On the way to your holiday in Italy, unexpected pitfalls lurk when it comes to tolls. Failure to do so can result in an unexpected bill for motorists.
Rome – Germany has a strong affinity for Italy as a holiday destination. One reason for this is the easy accessibility with your own vehicle. However, it is important to study the traffic regulations in Italy in advance. Numerous traps and restrictions could surprise travelers. Especially the regulations around tolls can be tricky.
Toll trap Italy: Important tips for German motorists on holiday
Similar to many European countries, the use of certain roads in Italy is subject to tolls. In contrast to the vignette regulation, similar to Croatia, which will switch to the e-vignette from 2024, you pay depending on the distance travelled. According to the ADAC, this is precisely why a number of holidaymakers get into trouble and are sometimes confronted with considerable additional payments.
Toll stations in Italy can quickly become cost traps. © NurPhoto/Imago
Often, a message from Italy is the result of a violation at a toll booth. In order not to be confronted with an unexpected bill after the holiday, drivers should not make three typical mistakes in the first place:
- Payment without cash: At first, this seems to be the most convenient way to pay the toll. You just drive up, take out your card or smartphone, pay and drive on. However, it is often not that simple, because cashless payment can often cause problems. Nevertheless, in such cases, the barrier opens. However, this does not mean that the use of the route is free of charge. Via the help button you get a receipt with the note: "Mancato pagamento". This means: Not paid. It is strongly recommended to pay the amount according to this receipt as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in high costs.
- Lack of orientation at toll stations: Toll booths can be confusing, with multiple lanes to choose from, including an express lane. In Italy, for example, there is a lane for Telepass users. "This lane is reserved for (mostly local) motorists who are registered with Telepass with license plates and for whom the toll is automatically debited," clarifies the ADAC on its website. Direct payment is usually not possible on these tracks.
- Sections without toll booths: There are three routes in Italy that might appear to be free, when in fact there is a fee. There are no toll booths here, instead the vehicle license plates are recorded. The background is simple: there is so much traffic on these routes that a toll booth would only lead to more traffic jams. The fee due must be paid within a short period of time. Information on this can be found on the website of the Italian motorway.
Toll in Italy: Outstanding fees can be conveniently paid at service points
If, despite this, one of these mistakes happens or payment is not possible for any other reason, there is no need to worry. The toll can (and must) be paid retrospectively. "You can do this either at the service points of the motorway company ("Punto Blu"), which are located at larger rest areas, or within 15 days by bank transfer to the responsible motorway company," explains the ADAC.
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Those who fail to do so will receive the already mentioned message from Italy. The toll payments are then collected by the Italian debt collection company Nivi SpA on behalf of the motorway company. Later, a request for payment will also be made by a German debt collection agency – including additional processing fees.
In other countries, too, there are traffic rules that some drivers do not have on their radar. It can be really expensive. Similar to Germany, there are environmental zones in London, for example, which may only be entered if the car meets emission requirements.
This article, written by the editors, used machine support. The article was carefully reviewed by editor Johannes Nuß before publication.