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Motorway Tolls in Portugal
Thu, 31 Mar 2011
The system for charging tolls on SCUT motorways in Portugal came into force on 15th October 2010 and the next phase of charging will start on 15th April 2011.
Information contained in this article is taken from Via Verde, Brisa, Estradas de Portugal and ‘Hey Portugal’.
Terms Used by the various authorities
SCUT - Sem Custos para utilizador (cost-free for users)
DE – Dispositivo Electronico ( Electronic Device) (this can be a DECP, DM or TD)
DECP – Dispositivos Electrónicos Compativeis (Compatible Electronic Devices). A Via Verde Identifier is one of these, and will work with the electronic tolls.
DEM – Dispositivo Electrónico de Matricula (Electronic Registration Device)
DT – Dispositivo Temporário (Temporary Device)
Motorway toll sections will be clearly marked with signs at the start.
PORTAGEM ELECTRONICA – Electronic Tolls
PORTAGEM EXCLUSIVAMENTE ELECTRONICOS – Exclusively Electronic Tolls
LANÇO COM PORTAGEM – With Toll Booths
LANÇO COM PORTGAM ELECTRONICA- With Electronic Tolls Only
Motorways with Via Verde Toll Booths
There will be no change to these and you can continue to use the tolls with either the Via Verde Identifier or by pay as you go (PAYG) at the booths.
Exclusively Electronic Tolls
These motorways will only have the overhead gantry systems and will not have tolls booths or PAYG as exists with ‘Portagens’. The first of the SCUT motorways to be converted to this system were parts of Grande Porto, Costa Prata and Norte Litoral. The second phase of charging will begin on 15th April 2011 on the A22 - Via do Infante (Algarve Motorway), North Interior and Beira.
There are essentially 2 options; Pre and Post Pay. Pre Pay is cheaper as there is no additional administration fee.
If you have a DE then you will either pre-pay by loading an amount on to the account or you will be debited automatically from your bank account.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have already applied for your DE but not received it, you will need to post pay until you receive it, but if you take the reference number of your application when you pay, you will not be charged the administration fee.
If you do not have a DE then you are expected to go to a Pay Station or CTT within 5 days of using the motorway with your vehicle registration number and pay your tolls. An administration fee will also be added to the amount due. If it is not paid within 5 days then fines will also be added.
Electronic Devices (DE)
With the exception of Temporary Devices (TD) each device is registered to a particular vehicle registration number. They are not interchangeable without re-registering the device with the supplier. It is reported that EDs (either Via Verde or the ones for the SCUT tolls only) are available from all Post Offices, Via Verde offices and Motorway service area, as well as some banks. You can also apply for Via Verde Identifier via the Via Verde website, but there is a backlog of applications. Via Verde Identifiers will also work on the SCUT motorways, but unfortunately not the other way around i.e. the DEM does not work on the Via Verde Tolls.
Electronic Registration Device (DEM)
This is similar to the Via Verde Identifier, in that it is attached to the windscreen and not to the Registration Plate. Due to demand, stocks of these are apparently low at the moment.
Temporary Devices (TD) for foreign vehicles
These can be leased from motorway service stations or CTT/post offices. The price for the leasing is €27 and for the first week €6 + IVA and an extra €1,5+IVA for the following weeks is deducted from the price of purchase, the remaining amount is returned to you when you return the device. When you first lease this device you need to charge it with a minimum of €10 (light vehicles) or €20 (heavy vehicles), this credit is to be used on tolls and is non-reimbursable.
The Temporary device is also available for Portuguese vehicles but the procedure is slightly different. For a Portuguese vehicle the temporary device will last for 90 days, but the driver keeps the device and even after the initial 90 days are expired, when they top it up it reactivates the device.
TDs are not registered to a particular vehicle and are designed for short term use on the Portuguese toll motorways, which makes them ideal for foreign registered vehicles.
Discounts for Local Users
For the first phase of (Costa Prata, Grande Porto and North Litoral) anyone living in or having a business head office in a council area that is within 10kms of the motorway can claim the discount. This is the first 10 uses each month free, then a discount of 15% on other uses. We understand that for the second phase the discounts will apply within 20kms, but we will verify this as soon as we are able to do so.
The discounts will apply on all SCUT tolls until 1st July 2012 and will continue to apply in some regions after that time.
If you think the discounts should apply to you then contact your Post Office (CTT) or Via Verde shop for more details.
Foreign Registered Vehicles (updated 25 Jan 2011)
The government has taken notice of concerns and there is now a simpler option for Foreign Vehicles.
Drivers of vehicles without a DE (any type) can now pre-pay using just their Vehicle Registration Number. This can be done online at CTT.pt (you need to register and it is only in Portuguese at the moment).
Pre-payment will also be possible at motorway service areas and Porto Airport in the future.
If you do not have a DE or pre-payment then you will be subject to a fine. Photos are taken of registration plates and bills and fines will be sent to the registered address for the vehicle in whatever country the car is registered. Fines for Foreign plated vehicles using the road without a DE are 10x toll fee, with a minimum charge of 25€ and a maximum of 125€. The way to avoid this is to pay the toll directly to the “concessionário” of that motorway. At the entrance of the motorway the name of the “concessionário” is displayed, but if you failed to notice it CTT post offices will be able to inform you of their contact details.
FAILED TO PAY FOR THE TOLL AT THE TIME?
Sometimes you can't make the payment of the toll at the time of the journey, for example:
- You do not have your card with you and have no other means of payment;
- The system does not read the card;
- You don’t have enough money to pay;
If any of the above situations occur in a toll booth where there is an assistant, you should ask for an invoice to be issued for payment later. If this situation occurs where there is a machine for you to insert the card and pay manually, you must use the "info" button to request the invoice.
In these cases, the value of the toll, without any penalty, must be paid within 8 days counting from the date of issue, by using one of the following means:
- In a Multibanco (ATM) machine using the reference numbers in the invoice. This is only possible within 48 hours;
- In any Briza/Via Verde store;
- At the highway booths with an assistant.
You can also make your payment the following ways:
- Sending a cheque to Brisa, payable to “Brisa – Concessão Rodoviária, SA” stating the invoice number on the back of the cheque.
Address to send the cheque:
Brisa - Concessão Rodoviária, S.A.
Serviço de Contas a Receber
Quinta da Torre da Aguilha - Edifício Brisa
2785-599 São Domingos de Rana
- Bank transfer – in this case please note that your invoice will only be considered settled after the proof of payment, properly identified including the invoice number to which it relates is sent, by post, fax (444 21 86 98) or email (email@example.com)
Banco Santander Totta
IBAN: PT50 001800032357824802090
Swift Code: TOTAPTPL
Account holder: Brisa – Concessão Rodoviária, SA
Factura nº. :
After 8 days, if the invoice is not yet paid, the amount may be subject to penalties for non-compliance (Law No. 25/2006 of 30 June).
Please Note: Where invoices are filled out manually by the toll assistant, you must follow the instructions for payment mentioned on the back of the invoice. For more information about how to pay the toll you can contact the customer service line 808 508 508.
When you don’t have a toll ticket:
If a customer reaches a manual toll barrier without the transit ticket, or with an expired transit ticket (the validity of title is 12 hours), the toll rate applicable corresponds to the maximum rate* applicable to the toll barrier in question, multiplied by 2.
Note: The maximum rate is deemed to be equivalent to the longest toll length than can be applied on that motorway before you reach the toll barrier in question.
If you don’t have the ticket at the time of passage but find it later, you will have the opportunity to prove which barrier you entered and pay the corresponding toll rate. For this, you must send a statement to Brisa, attaching the original ticket and explaining the situation. Alternatively you may go to a Brisa or ViaVerde shop, with the same information and pay the correct amount for your journey.
This information has been compiled by afpop, the largest foreign residents' Association in Portugal. afpop can be contacted by telephone on 00351 282 458 509; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ; website www.afpop.com