Toll Charges in France – Worth Every Penny to Caravaners
If you’re taking a caravan to mainland Europe, chances are that you will be driving through France at some point. Compared with the UK, France is a huge country and takes some driving across. However, the countryside is interesting with loads of changes, especially as you go further into France. France is criss crossed with loads of small country roads and with the toll charges seeming so high, you may be tempted to come off the autoroute and take to the nearby A roads and B roads in a bid to save a few quid. After all, how hard can it be? You can often see these roads running right alongside the autoroute and the traffic seems to be moving just as fast.
Don’t be tempted – it’s really not worth it. It seems like a great idea for the first couple of miles and then you’re likely to find yourself driving round in circles, looking for the right way forward. What you save in toll charges you lose in both time and the extra you will end up paying for petrol. The toll charges and the amount you spend on fuel in France are about the same – meaning for every €10 you spend on fuel, you’re likely to spend another €10 on tolls (depending on your vehicle, of course). However, these fast and direct routes are well worth paying the toll charges on.
The autoroutes are splendid for driving, they have great surfaces, very little in the way of delays for road works and they get you where you’re going real fast. With regular service stations and rest stops along the way, you can drive through France without really having to come off these great roads. There are service areas on most French motorways on average every 15 kilometres or so which is really convenient for travellers.
The service stations are frequent and well designed. They are quite expensive, of course, but if you’re travelling with a caravan the chances are you have the wherewithal to make a cuppa and some sandwiches and snacks when you stop for a break. If you’re travelling with pets, there’s usually somewhere suitable to give your pets some exercise and fresh air before hitting the road again.