Portugal Toll Roads + Fees

The Dreaded Toll Charges ... explained!

As most of you are aware Portugal have had electronic tolls (scuts) in Algarve (and a few in the North of Portugal) since December 2011.  Unlike the traditional road tolls where you stop and pay, or stop get a ticket and pay at the end of the journey these new tolls have no facility to pay.

The system works as follows…

-A detector takes a picture of the car number plate
- This information is registered in a computer system for the Scut Tolls and drivers can then go to pay at a post office
-The problem is that the information takes a few days to arrive in the system ( don’t ask why!) and of course involves the driver finding a post office that is open, standing in a que to pay the tolls due.

Residents can buy a box to put in the car and give their bank account details- this box registers the journeys and the company takes all tolls due direct from the bank account.  From before its introduction there were huge issues with how to deal with rental cars which took an exceptionally long time to resolve. Even now a standard system for all to work to is not in place.

Until now car hire companies have explained the issue to all clients on arrival and, when the invoices for the tolls are received by them- they identify the driver and charge on the clients credit card the relevant amounts.

This sounds OK , except that these invoices have taken between 6 and 12 months to arrive with the car hire company, by which time clients have forgotten they even visited Portugal, let alone which tolls they went through!

The administration of this has been and still is incredibly difficult for all parties. There have been lengthy negotiations between the company that operates the Scut Tolls and the car rental companies.

Although the system was described recently in the newspapers as a “Dead Loss” – (the operation of the system is costing the toll company far in excess of what they collect! ) the Scut tolls are not going to disappear, Therefore our car hire company will introduce a new system on 01.07.13.

The New System is as follows…

-All clients on arrival will pay 20 euros per car rental .
-If they travel through the Scuts Tolls they have a credit of up to 15 euros per car .
-Any values over 15 euros will be charged to clients credit card within 15 days of departure.

(If they use the scuts at least once but not to the value of 15 euros there will not be any refund.)
-The remaining 5€ is an admin fee and contribution to the cost of putting the devices in all the cars
-If clients do not use the scuts at all, they will receive a full refund of the 20 euros to their credit card within 15 days of departure.


Clients cannot opt out of paying the 20 euros. The cars are all equipped with an electronic device. If clients refuse to pay the 20 euros the car hire company will not deliver the car.


Whilst no-one likes to see any increased costs, this position has been forced on the industry by the Portuguese Government. 
If drivers do not use the tolls at all, the 20 euros will be refunded by the car hire company within 15 days of their return.



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