Europe: Where You Need To Pay Road Taxes As Foreigner
Posted at 06:00:00 PM
Author: Mike Werner
Location: Normandy, France
Holidays are being planned. Just because you live in another country, doesn't mean you don't have to pay road taxes in another. In Europe, many countries levy a road taxes even on motorcycles (and cars and trucks) that are just transiting their country. Apart from these taxes (often called Vignettes, which is a French word for Sticker - the proof that you have paid the tax), you often also need to pay toll for the motorways.
In other words, if you don't watch out, you may end up paying a lot of money just for passing through their country. Here is a list of some of the European countries that expect you to pay road taxes just for riding through their country. The list is complete for Vignettes but not for toll roads.
In most countries, you can buy these stickers at gas stations.
You pay the Austrian Vignettes depending on how long you plan to be riding in their country on their motorways.
Austria 10 day Vignette
Getting caught without one of these stickers will set you back €240.
A 10 day sticker for a motorcycle will cost you €4.90. If you plan to stay 2 months, it'll be €12.40 and for the year, it'll cost you €32.90.
You can also expect to pay tolls for some motorways.
Click here to access their motorway portal (in English)
You can buy weekly, monthly and annual tax stickers, costing €5, €12 and €34 respectively. You will also need to pay for motorways and some bridges. Cars and motorcycle pay the same price.
The list of roads that require the tax sticker can be found by clicking here.
No annual Vignette is required, but you will be paying tolls for their many motorways. Motorcycles do pay less than cars.
Click here to access the Croatia motorway portal (in English)
If you want to drive through the Czech Republic on their motorways, you will need to pay a road tax. This will cost you for 10 days CZK310 (€11.30), for a month CZK440 (€16) and for a year CZK1500 (€55).
UPDATE: Motorcycles go for free!
No road tax is charged (any more - they used to). But most motorways (=autoroutes) are toll roads. Motorcycles pay less than cars, but pay you will. There are only a few places where motorcycles go free (like the Pont de Normandy, the bridge over the Seine river at Le Havre).
Click here for the French motorway portal (in English)
Germany is looking at charging road taxes for all foreign vehicles, but so far it hasn't happened.
Motorways (=autobahn) are free, and often without speed limit.
Italy has many motorways (=autostrada) and almost all of them are toll roads. Cars and motorcycle pay the same price.
Click here for more information at their motorway portal (in English, but not yet finished at time of writing)
Vignettes are mandatory and can be bought on weekly, monthly and yearly time formats, costing HUF2975 (€9.70), HUF4780 (€15.50) and HUF42980 (€140) respectively. Cars and motorcycle pay the same price.
You can buy an electronic Vignette online, meaning that you register the license plate of your motorcycle, and video cameras alongside the road will ensure compliance. UPDATE: Motorcycles have a special price of HUF1470 (€4.75) for 10 days.
Click here for more information about Hungary Vignettes (in English)
As a foreign registered vehicle, you will need to pay the road taxes. If not you will be fined between €125 and €375. It'll cost you €2 for a seven-day vignette; €4 for a 15-day vignette; €7 for a 30-day vignette; €15 for a 90-day vignette and €25 for a 180-day vignette.
Cars and motorcycle pay the same price.
Roumania have got an elaborate road tax system, but for once, motorcycle are exempt. Cars pay between €3 and €28, depending on the time period you use it.
You can find out how much it'll cost you by clicking here (in English for cars)
All cars and motorcycles require a Vignette sticker fixed to the window to drive on the Slovak motorways.
Slovak 10 Day Vignette
Costs are €10 for 10 days, €14 for a month and €50 for a year.
Failing to have a sticker will cost you between €100 and €500.
UPDATE: Motorcycles go for free!
Click here to access the motorway and Vignette portal (in English)
Slovenia requires all vehicles to pay a Vignette. Motorcycles do pay less than cars, but it's still a lot of money. A 7 day pass will cost a motorcycle €7.50, 6 months will cost you €30 and a year pass €55. Notice that cars have a month pass, motorcycles do not.
Drivers without a valid vignette are charged with cash fines between €300 and €800.
Click here for more info on th Slovenia Vignettes (in English)
Spain is Vignette free, but you will be paying tolls.
Count about €8 per 100 kilometers, and since Spain is pretty big, it can become costly.
You can only buy an annual Vignette, even if you plan to only use their roads for 1 hour and the validity is not for 365 days, but from January to December. Cost: CHF40 (€33).
Switzerland 2014 Vignette
Cars and motorcycles pay the same price.
Note that you can escape paying these taxes if you do not use any of their motorways. Some of the tunnels require you to pay an extra toll.
You can escape many of the taxes if you stay away from the motorways or express ways. But sometimes it just can't be avoided.