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Latest Toll Rate Changes Across European Countries Due to the Implementation of CO₂ Classes

Road tolls and environmental sustainability may not seem immediately connected, but the link is becoming more apparent as European countries adjust their toll systems to address ecological concerns. This analysis explores significant changes in toll rates across Europe, driven by the implementation of CO₂ emission classes and the adoption of an electronic toll system to enhance toll collection efficiency. These adjustments reflect a deepening commitment to environmental sustainability and mark a shift where ecological considerations are increasingly shaping economic activities, especially in the transport sector.

Latest Toll Rate Changes Across European Countries Due to the Implementation of CO₂ Classes

Toll Rates Go Green – Introduction to Implementation of CO₂ Emission Classes to Toll Rates

Introducing CO₂ emission classes into toll rates marks a pivotal shift in how European nations harness economic tools to combat climate change. This significant alteration in the tolling landscape is focused on supporting zero tailpipe emission vehicles, such as BEV and H2 while excluding alternative/renewable fuels. By linking toll charges directly to vehicle CO₂ emissions, these changes aim not only to reduce environmental impact but also to encourage the adoption of cleaner technologies among vehicle operators.

This change stems from a broader legislative initiative spearheaded by amendments to the Eurovignette Directive. Initially adopted in 1999, the directive has undergone several revisions to better align with evolving environmental policies and economic realities. The most recent amendments, encapsulated in EU Directive 2022/362, now provide guidelines for incorporating environmental criteria into the pricing models of toll systems, which member states can choose to apply. This directive reflects a decisive move by European policymakers to integrate ecological considerations directly into the economic framework governing road use.

New obligations for EU member states following the 2022 reform of the Eurovignette directive obliges member states that levy truck tolls to comply with four key obligations regarding their current and future truck tolling systems, namely: 

  • CO₂-based tolling 
  • air pollution charging
  • the tolling of smaller trucks (from 3.5 tonnes GVW), and 
  • distance-based tolling on the core of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)

The revised directive specifically targets heavy-duty vehicles, which are among the most significant contributors to road transport emissions. By introducing a tiered system where toll rates are adjusted based on each vehicle's CO₂ emission class, the directive aims to incentivise fleet upgrades to more efficient and less polluting models. This policy leverages economic incentives to drive ecological benefits, aligning financial costs with environmental impact.

The shift towards integrating CO₂ emission classes into toll rates reflects the European Union's legislative approach to environmental regulation, which may increase costs for the transportation industry. This approach not only helps reduce the transportation sector's carbon footprint but also sets a precedent for other regions and sectors to follow. As this system matures, it will likely evolve further, continuing to adapt to new environmental targets and technological advancements.

Explanation of the Implementation of CO₂ Emission Classes on Toll Rates (Price Increase)

Integrating CO₂ emission classes into toll rates primarily aims to minimise CO₂ surcharge and environmental impact by adjusting toll fees based on vehicle emission levels. This innovative approach to tolling is driven by the urgent need to reduce the environmental footprint of the transportation sector, which is among the largest contributors to air pollution and climate change in Europe. By directly linking toll rates to the emissions a vehicle produces, the system not only pushes for a reduction in harmful pollutants but also fosters a significant shift towards more sustainable transportation practices.

Furthermore, the revenue generated from these adjusted toll rates is often reinvested into other environmental and infrastructure projects, further enhancing each nation's sustainability efforts. This cycle of investment helps to support a broader range of environmental initiatives, from the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations to the enhancement of public transportation systems, thereby reducing the overall dependency on road freight and personal vehicles.

Comparison and Analysis of New Toll Rates Around Europe

Across the board, European countries are revising their toll structures to incorporate CO₂ emission considerations. This sweeping reform is part of a concerted effort to align economic activities with environmental goals, reflecting a broader commitment to sustainability and climate change mitigation. By adjusting toll rates based on vehicle emission levels, these countries aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of cleaner transportation methods.

Each country's strategy reflects its unique economic, geographical, and political contexts, yet all share the common objective of using toll rates as a tool to reduce carbon emissions. The variation in approaches also provides a rich dataset for analysing the effectiveness of different strategies in promoting environmental sustainability through economic incentives.

Furthermore, these changes are often accompanied by public awareness campaigns and subsidies for green vehicle technologies, which help to mitigate the impact of increased costs on drivers and businesses. The combination of financial incentives and supportive policies creates a comprehensive strategy for encouraging sustainable transportation.

This comparative analysis not only illuminates the diverse tactics employed by European nations but also serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and stakeholders in other regions considering similar measures. By examining the outcomes and adjustments in these countries, other governments can better understand the potential challenges and benefits of integrating environmental considerations into their toll systems.

What is the Role of CO₂ Emission Classes in Toll Rates?

Overview of the Regulation

The regulatory landscape for CO₂ emission classes in toll rates is framed by the EU Directive 2022/362, which mandates integrating environmental standards into national toll systems. This directive represents a significant regulatory shift to reduce vehicular emissions across the continent. It is a response to increasing concerns about climate change and air quality, marking a proactive step by the European Union to incorporate ecological concerns into the economic aspects of transportation. By linking toll rates directly to the emission levels of vehicles, often through the implementation of e-toll systems, the directive seeks to leverage economic incentives to promote environmental responsibility among vehicle operators.

Understanding Which Trucks Are Eligible for Better Prices Due to Lower Number of Produced Emissions

Trucks that emit lower levels of CO₂ are eligible for reduced toll rates under the new system. This incentivisation scheme is designed to encourage fleet operators to invest in greener technology and transition towards more environmentally friendly vehicles. The structure of this system is not merely punitive but instead rewards operators who take proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact. It represents a shift in thinking from enforcement to encouragement, aiming to accelerate the adoption of clean technologies in the commercial transport sector. This is crucial for achieving broader environmental goals, as heavy-duty vehicles traditionally contribute significantly to overall vehicular emissions.

How is the Additional Income Collected by CO₂ Emission Classes Used?

The additional revenue generated from the CO₂ emission classes is typically reinvested into environmental sustainability projects. These funds help finance the development of greener transport infrastructures, such as electric charging stations and improvements in public transport networks. By redirecting the funds collected through environmental levies back into sustainability initiatives, governments ensure that the economic burden placed on heavier polluters directly contributes to environmental mitigation efforts. This reinvestment helps further reduce the transportation sector's carbon footprint and supports the economy by funding infrastructure projects that create jobs and promote sustainable development. Such a holistic approach ensures that the environmental impact of transport is mitigated not just through regulation but also through active improvement of the transportation landscape.

Understand the CO₂ Emission Classes

Explanation of 1-5 Emission Classes

Emission classes are ranked from 1 to 5 (see below), with Class 1 representing the highest emissions and Class 5 the lowest. Each class corresponds to specific emission thresholds, which are determined based on the vehicle's technology and fuel type. This classification system is integral to encouraging manufacturers and vehicle owners to adopt cleaner technologies

For example, vehicles powered by traditional combustion engines, particularly those using older technologies, typically fall into the higher emission classes (1 and 2). In contrast, newer models, especially those equipped with advanced emissions control technologies or alternative fuels like hybrid or electric, are categorised into lower emissions classes (4 and 5). This tiered system not only simplifies the identification of a vehicle’s environmental impact but also helps regulatory bodies monitor and manage emissions more effectively.

Calculation Logic

The toll rate for each vehicle is calculated based on its CO₂ emission class. The calculation involves assessing the emissions per kilometre, influencing the toll rate applicable to that vehicle. This method ensures that the toll fee structure is directly proportional to each vehicle's environmental burden on the roadways. The underlying principle is to apply economic pressure on operators of higher-emission vehicles, thereby nudging them towards more sustainable options. This is achieved by establishing a clear economic disadvantage for operating vehicles with poor emission standards in the form of higher tolls.

Moreover, this calculation is not static and can be adjusted as environmental policies evolve or new technologies emerge that allow for more precise measurement of emissions. Additionally, the calculation considers the total distance travelled, which means that the impact on the environment is accounted for by emission intensity and the extent of vehicle use. This dual approach maximises the incentive for using environmentally friendly vehicles in terms of selecting lower-emission vehicles and optimising their usage to reduce overall emissions. This strategy is particularly effective in densely populated areas or congested cities where reducing emissions can significantly impact air quality and public health.

A Country-by-Country Analysis

This section provides a detailed analysis of how individual European countries have implemented the CO₂ emission classes in their toll systems, including a breakdown of toll fee impacts and what these changes mean for truckers across the continent. This granular view reveals the varying approaches and stages of implementation, reflecting each nation's unique environmental policies, economic conditions, and transportation infrastructures.


Germany, a forerunner in environmental regulation, has aggressively integrated stringent CO₂ emission classes into its toll systems. This has led to a notable increase in toll rates for higher-emission vehicles, effectively pushing logistics companies to upgrade their fleets to more efficient models sooner than expected. The German government complements these changes with subsidies for electric trucks and tax breaks for environmentally friendly logistics operations, alleviating some of the financial burdens for truckers and logistics firms.

General information:

Special tolls:


Starting January 1, 2024, Austria implemented a new CO₂ toll for vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes as part of its commitment to environmental sustainability. This toll is designed to promote cleaner, more fuel-efficient transportation options. The rates will increase in 2025 and 2026, further underscoring Austria’s dedication to reducing carbon emissions. Revenue from this toll will be used to enhance infrastructure, fostering the adoption of eco-friendly mobility solutions and greener technologies within the transportation sector.

Toll Rates and Regulations for Heavy Goods Vehicles in Austria

Austria has a distance-based tolling system, the GO toll, applicable to Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes, including lorries, buses, and large motorhomes. To access motorways and express roads, these vehicles must be equipped with the GO box, a certified on-board unit. This device uses microwave technology to communicate with toll portals, enabling automatic toll payment.

Payment Options for HGV Truck Tolls in Austria

HGV operators can choose how to pay toll road fees in advance (pre-pay) or after road use (post-pay). The pre-pay option allows for toll payments before using the roads. Meanwhile, the post-pay option, facilitated by ASFINAG’s GO Direkt service, permits toll payments to be made after travel, offering a straightforward and convenient method for managing toll expenses.

Table for HGV toll tariffs in Austria in 2024

Rates in euros per kilometer, excl. 20 % VAT

Costs for Infrastructure Only: Toll Tariffs in Austria 2024

Rates in euros per kilometer, excl. 20 % VAT

Costs for Air & Noise Pollution Only: Toll Tariffs in Austria 2024

Rates in euros per kilometer, excl. 20 % VAT

Costs for CO₂ Emissions Only: Toll Tariffs in Austria 2024

Rates in euros per kilometer, excl. 20 % VAT

General information:

Special tolls:


Hungary and Poland have introduced innovative pricing models that vary based on CO₂ emissions, time of day, and congestion levels. This dynamic pricing model aims to reduce emissions and congestion during peak hours, further contributing to overall reductions in air pollution.

Starting January 1, 2024, Hungary's electronic distance-based toll system, known as HU-GO, has undergone significant changes. The tolling structure now includes two main components:

Infrastructure Charge: This fee covers the costs associated with the construction, maintenance, operation, and development of tolled road sections. The charge is calculated based on the length of the road used, the vehicle's axle count (categories J2, J3, J4, and J5), and the type of road (expressway or main road). Specific rates are established by NFM Decree No 25/2013 (V. 31.), which came into effect on January 1, 2024.

Externality Charge: This component addresses the environmental costs related to air and noise pollution, as well as carbon dioxide emissions from road transport.

Toll Calculation Methodology:

The methodology for calculating the infrastructure and externality charges has been updated as per Government Decree No 209/2013 (VI. 18). The decree specifies the rates, including value-added tax, detailed in the rates table effective January 1, 2024. 

The digitally signed version of the toll rates is available here.


The truck tolling system in Poland varies between state and private operators, each applying different methods and rates for toll collection. Charges for lorries typically depend on the distance travelled, measured through an On-Board Unit (OBU) or similar device. However, specific toll stations also exist where fees are collected directly, such as on parts of the A2 highway from Poznan to Konin and the A4 from Katowice to Krakow.

Toll classifications are determined by factors like the number of axles and the vehicle's maximum allowed weight. Only the state operator categorises vehicles by pollutant classes and type of road. Generally, the toll costs range from approximately €0.023 to €0.33 per kilometre.

Electronic toll rates from 1 January 2024

For national roads of class A and S, or their sections, on which electronic toll is collected

For national roads of class GP and G or their sections on which electronic toll is collected

General information:


Starting March 1, 2024, the Czech Republic updated its toll system to include CO₂ emissions for vehicles using toll roads. This change follows the European Union's Directive (EU) 2022/362, aiming to cover the environmental costs of vehicle emissions.

Changes to Toll Exemptions:

Previously, electric or hydrogen vehicles weighing over 4.25 tons were exempt from tolls. This exemption will end on March 1, 2024. All vehicles will now pay a road use and noise pollution fee, though electric and hydrogen vehicles will not be charged for air pollution or CO₂ emissions. All vehicles must be registered and equipped with the required onboard device before use.

Vehicles weighing up to 4.25 tons will remain exempt and must also be registered and equipped with the necessary onboard device.

Toll Rates Update:

The toll rates will be adjusted on March 1, 2024, to reflect the new CO₂ emissions factor. Details on the new rates are below.

Toll rates valid from March 1, 2024

Toll rates valid from March 25, 2024

Network Changes:

The toll road network will expand to include new sections of roads I/27 and I/38:

  • I/27 Chlumčany - Dolní Lukavice, 3.86 km
  • I/38 Havlíčkův Brod bypass, 3.9 km

Cancellation of the toll section:

  • The toll section on I/11 from Ropice to Nebory (0.75 km) will be removed

The road marking will change from I/11 to I/68 in the section from Nebory to Mosty u Jablunkova (26.45 km).

Any vehicle or combination with a total permissible weight over 3.5 tonnes in the Czech Republic must pay tolls. For combinations, only the towing vehicle's weight is considered. Unlike the total weight, factors like the number of axles, emission class, type of road, day of the week, and time determine the toll rates. Vehicles must have an on-board unit, the OBU 5051, to track the kilometres driven that are subject to tolls. Based on these categorisations, toll costs vary from approximately €0.031 to €0.33 per kilometre.

General information:


France has adopted a more gradual approach. French toll rates are adjusted more moderately, allowing greater time for adaptation within the trucking industry. This slower pace balances economic impact with environmental benefits, giving trucking companies more time to transition to greener technologies without severe financial strain.

If you're driving a truck over 3.5 tonnes on French motorways or other toll roads, you'll need an on-board unit (OBU) compatible with the TIS PL system for seamless toll payments. Alternatively, tolls can be paid manually at numerous stations across the country. The French toll road network is managed by approximately 22 different concessionaires, each with its own pricing structures. Toll rates vary by operator and the distance travelled, but the average cost is about €0.13 per kilometre. Toll-free bypasses are available in cities like Paris or Lyon. The system classifies vehicles based on the number of axles and height. Also, certain road sections' toll charges may vary based on travel direction, day of the week, and time.

General information:

Special tolls:


Belgium's road network is segmented into three regions: Flanders, Brussels city centre, and Wallonia. Each region independently determines the taxes and charges for road use. Toll rates within these regions are based on the vehicle's total permissible weight, starting from 3.5 tonnes, and its pollutant class. The total toll cost is calculated based on the distance driven, which is tracked by a Viapass on-board unit.

Tolls on the motorways are relatively uniform, with rates ranging from €0.076 to €0.206 per kilometre, depending on the type of vehicle. However, driving in the inner city area of Brussels is notably more costly, with charges up to 50% higher than those on the motorways.

Starting July 1, 2024, Flanders and Brussels will implement new tariffs for the kilometre charge, reflecting an index adjustment. To promote environmentally friendly transportation, the Brussels-Capital Region will extend a preferential rate of zero cents per kilometre to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), aligning with the existing rate on Flemish roads. However, ZEVs will still require an On-Board Unit (OBU), which is also mandatory in Wallonia, where ZEVs are classified under the EURO VI emissions category.

The updated tariffs affect all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and semi-trailer towing vehicles of category N1 with a body code BC, both Belgian and foreign, with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of over 3.5 tons. The tariffs are also applicable across different GVW categories—from more than 3.5 tons to 12 tons, more than 12 tons to 32 tons, and over 32 tons—and span seven Euro emissions standards, from Euro 0 (most polluting) to Euro 6 (least polluting). The rate per kilometre driven is more favourable for vehicles with a higher Euro standard and a lower GVW.

The OBUs provided by Eurowag, certified for the kilometre charge in Belgium, will automatically update to reflect these new tariffs on July 1. Those interested in the specific rates will be available on the Viapass website's download page starting from that date, and the forthcoming rates will already be accessible for review.

General information:

Special tolls:

Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark and Sweden (Euro-Vignette)

Trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 12 tons or more must purchase the Euro-Vignette to use motorways and toll roads in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Sweden. This vignette is mandatory across the higher-level road network in the Netherlands, all motorways for trucks registered abroad and the entire road network for local trucks in Luxembourg, all motorways and expressways in Denmark, and major trunk roads in Sweden, including the E4, E10, E12, E14, E22, and E65.

The vignette is universally valid across these countries during its validity period, regardless of the purchase location. Pricing depends on the vehicle's pollutant class, number of axles, and the length of validity, ranging from one day up to a year. 

The Euro-Vignette is considered one of Europe's more economical toll options.

Furthermore, the Scandinavian countries, known for their commitment to sustainability, have leveraged CO₂ emission classes to accelerate a shift towards zero-emission vehicles in their logistics sectors. In Sweden, for instance, trucks that meet the highest environmental standards (Class 5) are eligible for toll exemptions in certain areas, promoting an even faster adoption of green technology.

General information:

Special tolls Netherlands:

Special tolls Denmark:

Special tolls Sweden:

Switzerland and Liechtenstein

In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, trucks are subject to tolls once they exceed a total permissible weight of 3.5 tons, which applies to all roads within both countries. The toll amount is calculated based on the vehicle's weight, pollutant class, and driving distance. Toll rates vary from approximately €0.02 to €0.027 per tonne-kilometre, and the distance each truck travels is tracked using an on-board unit.

General information:

Special tolls:

Trends and Future Developments of CO₂ Emission Classes

The evolving landscape of CO₂ emission regulations is steering not only governmental policies but also the strategic decisions of transportation and logistics companies. As these entities anticipate further restrictions on emissions, there is a marked shift towards investment in cleaner technology and adopting more sustainable operational practices. This transition is influenced by the carrot of potential tax incentives for lower emissions and the stick of higher tolls for vehicles that fail to meet new standards.

Moreover, integrating digital technologies into tolling systems allows for more precise measurement and dynamic pricing based on actual emissions rather than just vehicle types. Future developments might include using real-time data to adjust toll rates to reflect the current environmental impact, potentially charging more during peak congestion periods or in zones with high pollution levels.

The potential for international collaboration on emission standards could lead to a more harmonised approach across borders. Such cooperation would not only simplify the regulatory environment for transnational logistics companies but also ensure a level playing field, thereby enhancing compliance and fostering a more sustainable transport sector globally.

Furthermore, as public awareness of environmental issues grows, consumer preferences are increasingly favouring companies with green credentials. This societal shift is likely to drive the evolution of CO₂ emission classes further as businesses seek to meet both regulatory requirements and consumer expectations. This could result in a significant transformation of the commercial transport landscape, with CO₂ efficiency becoming a key competitive differentiator.

Overall, the trends and future developments in CO₂ emission classes indicate a move towards more integrated, technology-driven, and stringent environmental regulation within the transport sector. These changes will impact not only tolling practices but also broader business strategies and the transportation industry's ecological footprint.

Synthesising the Insights

Our analysis of the implementation of CO₂ emission classes in European toll systems has highlighted several key findings. 

Firstly, the introduction of these classes significantly reshaped toll structures, aligning economic incentives with environmental goals. This shift not only supports the adoption of cleaner transportation technologies but also sets a framework for sustainable operational practices across the continent.

The ongoing significance of CO₂ emission classes in European toll systems cannot be overstated. As nations continue to enforce and refine these standards, the impact on both local economies and global ecological efforts is profound. It is evident that the integration of environmental considerations into toll pricing is not merely a regulatory trend but a crucial strategy for combating climate change.

Finally, it is essential to maintain continuous monitoring of these policies and their impacts. Evaluating the effectiveness of CO₂-based tolling will ensure that the objectives of reducing emissions and promoting cleaner technologies are being met. This ongoing assessment will also help in adapting strategies to meet future environmental and technological challenges, ensuring that toll systems remain effective tools in the broader context of sustainable transportation.

Staying Ahead: Navigating the New EU Road Transport Regulations

In the context of adapting to Directive (EU) 2022/362 and its tolling requirements, utilising advanced technologies becomes crucial. Tools like Eurowag's E-toll solution, complemented by devices such as the EVA on-board unit, ensure not only compliance but also efficiency in toll collection for trucks. 

Eurowag's E-toll solution makes sure your fleet is on the right side of these changes, ensuring accurate vehicle classification and fair toll charges and supporting your 'go green' efforts. The EVA on-board units play a key role in accurately capturing CO₂ emissions data and toll payments, aligning seamlessly with the directive's aim for a more environmentally responsible road transport sector.

Take a look at the Eurowag CO₂ calculator. It's a nifty way to determine what these changes might mean for your wallet based on your vehicle's CO₂ emissions. Using this tool is a smart move for planning ahead and keeping your fleet rolling smoothly under the new regulations. 

It's all about staying savvy in this evolving transport scene!

Learn more about CO₂ Emission Classes and their impact on your toll rates by contacting Eurowag’s 24/7 customer care service today.