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Ing. Ladislav Luka, Fuel expert

Romania Toll Systems: A Guide for Truck Drivers

The toll system in Romania is very important as it helps to maintain and upgrade the nation's road infrastructure. Truck drivers must understand how this system works, as it affects not only travel costs but also travel time. In this article, we discuss the toll system for trucks in Romania and share some tips for hassle-free travel.

Romania Toll Systems: A Guide for Truck Drivers

Understanding Toll for Trucks

Romania's road network comprises two main types of controlled-access highways: motorways (Autostrăzi) and expressways (Drumuri express). As of 30 December 2023, there are 1,075.1 km of highways, of which 1,003.5 km are motorways and 71.6 km are expressways. Moreover, there are other expansion plans on the way, and a total of 751.4 km of highways is at different stages of implementation, while another 95.4 is at the tender stage.

In Romania, along with cars, trucks must have an electronic vignette to use the national roads and motorways. This system requires that all other road users contribute toward the upkeep of the roads. The vignette is obligatory not only on motorways but also on other state roads outside of a municipality. However, it should be noted that bridges, especially those spanning the Danube, may have different charges.

Toll Rates and Payment Methods

The cost of a vignette depends on several factors: the weight of the vehicle, the type of vehicle, and the validity duration of the vignette. For example, a 7-day vignette for a vehicle with up to 3.5 tonnes could cost about €6, while a 12-month vignette for heavy trucks with at least 4 axles could reach up to €1210.

How Tolls Are Calculated

The calculation of tolls in Romania does not depend on the distance travelled on the highways but is instead determined by several key factors:

  • Vehicle Type: The vignette's cost depends on your vehicle's category. Vehicles are classified according to the maximum authorised total weight (MATW) and the number of axles they have, among other factors. Each category has its own specific rate assigned to it.
  • Vignette Validity Period: The time period for which the vignette is valid is an essential factor in the calculation of tolls. The options mostly cover validity periods of 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, and 1 year. Longer validity periods are more expensive but cheaper in the long run for users who frequently use the roads.
  • Vehicle Weight and Axles: Larger vehicles and those with more axles generally pay more tolls. This is because heavy vehicles cause more damage to roads.

Toll Costs:

The cost of a vignette for trucks, according to their weight category, is as follows:

MATW = Maximum Authorised Total Weight

When Tolls Need to Be Paid

  • Before Road Use: It is important to buy and activate the vignette before travelling on Romanian national roads or motorways. The vignette should be valid if you travel inside the country.
  • Validity Start Date: At the time of purchase, you can select the start date for the vignette's validity period. Furthermore, vignettes can only be issued with a validity date after the issuing date, and you can only buy them up to 30 days before the start of validity.
  • Payment Confirmation: The vignette will only be considered valid upon payment confirmation. This implies that you should wait for confirmation of online payment. The SMS/email confirmation will be sent, and only when one gets a confirmation message will it be safe to travel on the national roads/motorways.
  • Bridge Tolls: Tolls for bridge crossings like over the Danube can be paid in advance or by 24:00 of the day after crossing. Like the vignette, payment confirmation is necessary for the toll to be considered paid off.

Tips for Cost Management

Managing toll payments is an essential part of route planning for both drivers of trucks and managers of truck fleets in Romania. Using the right strategies, one can optimise the routes, minimise honest charges, and improve efficiency. Here, you can find the real-life hacks and techniques to manage such expenses, including how EVA can help in this matter.

Plan Routes Wisely

Understand the Toll System: Familiarise yourself with the road toll system in Romania, which roads require vignettes, the costs of these for different vehicle types and the various vignette duration options. This will serve as the basis for planning more cost-effective routes.

Route Optimization Software: Use Eurowag’s route optimisation software to find the most effective routes. It considers factors, such as trailer type, cargo, and tolls and suggests the most economical routes.

Avoid Unnecessary Detours: Preplan your routes to avoid unreasonable diversions that add more distance, leading to high fuel costs. Focus on the direct routes that do not necessitate entering high toll lanes in the first place.

Eurowag's EVA Solution: Eurowag provides a smart solution called EVA that is tailored to streamline and manage toll fees efficiently. EVA can handle the real-time pricing scenarios for different routes and hence provide you with the best route, saving you time and money. Incorporating EVA in the planning process anticipates toll charges accurately and selects routes with the best cost, time, and fuel efficiency.

Electronic Vignette Management: Make electronic records of your vignette purchases and reminders of their validity periods. Tools like EVA can help automate this, meaning you are always compliant and don’t overpay for vignettes you don’t need.

Utilise Flexible Payment Options

Choose the Right Vignette Duration: Choose vignette durations that fit with your working schedule. If you travel infrequently, short-stay vignettes are probably the better deal. For routine journeys on Romanian roads, a long-term vignette could bring savings.

Make sure you Monitor and Revise your Expenses Regularly

Track Toll Expenditures: Keep a careful track of all the toll-related expenses. Tracking these expenses can help to reveal patterns and identify areas for cost savings.

Evaluate Route Efficiency: Constantly monitor the performance of chosen routes regarding travel time, fuel consumption, and toll fees. Adjust your planning based on this analysis to continually improve cost savings.

Feedback Loop: Apply driver feedback to reroute routes and approaches. Drivers' experience in the field can give them much-needed information about traffic conditions, toll booth jams, and alternative routes.

Consequences of non-compliance with the toll system

Not adhering to Romania's toll system can have serious consequences for truck drivers and fleet operators. Here's a rundown of what could happen if you don't adhere to the regulations:

Fines and Penalties: The immediate effect of non-compliance with the toll system is the imposition of fines. These penalties can be pretty high, and they may be different in amount depending on how long the owner has failed to follow traffic regulations. Multiple offences may cause more serious punishments.

Legal Actions: In the instance of consistent non-adherence, drivers or transport company owners may be subjected to legal actions. This could mean court cases that are not only time-consuming and budget-demanding but also waste your precious time and money.

Operational Disruptions: Non-conformance may result in operational disruptions. For instance, cars may be stopped more often for checks, resulting in delays. In extreme cases, the vehicles may be seized until fines are paid or compliance is confirmed.

Increased Scrutiny: If a company or driver is already flagged as non-compliant, it will be subject to more scrutiny. This may involve more regular inspections and a higher risk of being stopped, which would contribute to the delay in operations and the increase in the cost of operation.

Reputational Damage: Non-compliance can also ruin the reputation of a transport company. Clients and partners may perceive the business as unreliable or unprofessional, which could result in loss of business. Maintaining a good reputation is critical for the long-term success of the transport industry, and compliance issues can ruin it.

Access Restrictions: In some circumstances, excessive non-compliance with traffic rules can limit the use of certain sections of road networks. This leaves companies no option but to use longer and less fuel-efficient routes, thus consuming more fuel and increasing travel times.

Streamlining Toll Expenses: A Quick Recap

The toll system in Romania for truck drivers is crucial in road infrastructure maintenance and travelling efficiency. Romania has motorways and expressways in its road network where trucks and cars have to buy an electronic vignette. However, the cost of this vignette depends on the type, weight and period of validity, with specific rates for different vehicle categories. Tolls are not distance-based but are based on the vehicle's specifications and the vignette's period. The vignette payment is made before road use, with a choice of the start date when bought and the need for payment confirmation before the vignette is valid. Bridged crossings are tolled separately, especially over rivers like the Danube. In addition, effective cost management strategies include route planning, the use of Eurowag’s EVA solution to optimise toll costs, flexible payment options, and continual monitoring and reviewing of toll expenses to find savings opportunities.

Maximising Efficiency: The Critical Role of Staying Updated on Toll Changes

Truck drivers and fleet managers need to remain updated in the ever-changing environment of the Romanian toll system. Being aware of the latest toll updates may keep you from unforeseen costs and help you stay compliant, as the regulations and rates are subject to change. Adopting technology solutions, for example, Eurowag’s modern EVA platform can dramatically simplify your toll management process, giving you live data and optimising your planning to save costs. Toll compliance, apart from avoiding penalties, supports the maintenance and development of the infrastructure that we all use. Commit yourself to being informed, using smart technology solutions, and complying with regulations. Adopting this proactive approach will not only improve your operational efficiency but also contribute to a safer and more sustainable road network for all.