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Driving in Sydney can be expensive as the various toll roads are the quickest and easiest way to get from one side of the city to another by car.
There are 9 toll roads in NSW. They are:
* the M2
* the M5
* the M7
* the Eastern Distributor
* the Sydney Harbour Tunnel
* the Sydney Harbour Bridge
* the Cross City Tunnel
* the Lane Cove Tunnel and
* the Falcon St Gateway.
Some toll roads allow you to pay the toll by cash but others only accept E-Tags. All E-Tags from Victoria and Queensland work on Sydney toll roads.
If you do not have an E-Tag you must pay by cash (where available) or pay by credit card by ringing the appropriate number displayed on the tollway within 48 hours of passing through the toll collection point. If you are visiting Sydney and do not have an E-Tag, or cannot access a cash booth, you will need to ring the toll road operator in order to pay the toll using your credit card.
The toll road operator will charge a fee to accept your payment by credit card. Note that cash booths are usually un-manned so it helps if you have some small change to pay the toll using the automatic collection booths.
Failure to pay tolls within 48 hours will result in an infringement notice being issued. This will be sent to the hire car company who will pass it on to you.
Note that the car rental company will charge an Administration Fee for processing an infringement notice. For example, Thrifty car rental have a $35.00 fee for processing any infringement notices.
For details of toll charges visit the relevant motorway website or go to the Sydney Motorways website to calculate the toll for trips around the entire network.
Time of day tolling has been introduced on the Sydney Harbour crossings. For more information about time-of-day tolling charges visit the Sydney Motorways website. So, when driving a Sydney rental car be sure to take note of the many toll road signs and be prepared to pay to drive. The best way to pay for tourist or occasional travel is with an electronic pass. Visit the Roam or Roam Express websites for more information or to purchase a pass.
Here are 19 tips for using Sydney toll roads:
1. What is Cashback?
Cashback allows NSW residents to claim back the value of tolls (excluding GST) paid while driving privately registered vehicles on the M5 motorway. More information on Cashback.
2. I have a tag from a different state (eg Melbourne Citylink), am I able to claim Cashback?
No. Cashback is only available to NSW residents with an electronic tag from a NSW tag provider.
3. How much are the tolls?
The motorway operator sets the toll for each road. Tolls on full electronic toll roads are subject to quarterly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. For toll charges visit the relevant motorway website or go to the Sydney Motorways website to calculate the toll for trips around the entire network. If you have a tag, the toll is all you will pay (providing your tag is used correctly). If you use a pass, you may also be charged an administration fee.
4. How can I get an electronic tag or pass?
There are a range of electronic tag products available through different providers. Each provider may apply different charges, deposits and top-up amounts. To find out more about the different products available, contact your preferred provider from the following list:
* RTA E-Toll, Phone: 131 865
* E-way, Phone: 1300 555 833
* Roam Express, Phone: 13 ROAM (13 76 26)
* Roam, Phone: 13 TOLL (13 86 55).
5. Can I use a tag on any toll road?
Yes, all electronic tags, including interstate tags, are fully interoperable meaning they work on all toll roads in Australia.
6. What should I do if I drive through an E lane or use a fully electronic toll road without an electronic tag?
You will need to arrange a pass within 48 hours of your trip. Passes are available from the following toll providers:
* RTA E-Toll
* Roam Express
7. I don’t have a tag or a pass, can I still use a fully electronic road?
Yes, you can use a fully electronic motorway at any time, but you will need to arrange a pass within 48 hours of your trip. Road signs on the motorway will show the phone number and website details.
8. I ride a motorcycle what do I do?
Motorcyclists can use a tag or a pass on fully electronic motorways. Currently, motorcycles are not charged administration fees for passes. For all other toll roads, you can use a tag or pay cash.
9. Do I have to pay the toll?
Motorists are required by law to pay the toll when they drive on a toll road. The fine for not paying a toll exceeds $140.
10. What’s the difference between a tag and a pass?
A tag is an electronic device that you purchase from a tag provider and attach to the inside of your vehicle’s windscreen. All tags work on all motorways in Australia. Different tag products are available from each of the motorway operators, all with different setup and running costs.
When you travel through a toll collection point, sensors detect the tag and the toll is automatically charged to your toll account. There are no additional costs for using most tag products.
A pass is an arrangement between you and a motorway to use that motorway for an agreed period of time. You provide your number plate details to the motorway operator and they will charge the toll and any applicable setup and administration fees to your credit card or bank account. There may be additional charges for using a pass. You need to contact the relevant motorway operator for more details.
11. How do I get an electronic tag or pass?
There are a range of electronic tag and pass products available through different providers. Each operator may apply different charges, deposits and top-up amounts. To find out more about the different products available, contact the relevant motorway operator from the list above.
12. Does it cost more to use a tag or a pass?
Most tag providers offer tag products with a tag security deposit. Once you pay the deposit, all you pay for is the tolls (providing your tag is used correctly). However some tag providers offer different tag products, for example, a monthly tag fee rather than an upfront security deposit. If you use a pass, you will be charged an additional administration fee for each trip.
13. Can I use any tag on any toll road?
Yes, which ever tag you have – RTA E-Toll, Roam Express E-Tag, E way, Roam e-TAG, or any tag within Australia – you can use it on every toll road in Australia. Your tag will beep as you drive past toll collection points and the toll will be charged to your account.
14. Can I use a pass on any toll road?
Yes, you can use a pass on any toll road in Sydney. For more information please contact your pass provider.
15. Do I have to stop at toll booths if I have an electronic tag?
No. You don’t need to come to a complete stop, but please slow down and drive carefully as some booths have boom gates and tolling staff may be crossing a lane. When approaching and travelling through ‘E’ only lanes, you should drive to the posted speed limit to ensure your electronic tag can be scanned.
16. What should I do if I drive through an ‘E’ lane or use a fully electronic toll road without an electronic tag?
On fully electronic toll roads – the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Cross City tunnel, Westlink M7, Lane Cove Tunnel and Military Road E-Ramps – you will need to arrange a pass by contacting the toll road operator within 48 hours of your trip. For all other toll roads, call the number on the signs at the toll collection points to report the trip. If you do not contact the motorway, you will receive a toll notice in the mail which you will need to pay. There will be additional fees or charges.
17. Is there a fine for using an ‘E’ lane or a fully electronic toll road without having an electronic tag?
There are additional fees and charges for using a fully electronic toll road or lane without a tag. You will need to contact the relevant toll road operator. If you receive a toll notice and do not pay the toll and any applicable administration fees, you can be fined.
18. I don’t have a tag or a pass, can I still use a fully electronic road?
Yes, you can use a fully electronic motorway at any time, but you will need to arrange a pass either before or shortly after your trip. Road signs on the motorway will show the phone number and website details. Contact the relevant fully electronic motorway for details. Sydney’s fully electronic motorways are the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel, M7, Lane Cove Tunnel and Military Road E-Ramps.
19. What do I do if I am just visiting Sydney for a short time?
The simplest way to fund tourist or perhaps infrequent traveling is with an electronic pass. Visit the Roam or Roam Express website for more information in order to purchase a pass.