French tolls.Hi I travel across to northern Italy multiple

04/25/2023 - 12:32

French tolls.

Hi I travel across to northern Italy multiple times a year.

For various reasons I avoid the Swiss route and travel via France Monte Blanc route.

The French tolls seem to getting rather expensive and I am interested in how to reduce this cost down.

IE are there various stretches of toll road that would be better to avoid or are the toll tickets priced in a way that getting in and off them frequently is prohibitive?


Appreciate its not a straight forward question 






The problem with coming on and off the Frech autoroute to avoid tolls is the time factor.

  You could (relatively easily) do the bulk of the journey without paying any tolls  but time of travel would greatly increase, as long as you continue to avoid the Switzerland option.


 As a comparison  my recent trip to Lake Orta  and back from Calais (approx 12 hrs drive time each way) cost me £65 in tolls plus £36 for the Swiss Vignette (Vignette valid until Jan 2024, so can be used for multiple trips) - so much less expensive than the route via Mont Blanc Tunnel, which must cost about double the cost of 'my' route, or more.

ps - I use a French autoroute "tag" so no delays at the toll booth, as I just go straight to the Telepass booths, and drive straight through. 

As far as I'm aware,  there is no price difference  -  only a time saving.

The tag we use is actually our son's  - as it is daft not to use it when he isn't.  (We tend to travel outside of school holidays, so don't often clash)

Thanks for that. I do have a Monte Blanc multi use pass that brings down the cost massively. It comes down to about 16 euro each way. The telepass is the same price plus the monthly admin fee.

We do the route recommended by the Michelin Route Planner. It takes you off the motorway after Reims and takes you cross country to Nancy, St Die' and to Selestat. You save quite a lot of Motorway fees (although there is a €6 tunnel near Sainte Marie aux Mines), breaks the monotony of motorway driving and works well if, like us, you break your journey in the Alsace. And, as others have said, the Swiss vignette is far cheaper per annum than M Blanc.

It depends on where you are going in Italy.  I travel to the Tuscan coast and use two routes with only 15 miles difference.

The 'summer' route is motorway Calais-Reims then N routes via the Gran San Bernard pass so Swiss vignette.  Some French tolls at the start and the rest of the route is pretty fast and direct. Into Italy via Aosta.

The 'winter' route when the Gran San Bernard pass is closed is Calais-Belgium-Luxemberg-France-Germany-Switzerland so via the St Gottard and Como into Italy. It is cheapest and fast but a bit dull as just motorway and fast roads. The only tolls are the Swiss vignette and Italian m/way.

I've also tried Maurice's route last month but on the return trip learnt to go via Le Bonhomme pass to avoid the tunnel tolls as that route wasn't fast.

Agree with Alan H on the tag costs. No premium other than paying a fixed month charge for when using the tag out of the country of origin so pay extra in France if use an Italian origin tag.

I keep meaning to get my own tag but I just use my Italian debit card and tap and go. Nearly as fast as a tag but it helps to have a passenger in a right hand drive car.