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I don't get the toll road system

cyborg4
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I don't get the toll road system

Today we drove over the pont de Normandie bridge, only to discover that there is only an automatic toll point at the end.

Since these things dont accept foreign cards, we were extremely lucky to have 5 euros in coins!

I wonder what would have happened if we hadn't had the coins. there wasn't a person in sight there.

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California
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for Grasse
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1. Re: I don't get the toll road system

The toll stations that accept only European credit cards or cash can be a real problem--you don't always know in advance what the situation is going to be. We learned the hard way to keep a little bag of coins, just in case.

Canada
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2. Re: I don't get the toll road system

This is one of the reasons I read tripadvisor -- for great advice on things I don't even know to ask about. Thank you!

Limerick, Ireland
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3. Re: I don't get the toll road system

Since these things dont accept foreign cards, we were extremely lucky to have 5 euros in coins!

The toll booths DO accept foreign cards. They accept cards from Ireland and the UK and other countries.

Again we always keep coins handy in the car. But there are some booths that will only accept credit cards only.

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Ohio, USA
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4. Re: I don't get the toll road system

As Bean points out, the problem is not the French toll road system but the US banking system which refuses to introduce a technology that is more efficient and more secure than our increasingly antiquated magnetic strip technology.

The answer is for US credit card customers to put increasing pressure on the banks to serve the needs of their customers in a global economy.

(I am reminded of the story of the proud mother watching her son's regiment march past at some military ceremony. "Just look at that!" she exclaimed. "They're all out of step except our John!")

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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5. Re: I don't get the toll road system

As the French toll roads are actually contracted and operated by different, independent companies, one never really knows if his US credit card will be accepted or not. Some systems take them, others do not.

But when using US issued credit cards anywhere in France, you are never really sure that they will be accepted so always carry cash, just in case.

Chesterfield...
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6. Re: I don't get the toll road system

I'm suprised that all the manned toll booths were not in operation.

When we crossed in a Motorhome a couple of weeks ago we weren't sure how much to pay and stopped at one of the many manned booths that were available.

I find it hard to believe that the authorities would be stupid enough to shut them all at one time.

Limerick, Ireland
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7. Re: I don't get the toll road system

Keith, there are places, usually away from the main areas of population where the booths never appear to be "personed" We've encountered toll plazas with just card and coin automatic pay areas.

We've also encountered - I think and I could be wrong - one or two that are credit card only. No human, no cash machine. Again these were in less populated areas.

cyborg4
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8. Re: I don't get the toll road system

After driving over 2000 KMs in France, I can say the system is a bit of a mess.

Sometimes you pay a lump sum each X kilometers.

Sometimes you get a ticket on entry, and pay later on on the road itself

Sometimes you get a ticket and pay only on exit- and if you exit outside major cities - automated toll booth ! Those might accept CCs, coins or bills - you _never_ know in advance.

These are the scary ones, since what happens if it you lost your ticket, or it can't read it for some reason ? It's not like you can do a u-turn at this point. You are basically just stuck there in front of a roadblock.

Considering all the hassles one already has when driving a rental in a foreign country - adding this on top is really a bit too much.

9. Re: I don't get the toll road system

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Liverpool
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10. Re: I don't get the toll road system

It's really straight forward if you just use cash, and the machines give change for notes as well.