If you use toll roads in Italy, you should be careful. Three mistakes can quickly become expensive – and result in mail from a debt collection agency.
Italy enjoys great obesity among German holidaymakers. Not least because you can easily get there by car. However, before traveling, you should familiarize yourself with the traffic rules there. Because there are numerous prohibitions and traps that you can fall into. Especially when it comes to tolls.
In Italy, motorists pay per section of the route
As in many other European countries, the use of some roads costs money in Italy. However, there is no vignette, instead – similar to Croatia, where the e-vignette will come from 2024 – it will be paid per section of the route. And that's exactly what becomes the undoing of many a holiday, according to the ADAC, and sometimes ends with hefty additional demands.
Toll stations in Italy can quickly become cost traps. © NurPhoto/Imago
The mail from Italy is usually the result of misconduct at the toll station. So that no bill flutters into the house after the holiday, motorists should avoid three mistakes in particular:
- Cashless payment: In itself, probably the most convenient method of paying the toll. Just pull up, pull out your card or smartphone, pay and off you go. However, it is not quite so relaxed, as cashless payment often does not work. In this case, however, the barrier still opens. However, this does not mean that the use of the track is free in this case. Via the help button, motorists receive a receipt with the note: "Mancato pagamento". Translated, this means: Not paid. And that's exactly what you should make up for as soon as possible with the help of the receipt. Otherwise it will be really expensive.
- Wrong lane chosen: Toll stations can be confusing. There are numerous lanes to choose from, such as an express lane. In Italy, for example, there is a strip 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," explains the ADAC on its homepage. As a rule, you can't pay here.
- Routes without a toll station: On three sections in Italy, one might get the impression that their use is free, although a fee is due. You won't find any toll stations there, instead the license plates of the vehicles are recorded. The reason is simple: there is so much traffic on these routes that otherwise there would only be more congestion. The fee must be paid promptly. Information about this can be found on the page of the Italian motorway.
Pay tolls quickly – there is a risk of mail from the collection agency
But even if one of these mistakes happened or you couldn't pay for other reasons, you don't have to panic. Because the toll can (and must) be paid in arrears. "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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If you don't do this, you'll get the mail from Italy mentioned at the beginning. The toll payments are then subsequently claimed by the Italian debt collection agency Nivi SpA on behalf of the motorway company. This is later followed by a request for payment from a German debt collection agency – including processing fees.