Just in time for spring, the team at Tollsmart is excited to announce that we've further expanded our coverage of European toll facilities across all of Northern Europe with the addition of eight new countries including Norway, Sweden and the UK. This release for the first time includes tolls for congestion zones, which are fees charged for entering city centers in London, Stockholm and Gothenburg, as well as fees for ferry crossings.
Urban Congestion Tolls
This release introduced some new challenges given the unique business rules of congestion zones, which may be on their way to the US. For example, in London drivers are charged a fee for entering the central city area (the Congestion Charge Zone) during daytime hours, and if your vehicle doesn't meet certain emissions standards you incur an additional fee - the Ultra Low Emissions Zone fee, or ULEZ, which is charged 24 hours-a-day. The system is entirely electronic (no cash payment) and is enforced by stationary cameras placed around the border of the zone as well as stationary and mobile cameras within the zone given that the charge applies even if you are parked within the zone and drive around in it without exiting. Additionally, larger vehicles are charged a fee for driving in an expanded zone known as the Low Emissions Zone, or LEZ.
In Norway, where there are hundreds of tolling points and the entire country utilizes an all-electronic tolling (AET) scheme where there are no physical toll booths, many of the tolls are in systems that operate under what is known as the 'hourly-rule'. The hourly-rule means that if you drive through multiple tolls within that system over a 60-minute period you will only be charged for one toll provided that you have the national toll transponder (AutoPASS) in the vehicle. Which toll incurs the charge can vary and is determined by the respective tolling operator, and one operator extends the time limit to 90 minutes.
In Sweden, there are congestion tolls in the major cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg where they also employ an hourly rule similar to Norway called the 'single charge' rule (only the most expensive toll is charged during a 60-minute period). The Stockholm Congestion Zone also has seasonal pricing while the Gothenburg Congestion Zone carves out an area of exclusion known as the Backa Exception. Fortunately you don't need to know these arcane policies to figure out how much you'll pay as our toll calculators handle all of that logic in the backend, all you need to do is enter your route and vehicle information and you'll be able view the toll costs for any routes across all these European countries.
Cost of Ferries
Because Scandinavian countries are full of fjords and other bodies of water, ferries are frequently employed to transport vehicles across water. This means that the major mapping services will frequently route drivers on ferries unless the user has opted to avoid them in their navigation service. For this reason we now include the cost of ferries where they are included as part of the route.
Tollsmart's European Coverage
Tollsmart's coverage now includes all toll facilities, vignettes and congestion tolls in the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom