France is one of the most popular holiday destinations across the globe.  The capital of Paris is regarded as one of the most romantic cities to visit, making it a frequent choice for couples.  Then there is the south of France, with its rolling grapevine covered hills and rustic charm – a fashionable choice for family jaunts.  The French Alps are also a well travelled route, with skiers, hikers and mountain bikers visiting right throughout the year.  But not matter where your destination is in France, you are likely to encounter the bane of the foreign motorists’ life; French Autoroute Tolls.  These are the charges that you are made to pay to make use of the French Autoroute.

Examining the costs

The Autoroute system is owned by the government, but administrated by private companies.  In order to maintain the system to acceptable levels that charge for making use of the roads.  Whilst charges at French Autoroute tolls will vary dependent on which company runs the station; you are looking at an average of about €1 for every 10km of road used.  However, even more annoying than the cost of French Autoroute tolls can be the inconvenience that they pose to motorists.

A problem for foreign travellers

Most French citizens will utilise the smaller roads in order to avoid having to use the Autoroute – especially for shorter journeys.  This can prove impractical for foreign visitors who are looking to keep their journey as simple and hassle free as possible.  However, even using the Autoroute isn’t completely hassle free and you can be left with a few difficulties when you approach toll stations.  Firstly you have to either have the right chance, or have your debit card handy.  Then, if you are from a country that drives on the left-side of the road; you have to either lean across the passenger seat to make your payment.  If you passenger is asleep you have to get out and run around to the other side of the car – not ideal if the weather is bad.  Whilst this is happening the queue of traffic behind you is gradually getting longer and longer.  There is a simple way to remove the hassles of French Autoroute tolls.

Considering Télépéage

Télépéage is a general French term that is used to describe all automatic payment systems that can be used at French Autoroute tolls.  By purchasing a transponder, which is positioned behind your rear-view mirror, it is possible to drive through the barrier of special Télépéage traffic lanes and have the barrier automatically open for you.  If you like the sound of this handy piece of kit then you can order the transponder online from the private companies that administrate the Autoroute system.  Once you have the transponder fitted and registered to your bank account the toll fee will be automatically debited from your account.  In addition to the toll charges you will also be charged an annual management fee and also a usage see for each month that you use the transponder – you will only be charged the monthly fee twice in each calendar year.  So if you are a regular visitor to France you will get all the other months for free.   Whilst using Télépéage at French Autoroute tolls will cost you a little more; the benefits far outweigh the costs.


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