Portugal has a good road network made up of motorways (Autoestradas – AE), main routes (Itinerários Principais - IP), complementary roads (Itinerários Complementares - IC), national roads (Estradas nacionais - EN) and municipal roads (Estradas Municipais).
Travel on the motorways is subject to tolls, which in Portugal may be of two distinct kinds – conventional tolls with booths and those that are exclusively electronic.
At toll booths, payment is made with currency or by bank card, or through an alternative form of payment, the Via Verde (Green Lane), an electronic toll system where the fee is debited directly from the bank, intended solely for use by those in possession of a Via Verde identifier tag, obtained in advance at respective points of sale (www.viaverde.pt).
This system is also available for foreign-registered vehicles through the Via Verde Visitors, a device which, upon rental, allows the circulation and payment in all road infrastructures with a toll collection system (including electronic toll lanes and bridges). There is no loyalty or expiry date for this type of membership and the identifier is guaranteed for life. More information and subscription is available at https://visitors.viaverde.pt/en/, with payment made using an international credit card and only for the months in which the service is used.
Lanes with electronic tolls are duly identified. There are no toll booths on these roadways, employing instead a collection system that is exclusively electronic, in which the passage of vehicles is detected by means of electronic gateways.
To make the corresponding payment, vehicles with foreign number plates may use the forms of payment listed at www.portugaltolls.com. There are several possibilities that are intended specifically and solely for the electronic lanes, whose purchase may also be done online:
- Easytoll - associates the bankcard to the vehicle’s license plate and the fee is debited directly from the bank account; it is valid for 30 days;
- Tollcard - pre-paid card with a fixed amount (5, 10, 20 or 40 euros) to be consumed depending on its usage and it is valid for one year after being activated;
- 3 Day Virtual Card - Valid for 3 days with unlimited journeys and only available for Class 1 (including motorcycles) and Class 2 vehicles;
- Multi Journey Virtual Card - For predefined routes starting from or terminating at the airports in Porto and Faro.
It is also possible to use the CTT Temporary device which, after pre-loading, is only valid on highways with an exclusively electronic collection system and Via Verde devices valid on all tolls, electronic or not, and on bridges.
Interoperability with other countries' systems
Currently, all Via-T devices (Spain) and some French devices are accepted on the national highway network, both in the exclusively electronic systems and in the traditional barriers, where lanes dedicated to Via Verde customers can be used.
The use of the service will depend on the issuer of your device, so we recommend that, before using it on Portuguese highways, you contact your issuer and confirm that the service is active.
Vehicles with Portuguese number plates
As for vehicles with Portuguese number plates, in the case of rental vehicles, some companies, for the convenience of their customers, have installed electronic toll-payment devices, rolling the cost into the prices charged. If the vehicles do not have devices installed, customers usually make the payment afterwards at Post Offices (Estações de Correio - CTT) or shops belonging to the Payshop network, as of the second day after passing through the tollgate. The deadline for payment is 15 working days, after which the driver will be in violation and subject to a fine.