK motorways which are just large car parks. I've travelled across half of France at night before and not overtaken or been overtaken by another vehicle.

snowbirds
24-10-2013, 14:57
Hi Rodeo,

I all ways pay with cash and as the wife can't always reach the pay bins I now get out and go around to pay,there are very few now with attendants and I have had no tooting from behind at all watch credit card payments as my bank charges £ 1.25 per transaction but I now use a loaded Euro card and top up on line out there when it gets low,just take your time and on a lot there is a brit button but after a few it's quite easy.I do try to avoid them when there is a good red N route that runs along side.But some Citys it pay to get on the pay motorway.

Snowbirds.





Hi All
Have been to France ,but never used the motorway tolls!.........
So ,the kiosk will be on the left,which means the passenger ie SWMBO will be dealing with this? Do we just get a ticket,present it at the other end where we exit the m/way,and they calculate the amount? OR do we have to tell the person at the entry toll where we intend to go off and they charge us at the outset? I believe there is a choice of booths when approaching the toll point? Is there one specific to campervans/motorhomes? Do we have to pay in exact money,or do they give change? Can we pay by visa card?
Any help appreciated
Thanks.

Rodeo
24-10-2013, 15:46
Thats great info. Thanks everyone for taking the trouble to answer. Never used one up to now,but if we do have to,I reckon that the first couple of times will be a learning curve,then it'll be easy. Gonna have to go check whether there is a charge for using the card...
Thanks again all.

BambiOwner
24-10-2013, 16:00
When we were in France this year I went onto a toll road by mistake and when I got to the off road I tried to pay with a pre pay Euro card and the machine would not take it I called for help but the man only spoke French in the end another man came on and said use another booth so I got back into the motorhome put here in reverse and lucky for me I have an alarm that goes off and says motorhome reversing please stand clear well 6 cars had to reverse to let me out I managed to reverse and go to another barrier and again I got out put my pre pay card in and what do you think happened ?, yes it refused my card again and by this time there was a big Que of cars waiting to get through and get to work again I pressed to buzzer and again a man came on and onjly spoke French I tried to explain what had happened but all we did was row about their stupid system in the end a man came up from another car and said I will pay it for you and you can give me the money which he did so I drove through and met him on the other side and payed him and we then went on our way.
There are three morals to this story 1) do not try to use a prepay Euro card on toll roads 2) Learn how to speak French and finaly 3) steer cleer of toll motor ways and save money and have less stress.;)

Rodeo
24-10-2013, 16:08
Thanks. Yes,best advice is to learn a bit of the lingo,it can solve a lot of probs quickly. I found this when we broke down on our trike about 100 miles from Calais. Couldnt have a proper conversation ,and felt EXTREMELY vulnerable,both physically and language(ie potential to be ripped off wise). Luckily our hotel had another guest who spoke both languages fluently,and also there was an ex-Belgian ambassAdor staying there who was very helpful!..

spigot
24-10-2013, 16:08
Only go on the toll roads if you are in a desperate hurry, or sometimes they're handy to get past big towns. ie. two stages gets you through Tours for 1.90 euros where I always used to get lost trying to navigate the city.

Do as vwalan suggests, don't panic, take your time. A little tip:- I switch my hazards on when pulling up to a booth so the French drivers leave me well alone.

Take plenty of euro & centime coins if you're not using a card, I worry that mine will be swallowed up never to be seen again. And, of course, a charge could be applied

jakekelly
24-10-2013, 16:22
We used the tolls to go from calais thro to south france (ave .de mediteran )Ifound that t:rying to miss the toll road you used more fuel ,e.g. covered 50mls side roads to 30 mls toll , so decided to pay the money get better roads ,get some excellent facilities , you pays your money & takes your chance so to speak, what suits one will not suit another.:wave:

Sparks
24-10-2013, 16:23
Post Deleted

vwalan
24-10-2013, 16:28
We have a big pot of coins in the cab and the wife takes ages to get the right amount to pay.

you need to do it with the smallest coins you can . the operators will do it to you if you give them a note . mind these days its only the bridges i get caught on .
there isnt much choice if going up the coast by lisbon in portugal.

Touringtheworld
24-10-2013, 16:36
The only tip I have is - if you use a card make it a debit card - credit card companies make meal of the exchange rate, overseas useage and toll charges.

Rodeo
24-10-2013, 17:00
Yep,Im going to make some enquiries re charges to use my cards abroad for definite!

shortcircuit
24-10-2013, 17:08
I am using a Halifax Clarity credit card with no fees or charges. Exchange rates I have had are very good €1.1847 which compared very favourable to the local exchange outlets so find the previous post a bit confusing.

spigot
24-10-2013, 17:09
We have a big pot of coins in the cab and the wife takes ages to get the right amount to pay.

Same here, that's why I switch the hazards on.

shortcircuit
24-10-2013, 17:40
You are correct David. This was a rate two weeks ago and I keep an eye open. Certainly not going to preload a small company scheme when I can just transfer cash as and when I need it at a rate that suits me with absolutely no charges involved

Croftland1
24-10-2013, 17:48
The only tip I have is - if you use a card make it a debit card - credit card companies make meal of the exchange rate, overseas useage and toll charges.

I use my credit cards for as much as I can whilst abroad. Even with the small transaction fee applied by my bank it still works out a better rate than a cash exchange. I then have the credit card company's insurance on my purchases in addition to cashback / rebate points etc. Safer than carrying wads of cash around on holiday too. Just my opinion.

shortcircuit
24-10-2013, 18:13
Without going back into my account it could have been earlier. I also ask the question as to how the Halifax can do this with no charges and suspected I would get a lower exchange rate which I have not found. In the bigger picture the amount of cash involved is very very small so although I look for the best rate its not going to be any great loss with a lower rate.

maxi77
24-10-2013, 19:07
I suspect this will have the same problems as the other prepaid cards (I use FAIRFX which works in much the same way and also has good rates) as there is an incompatibility between systems between some French payment systems and UK cards. It only happens occasionally but it does mean you need an alternative payment system. The other problem with cards is in Portugal that places like supermarkets do not take foreign cards though many have a cash machine that does.

Prepaid cards thoough are great, even with the occasional problems, we lived in Portugal for 21/2 years and it was our main way of paying an getting cash.

It is also worth having your bank account swift and IBAN numbers incase you need to make a funds transfer

Tezza33
24-10-2013, 20:11
I have always used a Cashplus Prepaid Mastercard, the exchange rate is not always the best but close enough because there are no charges even for withdrawing cash in Europe, I also use it for buying fuel from Service Stations that are closed and card only but don't accept UK cards, it has never been refused for toll charges (I avoid them like the plague anyway) and it is accepted at Lidl and Aldi in Europe who don't accept credit cards

Deadsfo
24-10-2013, 21:36
I was around Royan this year I noticed a trend toward unmanned service stations at the super markets compared with other years, dont know if anyone else thought so

maxi77
25-10-2013, 13:32
This does not look like a French bank, "The Card is issued by Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd ("WDCS") pursuant to licence by MasterCard International Inc. WDCS is authorised by the Financial Services Authority to conduct electronic money service activities under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011", perhaps you need to apply on the froggy site to get a froggy card

Val54
25-10-2013, 16:14
We've used the Halifax Clarity card when abroad for three years now and it has always surprised me how good the rates are. In September this year we consistently got between 1.18 and 1.20 rates in France. The only thing is that you have to remember to tell them when and where you are travelling. Otherwise the only two drawbacks are that you cannot log in to the online banking service from abroad (probably no bad thing!) and whilst the main cardholder can just use his/her normal pin code, any secondary cardholders still have to provide a signature.

maxi77
25-10-2013, 17:08
But if it use using the wrong Mastercard processing centre that was the problem it would mean the card would not work everywhere. The problem as I understand it some, and it is a very limited number of payment terminal operators use a protocol that is not accepted by many card issuers. There are exceptional work arounds but they are not instant. Even so prepaid euro cards work very well and are a great boon

Also Portuguese banks do require Swift as well as IBAN

Cliffy
25-10-2013, 19:00
I met a Motorhomer in France this year who recons if you put a card in the toll machine that is not accepted put it in three times the barrier raises and the machine says no payment taken.

He did say he does not know what he will find on the door mat when he gets home but he will sort it when he gets home.

He was driving a Hymer A Class!!!!!

reg
27-10-2013, 06:06
Hi, I have tried the trick of the barrier going up after three minutes and it doesn't work !
At the tolls you will be charged the higher rate because of the vans size. However if you have a blue disabled badge and ask nicely for "classe un handicape" you will only pay the standard car rate. Technically the vehicle should be registered in disabled class ( shown on uk tax disc ) but no-one ever bothers, after all avoiding government charges is a national sport in France!


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