Whilst tolls can be expensive, and costs can really add up when driving longer distances, avoiding toll roads usually means longer travel time, traffic and more fuel.
A number of toll roads in Australia are cashless and only accept payments via an electronic tag or online. It is not uncommon for travellers to get caught out when driving through toll roads in a rental car. If you are driving interstate or if you are an overseas traveller in a hire car, you need to pay your tolls within a certain time frame to avoid paying any extra fees.
To help you out with your next car rental in Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney, here is an outline from Alpha Car Hire of how to use toll roads in Australia.
New South Wales
Sydney has one of the most widespread toll road networks in Australia. All of the roads accept e-tags and only the M2, M4, M5 and the Eastern Distributor offer cash booths. If you are just visiting for a few days or weeks, you can get an E-Toll pass from the New South Wales Transport Roads and Maritime Services. You can register online here. You can also contact the department by emailing E-Toll@rms.nsw.gov.au or calling 131 865 during business hours.
The E-Toll passes are usually valid for 1 to 14 days and can be used to pay any toll fees across the state. Make sure you let your rental company know that you have registered for one to avoid any confusion and be sure to travel through the designated E-Toll lanes when going through the toll road. Your license plate should be automatically photographed and matched up with your pass registration.
The main toll roads going through Victoria’s capital Melbourne are along the Tullamarine Freeway and the Bolte Bridge. As well as the Burnley and Domain Tunnels that link suburbs in the South-East to the West Gate Bridge and Tullamarine Freeway. This means that a large amount of major roads in and around the airport are toll roads. So if you have just picked up a rental car on arrival, you need to be mindful of any toll roads you may need to use.
As a tourist or visitor, getting a pass and paying for your toll is relatively easy. You can register your vehicle for a Citylink 24 hour, weekend pass or pay for a toll here. To make it easier for travellers to pay their fees, you can now pay your Citylink invoice at 7-Eleven, United Petroleum outlets and select newsagents in the state.
In Brisbane the majority of the toll roads are located south of the city, with the Gateway Bridge heading onto the Pacific Highway. There is also the relatively new Airport Link tunnel that can significantly reduce travel time to and from the airport.
The Go Between Bridge linking South Bank with Milton, the Logan Motorway and the Gateway Extension Motorway are toll roads as well. You can pay your tolls online or register for an account on GoVia’s website.
If you are travelling across multiple states most e-tags are transferable. Not having to buy a new pass every time you cross the border will save you time and money. Just check with the provider first and always make sure to pay your tolls on time. Toll fees are sometimes forgotten about when renting a car, so make sure you are aware of the costs and save yourself the stress of getting a surprise bill later down the track.