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How to save on rising motorway tolls in France

The major motorway networks have announced significant savings on péage fees of up to 40% for some drivers. We explain

A photo of cars lining up at a péage barrier

People who make regular journeys and who drive electric cars will be entitled to discounts on their péage fees, the major motorway management companies have announced Pic: Grisha Bruev / Shutterstock

Motorway companies in France have announced that drivers who make regular journeys can get up to 40% off péage fees, with drivers of electric vehicles benefiting from extra aids.

Vinci Autoroutes, Sanef and APRR made the announcement this week after péage fees went up by 4.75% on February 1.

The fees rose as a result of rising inflation levels, the firms said, as the state renewed its contracts with the major road companies this month.

Consumer prices and the rising cost of roadworks and raw materials also factored into the increase. In comparison, fees rose by 2% in 2022, and by just 0.44% in 2021.

In France, the cost per motorway kilometre is around eight cents on average but this can fluctuate significantly depending on the network and specific motorway. For example, the 280km length of the A9 - ASF motorway, which is managed by Vinci, costs 10.46 cents per kilometre, which equates to €29.30 from one end to the other.

Read also: Six changes for drivers in France in 2023

In response to rising péage costs, the state requested that the main motorway operators offer discounts for regular road users, to soften the blow.

These are the measures announced: 

Vinci Autoroutes: Fee freeze and money off

Fees on these roads have risen by an average of 4.68%.

In response, the company has announced a fee freeze for most short journeys.

In a press release, it said: “[This applies to] 70% of journeys of less than 30km, half of journey of less than 50km, and most of the journeys in the 35 towns served by Vinci Autoroutes would benefit from this measure for everyday journeys, especially commuters.”

It has also announced that drivers, including of motorbikes, will receive up to 30-40% off at the péage between February 1, 2023, and January 31, 2024, if they:

  • Make 20 identical journeys in a calendar month (10 return journeys)

  • And sign up to the Ulys 30 télépéage subscription service (which costs €2.50 per month).

This money off is not related to the reason for their journey (e.g. it is not confined only for work or commuters), and there is no distance limit. Clients who are already signed up to Ulys 30 will also receive the offer.

Read more: French motorway network announces freeze on most short-trip toll costs 

From May 1 to December 31, 2023, people who are signed up to the Ulys 30 programme will also receive a 10% reduction on electric recharging at 60,000 charging stations across France.

Sanef: Work journey reduction

The Sanef and Sapn networks will see a rise of 4.54% and 4.75%.

Drivers who use these roads daily, or for regular work journeys, will be entitled to 40% off of fees for a ‘regular journey’ (such as a commute) trip.

From February 1, drivers of personal vehicles and motorbike riders can get 40% off these journeys if: 

  • They complete at least 10 return journeys (20 journeys total) per month on the same route

  • Are signed up to the télépéage programme Fréquence (€2.50 per month, with a one-off €10 activation payment)

You choose your ‘regular journey’ when setting up your Fréquence subscription, according to Fréquence+ website (information in English).

Until the end of the year, drivers of electric vehicles can also receive a 5% reduction in péage fees on the majority of journeys made on the Sanef and Sapn networks.

APRR: Daily journey discounts

Fees on the APRR and AREA roads are set to rise by an average of 4.68%. 

Both networks are offering a 40% discount on daily journeys, if drivers:

  • Make at least 10 return journeys (20 journeys total) per month on the same route

  • Are signed up to the Cito télépéage programme

Drivers of electric vehicles will also benefit from 5% off their péage fees for a year.

Related articles 

Car plate recognition replacing France’s ‘slow’ motorway toll barriers

France’s first barrierless péage: what penalty for forgetting to pay?

Fine for not paying at toll gates in France rises to €375

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