Summer is coming, holiday departures are getting closer, temperatures are rising, as is pressure on motorway companies. "As holiday departures approach, I ask motorway concession companies for a reduction on tolls during the summer," insisted this Wednesday morning Clément Beaune, the Minister of Transport, to the Parisian - Today in France.
One of them heard it and obviously listened. According to our information, Vinci Autoroutes will offer 20% discounts on its tolls to users of holiday vouchers. "To take advantage of it, simply deposit up to 250 euros in holiday vouchers on an electronic toll subscription between June 15 and July 31. The sum will benefit from a contribution of 20% of the amount, paid by Vinci Autoroutes, "explains a spokesman for the company. That is a maximum gain of 50 euros. The amount credited can be used at any time, and on all the motorways of the Vinci Autoroutes network, thus allowing all summer trips to run but also later.
Already a rebate last year
Last summer, already, the motorway companies had set up a 10% discount from mid-July, for all motorists who pay with their holiday vouchers, from which five million French people benefit. "This year, from the first weekend of the big holiday departure, we need at least an equivalent measure for purchasing power," said Clément Beaune.
It must be said that since the beginning of the year, the pressure is strong on the concession companies. Since February 1, when they raised their rates by 4.75%, a record increase. This sharp increase - castigated by motorists' associations and elected officials - has given high visibility to a report by the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) of 2021, whose authors estimate that Vinci, Eiffage and other Abertis generate a profitability much higher than the estimate made during privatization.
"False!" retorted Pierre Coppey, the president of Vinci Autoroutes, to Le Parisien - Today in France last March. "There are no superprofits," he thundered while in 2022, his group recorded 4.26 billion in profits, including 2.2 billion thanks to highways... The boss of Vinci Autoroutes praises, for his part, the "serious work" of the Transport Regulatory Authority (ART), whose calculations do not show excessive profitability.