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 Instead of reading this post, which is now slightly out of date, and then trawling through 80 comments, may I suggest you go directly to the new post where you'll find all that information more easily.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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FiftyPenceR8's picture

Besides the advantage of avoiding the regular toll queues, does the use of a telepeage result in cheaper toll fares?

Submitted by JONATHAN READE on

please help,

ordered appr liber-t gadget in may. all ok arrived quickly having supplied CC details for billing. travelled to france end of may beginning of june without issue.

have not yet received a bill yet and no charge on the CC ( nationwide)

have e-mailed twice with no reply

can anyone help

FiftyPenceR8's picture

Surely if you have not yet been billed that is a good thing!

You can register on the website to check your bill, give that a try and see if it shows anything.

jonathan reade's picture
Submitted by jonathan reade on

thanks for the reply to fiftypencer8

William Pearson's picture
Submitted by William Pearson on

It does look as though payment for a Liber-t tag by credit card is definitely being phased out by 2012. The main reason being that people forget to update their card details and don't find out until they are at the barrier. APRR seem to be operating outside of the agreement made by the Association of French Toll Road Operators as none of the other operators are accepting new applicants unless they have a French bank account. Sanef seem to be the exception to this as they have opened a subsidiary in the UK with an English speaking helpdesk specifically to allow UK residents to pay by direct debit from a UK bank account. They informed me that they will be contacting existing UK customers who currently pay by credit card later in the year to migrate them to the direct debit system.

RichardC's picture
Submitted by RichardC on

Have had one of these for over two years now, living in France for much of that time. A couple of tips:

The tag needs to be fixed near the top of the windscreen to the left of the rear view mirror. Holding it up manually occasionally works but often doesn't - it really needs to be fixed.

If you want to use it on more than one car APRR will send you extra windscreen clips gratis - just email them

If it really fails to work you can go to a manned booth where they can scan the barcode

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Thanks for the tips Richard. I'm sure the readers here will appreciate it.

Can you shed any light on the reluctance of French autoroutes licencees to offer Telepeage units on account to UK Credit Card holders. Since SANEF stopped, APRR have been the only one. Someone else reported on this thread that SANEF have opened a UK subsidiary to handle UK credit cards, which is nice of them but a very expensive way to go. Do you know if APRR plan to continue supporting credit-card payment for their Telepeage units?

RichardC's picture
Submitted by RichardC on

Sorry James, can't help you there. Mine is set up on my French bank account

Lucy's picture
Submitted by Lucy on

Purchased the telepeage transponder on line from Passlibert-t. arrived in a few days(UK) I used the the post code a previous writer had advised. My only fear is now that it needs activating although deciphering the little cards that came `with it do not mention activation. however they do advise getting a toll ticket if it does'nt work where you can prove you entered the system. has any body used this particular company and if so are my fears founded? many thanks

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Hi Lucy,

First, a disclaimer: I have no connection with APRR, and I don't profess to be an expert. I'm just someone who managed to get hold of one of these, kept being asked by friends how to get one, so blogged my answer for people to read.

Since then, the comment thread on this post has gone wild, and it's pretty much the first hit on the search engine's for words like Telepeage and UK.

When I got mine last summer, it didn't need activating - it just worked. My nagging fear before I used it the first time was that the barrier wouldn't lift and I'd need to use my French to sort it out, while a queue of cars built up behind the foolish Englishman who got in the wrong lane. But it was a breeze, and worth it to see the faces of the autoroute officials who thought I was in the wrong lane as the barrier let me through!

I hope it's as simple for you - have a good trip.

lucypie's picture
Submitted by lucypie on

many thanks James I still think that first run into the peage is going to raise the blood presure but you have certainly given me a lot more confidence

Nick's picture
Submitted by Nick on

Great info, I managed to order for my Dutch address now Thursday. I hope it arrives before my travel on Tuesday! Touch wood.

As far as I can understand they even currently have a summer offer where they will waive the 1,50 monthly costs for the rest of the year.

Anonymous PWHC's picture
Submitted by Anonymous PWHC on

I have successfully registered to APRR but found no obvious way to register credit card details. Do I receive the responder first, or must I register/pay with a card first? If the latter, what tab does this? Thanks

lucypie's picture
Submitted by lucypie on

From my own experiance. when I applied I had to give a credit card account for a monthly direct payment, all the info required was on the application form. As a test to see if you have been successful, from what I gather they are delivered within a few days of application which was certainly the case for mine.

lucypie's picture
Submitted by lucypie on

From my own experiance. when I applied I had to give a credit card account for a monthly direct payment, all the info required was on the application form. As a test to see if you have been successful, from what I gather they are delivered within a few days of application which was certainly the case for mine.

Anonymous DMYF's picture
Submitted by Anonymous DMYF on

Having a french bank account and bank card i ordered my badge easily, it arrived in 2 days with about 5 leaflets all in french which i carefully read. None mentioned how to activate or if you need toto but onetried to persuade you to set up a prelevement (Equiv of dd). so tried to useand nothing happens, so ive had to take ticket asnormal. then logged on on website and tried to see if in
ed to put money on it, but no info on that. help!

Peter's picture
Submitted by Peter on

Thanks for all the posted info about the Telepeage system. I have been meaning to get one of these devices for a long time due having travelled in France extensively for some years, but have never got around to it. I tried getting one, but fell foul of the problems noted in previous posts, so the tips about the 62100 'post code' & about billing back to a French bank account are invaluable. My house number is '12A' and this was not acceptable when giving the address. The solution is not so obvious - you can put, say, '12' (acceptable) and then start the street name with 'A ', however often in France the number of the house comes after the street name. If this happened either my neighbour would get the bill (for me) of the postman just might notice the disconnected 'A ... 12'. In the end I decided to wait now until next year to get a box since it will be another 8-9 months until I'm in France again and a delay of that length between ordering and use just could mean it lapses in some way.

I think the whole concept is brilliant and it's a pity it seems not to extend yet to other EU countries with toll motorways. It would be nice if the Dartford Crossing tag system as well as other toll crossings in the UK could be integrated too. The only downside I see to the system at the moment is 'traceability' as you are recorded as having travelled on the toll roads, and yes even the average speeds could be retained, so enabling a possible fining claw back in the event of excesses. Doubtless these two 'parameters' are already recorded in some unseen way so being aware of the possibility is useful.

By the way some one asked about the order of names; yes, very often you will be addressed in writing in surname then first-name order.

Thanks again for all info, and if and when I have my box and use it, I will post my experience with it.

lucypie's picture
Submitted by lucypie on

See my message dated 1-8-11. Basicaly followed other sucsessful people showing messages on this board. We have just returned from a lovely holiday where we had a lot of driving using many telepaege points. From the first,with a little fear every thing worked perfectly. Confidence built and it was a delight when the signs that a paege was coming up and we were able to sail through whilst others were queing.

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Glad you had a lovely holiday - but I agree, it is a great feeling when you can just sail through the gares de peage.

lucypie's picture
Submitted by lucypie on

I hope our experiences give other people reading our stories confidence to follow the relatively easy process of obtaining a telepeage badge and enjoy the feeling of sailing through the 'reserve' lanes at the peage points whilst the locals snigger and think we have made a mistake and lined up in the wrong aisle. It is not uncommon to be overtaken several times by those who have to pay at the barriers during a trip and each time the driver looks at my wife in the passenger seat with daggers.....I love it! all the best to those who apply for the badge.......lucypie

Mike's picture
Submitted by Mike on

Sorry if I'm repeating anyone but I put my postcode in with a space and it got rejected, so I tried without a space and it went through fine.

I'm very grateful for the info on this website, thank you for pointing me in the right direction!


DP's picture
Submitted by DP on

I have a badge from APRR which all worked well on last years holiday. Can anyone tell me how to update my credit card details on the APRR site. I have been round in circles and can't find a way to do it.

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

You have to do it by phone.

They have an online control panel for the badge, but it doesn't let you change payment details (I confirmed that by e-mailing them - so it wasn't just me being unable to find my way around their website).

Phone +33 325303241. Either talk to them in French, or ask them if there is someone there who speaks English and they'll hand you over to their relevant colleague who can help you in English. They charge your new card (I think it's) €2 to test it works, but they then refund that test payment about a month later. At least, that's what happened for me.

Chris L's picture
Submitted by Chris L on

I e.mailed my credit card details to APRR at " abonnes-chaumont@aprr.fr " along with my tag account reference and they mailed back to say they had made the changes and charged the card €2 as test and will refund that off the next trip charge. Apart from the smallish risk of your card details being phished from the e.mail it was pretty painless. Simples!

Gary's picture
Submitted by Gary on

..just don't put a space in. Instead of EH21 4XX i entered EH214XX and it accepted it with no issues. Once I received the Tag (ordered Sunday, arrived Wednesday by Recorded Delivery) I went online and using the subscriber number they sent in the pack and the postcode I entered I was able to change my details and password.

Like others have asked my main concern is around activating the Tag but the consensus seems to be that they work straight out the box.

The SANEF UK option looks okay but there seems to be a significant premium over using APRR that doesn't seem to be justified.

Google Translate is your friend. :-)

Colin galpin's picture
Submitted by Colin galpin on

Have been using the telepeage for a couple of years but now need to update with my new credit card. I can't see anything on the aprr website for this, any ideas/help please


James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

There are two posts 3-4 posts above yours: One is from someone who successfully updated by e-mail (which is not something I'd recommend for security reasons), and the other is by me giving the phone number to ring.

Anonymous HDVC's picture
Submitted by Anonymous HDVC on

Having checked by Landrover's heated screen, it looks like even the area behind the rear view mirror has heating elements within it, will this affect the tag's signal.....could I attach to the sun room instead, it is quite large?

Anonymous HDVC's picture
Submitted by Anonymous HDVC on

Having checked by Landrover's heated screen, it looks like even the area behind the rear view mirror has heating elements within it, will this affect the tag's signal.....could I attach to the sun room (oops, I meant sunroof!) instead, it is quite large?

Malcolm's picture
Submitted by Malcolm on

We have car and caravan and I am trying to subscribe on line to telepaeage via the french website APRR. It will not allow me to choose vehicle category 2. Any advice on what I can do please?


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