This is an FYI for anyone renting a car in Portugal.
Just got back from trip to Portugal. We rented a car (Europcar) and in the course of 2 weeks traveled from Lisbon to Santiago, Spain and back, stopping for stays in Porto and Obidos. We were last in Portugal in 2009. In 2012, or so, Portugal began instituting electronic only toll roads - something we had not encountered before. On there roads there is only an overhead reader for the sensor on your car - there are NO booths, manned or unmanned. Europcar (and, I assume, the other car rentals provide a sensor in their cars with a admin fee of about 2 euros/day. You pay the tolls you've incurred when returning the car.
Not all roads are electronic only. Maps of these can be found by 'Googling' electronic tolls Portugal or something similar. If you do encounter one of these tolls and have not activated the sensor, there is a procedure that allows you to pay the toll at a post office of certain tobacco shops after 24 hours and within 5 business days. By the way, there are no electronic only roads in Spain.
that is very interesting you mentioned this artisttraveler. We just recently made a trip to Orlando and rented a car from Dollar. We had to pay $50 extra for EPass because some of their toll roads were electronic only and didn't take cash. We didn't want to get caught somewhere they didn't take cash and get a huge fine from the state AND from Dollar for not paying the toll. It happens here in US as well. Thanks for posting.
Yes, we did have a similar experience this June in Tampa - got on a road connecting I-75 to downtown. Only after we got on the road did it indicate that was electronic only. Too late! The car was Enterprise and there was no EZPass on the car. When I told Enterprise about this on returning, they said not to worry that it would get billed to them and passed on to me. It did and in a billing cycle or two later the toll showed up on my credit card with (I think) a $2 dollar admin fee - not so unreasonable.
In Portugal, if you don't have the sensor or its not activated, you have to pay at post office or someplace that accepts the payments - not easy when in a strange location. If you don't pay, by the time it gets to the rental car company and on to you, you owe a fine.
The agent told us there would be a fine. I wish we had taken the chance at running into an electronic only toll road. I-4 was the only toll road we went on and you could pay on it. It was a big expense we in hindsight didn't need. If the agent would have said the same thing to us as he did to you, we wouldn't have gotten it and waited to pay the bill from them with the administration fee...much better. This is good advice for others in the same position. Thanks for posting.
That seems pretty steep for a toll pass! At Avis when I was renting cars in PHL to drive up and down the ACY Expressway and Garden State Parkway, I only paid something like $2 a day to use the EZ PASS plus your tolls.
In Florida we got on a toll road without an a Sun Pass and I know for certain we drove through the Sun Pass lane by accident yet have not gotten a bill from Avis for that violation. Maybe I will keep using Avis!
Don't spend that money yet junior, it took them about six weeks (just about when I was going to celebrate) for a similar situation on the Toronto 407 ETR (which I didn't know about until I was on and already driven past the cameras). Plus they grace you with the always lovely admin fee to boot (or should I say, to bout, since I'm American).
Just one more thing....
I was told it was easy to avoid the electronic only roads. I did look at a map provided by the highway commission (or whatever it's called). Unfortunately, I missed seeing one on the map - a short segment bypass aroud Leiria, about 0.30 euro toll - so had to find a place to pay later in the trip. It's easier to get the toll sensor.
Don't know what happens if you don't have sensor and don't try to pay...... Do they track you down? To another country?
personally artisttraveler, I am beginning to think that it is a big scare tactic and that it doesn't matter if you go through the toll booths. I have heard so many stories from people who have gone through and never heard from anyone. I once was in my father-in-law's vehicle and forgot about not being in mine with the pike pass and went through. Of course, once you are through there is no turning back, so I told him if he heard from them to let me know and I would pay the fine. Never heard anything. If we aren't tracked down in our own country, I doubt we are in another...just mho.
you well may be right - at least for the present time. I read somewhere that there is so much confusion by the citizens as well as folks simply ignoring the electronic only tolls that there are so many violations. I doubt they are able to process them. Will this be true in future - who knows?
A similar story - a few years ago in Italy I got caught by their cameras. One time speeding near Greve in Chianti (who doesn't, especially the locals?) and again for going down a street using the bus/taxi lane. The local Polizia tracked me down thru the rental car company and in a few months sent me the violation notices and demand to pay (all in Italian, of course). I chose not to, but sent a note of apology: ...just a dumb American..... That was the end of it, no further demands. However, the rental car company did charge an administrative fee (about $25 per violation, I think) for checking their records and supplying the renter's name and address. So I didn't get off totally free.