Paris Transport Money

How to Pay Highway Tolls in France

Autoroutes (expressways, motorways) connect the major cities and regions in France. Many are operated by commercial companies, prominent among them Vinci Autoroutes. (A related company, Indigo, operates hundreds of car parking garages in France.) Tolls may be higher than what you're used to (Paris-Marseille 66.10€), so you should plan ahead for payment.

Toll gates sign in France
Map of France's Autoroutes.

Rules for tolls, and paying them, are set by the operating companies. Here are examples for Vinci-operated autoroutes.

French toll gates
Autoroute toll gates in France: yellow signs mark the leftmost gate as reserved for télépéage only; the three center gates take cash, cards or télépéage; the rightmost gate takes only credit & debit cards.

Types of Payment

Rules for tolls, and paying them, are set by the operating companies. Here are examples for Vinci-operated autoroutes. Other companies' rules are similar.

On some autoroutes, you take a ticket when you enter the highway, and pay the toll when you exit. On others, you may encounter a single tool booth during your drive, and pay a set price for the toll in cash, by credit/debit card, or by télépéage transponder.

Phasing Out the Tollbooth

In 2024, France began introducing flux-libre ("free-flow") lanes at tollbooths on some autoroutes. In these lanes, tolls are collected automatically by sensors and cameras: you drive through the lane at speed and these devices record the passage of your vehicle and the toll ypu owe. You pay by card on the company's website, or by card or cash at a tabac (the ubiquitous little corner shops in France), or via an account with the autoroute company. You have at least 72 hours to pay the toll before you're subject to a fine for non-payment: 10€ at first, 90€ later. If you live outside of Europe and don't pay the toll, you'll hear from a collection agency in your own country—not fun.

Tolls apply to all vehicles: cars registered in Europe, or in other countries, or rental/hire cars.

The program was initiated on the A4 east of Metz, and on the A13/ A14 toll highways between Paris and Normandy, both operated by Sanef (website in English).

Here's how to pay your non-EU or rental/hire car tolls from flux-libre:

1. With your smartphone, take a photo of your vehicle's license plate, or note it on paper, so you have it with you when you pay.

2. When you drive on a toll highway, note which company operates the tolls! There's a list on the ASFA website (in English).

3. Within 72 hours of incurring the toll, pay on the company's website, or go to a tabac participating in the flux-libre program and pay.

Tollbooths are Still There (for now...)

Highway tolls may be paid with euro coins and notes/bills, or certain credit or debit cards. Some toll booths also now offer péage sans contact via RFID card or smartphone.

Péage sans Contact

If your credit/debit card or smartphone is RFID-enabled, you need only touch your card or your smartphone to the RFID contactless-payment symbol on the toll machine to pay the toll. This is the easiest and safest way to pay, but not all toll booths yet have this feature. You may have to insert your card instead. Look for this symbol:

RFID contactless-payment symbol.
RFID contactless-payment symbol.

Forms of toll payment in France
The green arrow means all types of payment are accepted in this lane, including euro cash and cards (and of course télépéage, indicated by the right-hand orange 't' symbol).

Drive into the gate with the green downward-pointing arrow to the toll machine:

French toll machine
A toll machine on a Vinci autoroute. Note the flagged buttons on the left for instructions in French, English or Spanish.

  • 1. Insert your toll ticket in Slot 1, Ticket. The toll amount in euros will appear in the digital display beneath Prix.

  • 2. Insert euro coins (10-, 20- and 50-cent, 1- and 2-euro coins) in the slot between 2 and 3 (marked Pièces [Coins] on some machines) and/or euro notes/bills (5, 10, 20 and 50 euros) in the slot marked Billets. In case of overpayment, change may be returned in the Monnaie (excess change) hole. When the full amount of the toll has been registered, the gate barrier will rise. If you wish to pay by credit or debit card instead of coins or notes/bills (see below), insert your card into Slot 2, Carte.

  • 3. Push the Récu button (Slot 3) to obtain a receipt (if desired). Proceed through the toll gate.

  • 4. In case of a problem, press the Assistance intercom button (upper right-hand corner) and wait for assistance. Don't reverse/back up!
  • Toll Amounts

    Tolls are charged by distance, so a longer drive will require more and larger coins and notes/bills. If you plan to pay in cash, be sure to have a sufficient and varied supply of notes and coins before entering a toll highway! Don't depend on chance—the euro cash you may have in your pocket at the time—to get you through. Prepare a special reserve of coins and notes/bills for highway tolls as the tolls can be high. The 8-hour, 775-km (482-mile) drive by autoroute from Paris to Marseille in a Classe 1 vehicle (passenger car) incurs tolls of nearly 66.10€ (see below).

    You can calculate the estimated toll amount for any autoroute trip on the ASFA website (in English—see below).

    Credit/Debit Cards

    Some toll gates are marked by stylized credit card logos meaning you may pay only by credit card at that gate. Cash is not accepted at toll gates marked only by the credit card symbol.

    French toll gate credit card symbol
      Credit/debit cards only in this lane.

    Not all credit and debit cards are accepted for payment of tolls. Cards must contain a computer chip (puce), but not all chip cards are accepted!

    Highway operator Vinci notes that the following types of cards are accepted: CB (Carte Bleu), Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Total GR, DKV, Eurotrafic, Esso Card, euroShell. It also advises, cryptically, that "cards issued in some non-European countries are not accepted," but does not list which countries. Helpful!

    Thus, it is wise never to insert your only credit or debit card into a highway toll machine. If you are carrying other cards with which you can continue to pay your travel expenses, you may decide to try it. Some toll gates now offer contactless (touchless) payment. If your card has RFID for contactless payment, or if you're using a smartphone payment app such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, you can try that without fear of losing your card. More...


    For télépéage, payment by electronic transponder, signalled by a 't' logo over the toll gate, your vehicle must have a transponder and a payment subscription account with the autoroute operating company—not so practical unless you live in France or in a neighboring country.

    If the 't' symbol is all you see over a toll gate, you can only pay the toll via télépéage in that lane.

    Estimating Your Tolls

    Tolls from Paris to:


















    ASFA (Autoroutes & ouvrages concédés), the association of companies operating autoroutes in France, has a website,, that provides information in French and English on expressways/ motorways in France, including a distance & toll calculator.

    Fill in the DEPARTURE and ARRIVAL fields of the YOUR ROUTE calculator, then click SEARCH to see a map of a recommended route, statistics on distance, toll amount, estimated motor fuel usage, and other information.

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