In Germany, the largest European transit country for road freight transport, there will be numerous changes to the truck toll from 2023/24. We have provided readers of our blog with detailed information on this in one of our recent articles. In this overview of truck tolls in Europe, you can find out what changes are imminent in other European countries.
New Eurovignette Directive Comes into Force from 2024
New EU road charging rules have been approved by the European Parliament in 2022 and will have a practical impact from 2024. The aim is to scale road haulage charges based on CO₂ emissions and environmental friendliness.
In concrete terms, this means that if a member state collects truck tolls, the respective tariffs must be based on the CO2 emission classes of the vehicles from March 25, 2024 – however, the individual member states have a great deal of flexibility, so there will not be changes everywhere.
Changes in EU Countries
As a result of the new EU directive, adjustments to the truck toll are being introduced in several other EU countries besides Germany.
France is cutting back: toll barriers and ticket booths are increasingly disappearing from the motorways - but the toll is still due. This is possible thanks to the "free-flow toll". Drivers passing through toll gates are recorded by cameras. If truck drivers do not have an electronic toll badge, which enables automatic payment of the toll by subscription, they will later receive a payment request by post with a penalty fee.
As of today, this affects the A4 towards Metz at the Boulay motorway entrance and exit and the A79 in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Other motorways are to follow in the coming years, e.g. the A13 in Normandy and the A14 north-west of Paris in 2024.
The amendment to the Austrian Federal Road Toll Act will come into effect on January 1, 2024. The two previous constituents of the truck toll tariff in Austria – infrastructure costs and costs for traffic-related noise and air pollution – will be expanded to include CO2 emissions.
The CO2 share of the truck toll will be gradually increased over three years from 2024. As the inflation adjustment of the truck toll, which is usually applied in Austria, will be omitted in 2024, toll charges are expected to rise by an average of around 7.4 percent. The Austrian toll service provider Asfinag has launched an online calculator to determine the respective emission class.
Lithuania is also applying the EU guidelines as of January 1, 2024 by significantly increasing tolls in the high-emission classes.
To compensate for this, fully electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles are exempt from all toll charges until the end of 2025 – however, this is obviously no major plus factor for road freight in the near future.
Since October 2023, toll charges for the Hu-Go electronic toll collection system have been 17.6% higher in Hungary. These increases have nothing to do with the EU directive, but are in line with the annual inflation rate in Hungary from July 2023 as determined by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office.
Wallonia – Southern Part of Belgium
Toll charges for vehicles over 3.5 tons will be increased in the Belgian sub-region of Wallonia on 1 January 2024. As in Hungary, this increase of 4.08 percent will follow the Belgian inflation rate (from August 2023). This is the second rise in a short space of time: the truck kilometer charge of the Walloon freeway operator Sofico was already adjusted to inflation on 1 July 2023.
Changes in Non-EU Countries
If you have not crossed the English Channel by truck for a while, you may not have noticed: On 1 August, the British Department for Transport introduced a modernized levy system for trucks with over 12 tonnes permissible total weight. This follows a three-year suspension of the British HGV toll. The new HGV Road User Levy is applicable to the use of any public road. The levy is based on vehicle type, total weight, and length of stay in the UK and must be paid on entry.
No change in charges, but a system change is pending in Switzerland: At the end of 2024, manual toll service at the EU borders will be out of operation. Instead, there will be a complete switch to the electronic toll service EETS (European Electronic Toll Service). The Swiss authorities recommend that all parties involved in Swiss road freight transport migrate to EETS in good time.
Conclusion: Revisions not only in Germany
The EU is committed to making tolls for trucks in Europe more dependent on CO2 emissions. The member states have a great deal of leeway when it comes to the specific structure of the respective toll charges, so that there are still very different systems at national level. DHL Freight and DHL Group will keep you informed about the expected changes.