Télépéage

Wed, 15/09/2010 - 10:58 -- James Oakley
Update: 20th April 2012
I've made a new post today that brings the information in this one up to date. I've also included an FAQ section there that distills the content from the comment thread on this post. Instead of reading this post, which is now slightly out of date, and then trawling through 80 comments, may I suggest you go directly to the new post where you'll find all that information more easily. (Comments on this thread are now closed).

Please visit: Télépéage - version 2


I've just been asked again how an English motorist can take advantage of télépéage. I thought I'd post my answer here, in case it helps anyone else.

Gare de peageThe French motorways are usually toll roads. The amounts you have to pay are not a round number; Calais to Paris or Rheims costs €20.20 at the moment. So you're either trying to find the right change, on the wrong side of the car, or you're using a credit card for each transaction. Depending on your route through France, you may not just be paying the once; sometimes you have to pay for the stage you've just driven, then pay again a bit later on. Our recent French holiday to the south of Burgundy involved paying 3 times each way - 6 transactions in total. The other inconvenience is the queues. A lot of traffic travels on the French motorway network, and that creates a bottle-neck at the gares de péage, the pay stations.

telepeageThere is an answer to this, and it's called télépéage. Similar to the gadgets you can get for the Severn Bridge, the Dartford Crossing or the M6 Toll, this is a small electronic transponder that you attach to your windscreen just behind the rear-view mirror. As you approach the barriers, a device by the barrier can read your gadget, extract the account details from it. You are let through, without having to stop, and you get billed later. Surprisingly, even lots of French cars don't seem to use them, but they speed up and simplify the journey considerably. This no longer needs to be a little secret kept by the French.

There are two ways to do it. The cheapest way is to deal directly with the French. The company APRR run the motorways to the south and east of Paris. They will let you have a toll reader from them, and bill it to an English credit card; most other French motorway companies won't do that. Whenever you get a télépéage gadget from one French motorway company, it works throughout France, so it's just a matter of finding a company that will let the English have one. APRR is your friend at that point. They charge you a (refundable if you return it) €10 for the gadget; they then charge you €1.50 per month, but only for those months when you use it. Other than that, you pay the same tolls as the cash price. There's no charge when you don't use it. You sign up at http://www.aprr.fr/fr/souscrire_telepeage_liber_t. But you need a little French to do it!

The not quite so cheap way is to use an English company, http://www.tolltickets.com/. They charge you €7.90 to send you the device, and you don't get that money back - it's a fee rather than a deposit. They also add 9% on top of the toll charges. So it costs more, but they're English. It's up to you.

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Comments

Neil Robbie's picture

We've been busy using the credit card because there were no queues. But our roof box kept hitting the height limit (2m) and I would often leave too much of a gab between Amanda's window and the machine so she had to open the car door, take off her seatbelt and complain about my inability to judge the width of our car properly.

theo's picture
Submitted by theo on

Can you tell me how to get past the post code problem I am encountering when making my oline application fot the Liber-t Balade with APRR. I have filled in my english address stating Grande Bretagne as the country thinking that this will allow for english registration but i keep getting a message that they need a valid post code, and the same applies when i try to contact them via their email link.

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Theo,

Somewhere online someone suggested that if you put the postcode as 62100, it will let you proceed, but will ignore the postcode.

That turned out to be nearly right - the online web form did not mention the postcode once I had put that postcode in. The letter from APRR arrived with that postcode on the same line as, and written before, the postal town. But the letters from them arrive each time with no problem.

I've no idea whether 62100 is an actual French postal code, or whether it is a special code that their postal system uses to denote a foreign address. Either way - it worked for me.

Let us know how you get on!

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

Postcode 62100 is in the Pas-de-Calais (where there eurostar emerges in France). In fact, it seems to be Calais / Coulogne.

So, probably any French postcode would do, esp if you get the electronic billing only, which is cheaper than the paper version anyway...

SteveP's picture
Submitted by SteveP on

I have (hopefully) ordered a transponder as suggested. And I know that at times I will be over the two metre height restriction.

So my question is which lane do I use when too tall? And if I can then only use the "manned" lane(s), do I pay via transponder or cash/credit card?

Thanks!

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

According to the instructions that came with the transponder, you head for a line that doesn't have a height restricter on it, but that displays the 'T' symbol for telepeage. From memory, almost every lane takes Telepeage as a payment method, the barrier lifts as you approach the same as if you used a lane that was exclusively for Telepeage. I think some of the larger gares even have exclusive Telepeage lanes for taller vehicles.

SteveP's picture
Submitted by SteveP on

Thanks for that - I didn't know if there were extra charges when using a roofbox (if not, why a height restriction?) and, if so, how the system "knows" as you drive through - perhaps height sensors?

Some of the information shows the classes of travel - 1,2,3,4 and 5. 1 is cars under 2M, 2 is cars over 2M. 3&4 are trucks/HGVs and 5 is motorcycles. So I assumed you got a "1" transponder and were charged accordingly, hence the height restriction to keep "2" cars out of the "1" lanes. Not sure why you would pay more for a roof box - can't wear the road more quickly - perhaps it is just to weed out the trucks, and cars with roof boxes pay the same.

I did find that the south-eastern motorways still accept UK credit cards for setting up online payments - you can apply here

http://www.aprr.fr/fr/souscrire_telepeage_liber_t/commandez_badge

(in French but you can muddle through - as others have suggested, put your UK post code in with the town name and use 62100 to make the webform submit)

I have a applied and will try and return to confirm when/if I receiver my transponder.

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Hi Jo

Did you try the APRR site (Societe des Autoroutes de Paris, Rheims et Rhone). Although they only own the motorways in north-eastern France, you can use a transponder from them anywhere.

I successfully got one from them last summer, paying with a Mastercard. I know that people have reported other companies having trouble with English cards, but that APRR was one company that would take them.

Let us know how you get on. I've never tried the telepeagepourtous site, so I can't comment. I'd be interested to see if anybody else does have anything to say.

ChrisS's picture
Submitted by ChrisS on

Try entering your credit card details during normal working hours.
I tried to enter mine on the APRR website on Sunday afternoon and it was constantly rejected.
I tried again on Monday morning and it went through straight away.

Be aware also that it must be at least 2 months before the expiry date on your card. The site won't accept cards that expire in less than 2 months time.

SteveP's picture
Submitted by SteveP on

I can confirm my transponder arrived today. Ordered on a Thursday, received in Berkshire on Tuesday - very quickly. I do have a UK HSBC credit card, which may have helped as they have extensive French operations. Good luck.

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Have a good trip! Come back and tell us how you get on - especially if the roof-box causes any difficulties. I don't think it will.

SteveP's picture
Submitted by SteveP on

I read that these transponders may also be used on some Spanish toll roads?

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Sorry!

John C's picture
Submitted by John C on

Hi
Thanks for the info - very helpful!
Ordered ours on Thursday evening and it arrived yesterday (Saturday morning).
Using Google Chrome as the web browser has helped as there is a setting to translate French text to English.
Having received the device, can anyone now tell me if we need to activate it somehow before using it on our journey?
I used the 62100 zip code as part of the delivery address which worked well. I've managed to change my password from this as the default on the APRR website but seem unable to get any further through the process and am now a bit concerned that I haven't done all I need to!
Any advice gratefully received.
Thanks
John

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

I didn't need to activate mine at all. I ordered it, they sent it, and then they billed me at the end of the month after I used it. The bill was paid automatically using the CC I gave them initially.

I can't comment on the password issue, as I'm not aware of having any kind of login on their website. I only used the website for a one-off tag order (which means that I'll have to make any changes to my details over the phone!) If you know how to log-in and then manage the account online, could you post the web page address for that?

skier's picture
Submitted by skier on

SANEF refused to give a telepeage badge, despite being told by two SANEF telephone operators that they would if we turned up in person at an Agence Commercial. After a 400 mile round trip to Amiens Sud, and hour and a half row in ok french, plus a French and English copy of EU directive saying we were entitled to a badge without a RIB (French bank account number) and they still refused to accept our cards.

APRR allowed our order over the phone, badge arrived promptly. We activated the account online so we aren't charged for paper billing, but fear a second email requesting bank details may be a spam attempt to get card details. Have emialed them to confirm.We travel in three days, so we hope they get back to us asap.

MikeC's picture
Submitted by MikeC on

After having spent all night last night looking at different sites such as SANEF & ALIS & even tolltickets.com. I thought I would just have to use my credit card and not bother with the device but it sounds that I might be able to get one with APRR. :-) Hooray! Just one question though. I'm driving from Calais to St. Sebastian and keeping to the west side of Paris. Can I use the device on all French toll roads ? Even those that don't appear on the map on the aprr site?

Regards,

Mike

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Hi Mike. The short answer is that the telepeage system covers the whole of the French toll road network. Different companies operate different sections, but a telepeage device issued by any one of them is usable on the whole network. To give you an example, I drove from the area around Dijon up to Calais. Somewhere near Rheims we switched from motorways owned and run by APRR to those run by SANEF. We didn't go through a Gare de Peage (pay station) at that point, but my monthly invoice just showed the journey broken into the two sections and the fees due to both. People paying by credit card would also only have had to pay once, and the single charge would have been divided into two. It's all much better than in the UK. I'd love to use my Dart TAG on the M6 Toll, but it doesn't work like that!

My only caveat is to ask: Which map are you referring to on the APRR site? If you mean the one at http://www.aprr.fr/fr/souscrire_telepeage_liber_t/commandez_badge, that is the map of the motorways that APRR manages. You can use the gadget much wider than that. If you're looking at a different map, perhaps you could post the link here and I'll double check.

MikeC's picture
Submitted by MikeC on

I saw that map and I had to choose the route I do the most - hence my original question. Thanks for the prompt reply, I'm going to get the device now so I can use it at the end of the month on holiday. :-)

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

And if you get the chance, do pop back here to let us know how you get on, and any tips you pick up that will help others trying to make this work.

MikeC's picture
Submitted by MikeC on

Just finished ordering the unit. Used a First Direct VISA card and no problems at all. Just printed off the receipt and wait until it arrives. Watch this space.

MikeC's picture
Submitted by MikeC on

....only problem is that when I try and login online for the 1st time using my device number and my postcode (00000) it doesn't work. Did anyone have the same problem? Is there an email for support at APRR that might help?

Regards,

Mike

MikeC's picture
Submitted by MikeC on

.....finally, it didn't accept five zeros (00000) but it did work with six (000000). I'm as happy as Larry. Thank everyone for your help. I'm now all ready to go to France next week.

MikeC's picture
Submitted by MikeC on

I replied to the email from them and they reset my password (after I eventually managed to get in!) and it worked again no problem with the new details that they had sent me. Sometimes I wish all companies were like this.

Charlotte's picture
Submitted by Charlotte on

I've got the same problems with logging in. 62100, 00000 AND 000000 won't work. Any suggestions?

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

I've not tried logging in at all yet with mine. From the comments above, it sounds like you need to choose to reset your password, and they send you an e-mail that then gets you in. Try that - and please let me know how it works, as I'm soon going to try logging in...

ben's picture
Submitted by ben on

hi, ive have just ordered a box with my mastercard :-)

Lets hope it arrives :-)

I dont actually go on holiday until july for 4 weeks - once i put it in my window will it just be deducted from credit card as i go through a toll ?

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

They record each time you enter and exit a toll section. Then, they bill you for your use each calendar month. If you're going for 4 weeks, the chances are you'll get a bill for July and another for your use during August. They then automatically pay that bill using your credit card.

ben's picture
Submitted by ben on

thats good then :-)

i just hope it works, ive got the confirmation email, do they need activating or is it activate as soon as i go through the first toll

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

And others who have used them have said the same. It comes to you activated. Attach to the windscreen as per the instructions that come enclosed with it, and you're good to go.

Ben 's picture
Submitted by Ben on

It's arrived :-) ordered 2 days ago

In my limited French I'm been ask for RIB which I believe are details of my French bank account I don't have,

Has any one else received this leaflet??

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

The leaflet I got (which isn't to say that yours is the same) was an attempt to get me (had I been French) to sign up for their equivalent of Direct Debit, instead of being billed to my credit card. They list all the advantages, like you don't have to change your card details in the future.

However, not having a French bank account, it was good of them to make the suggestion, but I just can't. So I ignored it and left it on Credit Card billing. They billed me alright!

Ben 's picture
Submitted by Ben on

I just don't wantto get to France and it not work due to this, when I could get the toll ticket version and pay the premium, I also have the problem I regulary go on holiday to Spain 2/3 times a year and usually queue for around 1 hour each way at the tolls :-)

Does this work in Spain??

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Ben, it doesn't work in Spain - it's just for France.

If you're worried, go for Toll Tickets. I'm not professing to be an expert - I just made the system work for me, and posted here as to what I did. Others find the advice helpful, but you've got to work out what you're happy with and do that.

For me, the device worked fine without signing up for a French Direct Debit, but I can't guarantee anything!

David's picture
Submitted by David on

Very well explained, just ordered mine. Thanks for the help :)

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

I have purchased a box, but I am not clear how I should attach it to the windscreen. Can anyone help me please!!!

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

First off, don't worry about it. It works without being attached. If you drive up to the barrier, and someone in the passenger seat holds up the little box, it will still detect it.

However, attaching it is easy.

Step 1: Use the alcohol wipe they've given you to clean the area of the windscreen where the device will go. Usually this is behind the central rear-view mirror. Heated windscreens usually have an area here that is not heated to help with this kind of gadget. (In the instruction book I got, that's "Figure A" on page 4).

Step 2: Take the plastic clip. If the actual gadget is attached to the plastic clip, just slide it off. In fact, you may wish to practice sliding the gadget on and off the clip a few times - it's a little stiff, but easy when you've got the knack. There is a self-adhesive strip on the back of the clip. Peel off the backing.

Step 3: Stick the clip onto the inside of the windscreen, in the area you just cleaned. Leave alone for 5 minutes or so to make sure it's well and truly stuck.

Step 4: Slide the gadget onto the clip you've just attached.

Step 5: Put car on ferry / shuttle and go.

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

I know the question sounded a bit silly, in the first place, but the box looks the wrong way round - the bar coding appears to be in the car and the sticky pad facing the window.

Anyway many thanks for your response and help. I am looking forward to trying it out next week!!!

willardr's picture
Submitted by willardr on

I ordered from APRR on 17 May and it arrived at work today 23 May. During sign up I had issues because Google Chrome browser did not detect when the page was updating as I progressed through the form, so I just copied and pasted phrases I did not understand into a different browser tab for translation. I used the 62100 post code but made sure my UK postcode was on a different address line. I used my AMEX card successfully. I won't use this in France until 25 June. When I logged into my account (you use the long 12 digit number and then your password is the postcode you entered originally (e.g. 62100)) I noticed the payment details were blank. I am presuming this is just because I used a credit card and given others say their badge has worked without issue I am optimistic I won't be facing an immovable barrier and a line of angry locals! I have since edited my account to reflect my correct UK postcode replacing 62100. Only thing is my name is back to front Surname First name, even though the original order confirmation had my name in the correct order. Is this is a French thing?! Anyway, I doubt this matters.

Paul 's picture
Submitted by Paul on

Many thanks James and everyone else who's contributed to this discussion. Thanks to you all I am now the proud owner of an APRR device, which will be put to use next week. There will no doubt be a rising sense of panic as we approach the first barrier we encounter... hopefully our experiences will be as positive as yours!

Kev Sharp's picture
Submitted by Kev Sharp on

Just read thread and it worked for me. To summarise what I did:

Download and use google chrome so that you get translation. However, remember each page you open you have to manually select translate.

1. Go to http://www.aprr.fr/fr
2. Then select telepaeage tab (particular tab)
3. On left handside you will see option for apply online (under the benefits & how it works)
4. Next page shows a map and just click anywhere on it to then bring up application form

Go through form is easy but watch the address. As stated above you have to use 62100 for post code. I just 'bastardised the fields so that it looked right in the end.

wil await arrival of device now!This thread was bril and helped enourmously. Thnaks to all!

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

recently ordered transponder from aprr using my Nationwide credit card, so do not pay commission on euro transactions. Same problem as others with UK postcode but put proper code after street address and just used the 3 numbers from my UK postcode in the code box - this worked fine. Transponder, for which I paid 10 euros and no additional postage charge, arrived within 2 days - better than some English deliveries. Used it to travel and only hold up at toll was caused by another Brit who had put transponder on dashboard and therefore couldn't be read by the machine. Ours is mounted by the rear view mirror as shown on the instructions - no problem at all. Plain sailing all the way. I only wish it would work for Italy as well.

FiftyPenceR8's picture

Many thanks for the advice above and to Kev Sharp for summarising the process.

I have completed the order process and also now await receipt of the transponder by post.

Fingers crossed.

Quent Dowse's picture
Submitted by Quent Dowse on

That kev Sharp is a genius - went like a dream. Got the device in 2 days. just hope it works now without any activation necesssary. thanks kev

FiftyPenceR8's picture
Submitted by FiftyPenceR8 on

I received the transponder today here in Guernsey, Channel Islands.

Many thanks again for the detailed procedure provided.

DSL's picture
Submitted by DSL on

Have used an APRR tag for just over a year without any problems, on the first leg of a new trip I tend to use the high vehicle Tag lane that will either trigger the beep or issue a ticket. No ticket = tag OK. Has anyone managed to change their creditcard details as mine is expiring in a few months??

Also came across saneftolling, bit more expensive to set up & run but easier than ploughing through the APRR site. They seem to think that these accounts (paying on UK creditcard) will be wound up in 2012.

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