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Autoroute Toll Confusion


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It seems that I have been classed incorrectly on the Autoroute Tolls on my recent visit to France.

 

On the outbound journey I was charged correctly.

 

On the return journey, both Claremont-Ferrand to Paris and Paris to Calais I seem to have been charged for the wrong class.

 

Claremont-Ferrand to Calais I have been charged as Class 3 (Coach), but a much higher value than quoted on the website for that fee.

Paris to Calais I have been charged as Class 3 (Coach)

 

In both cases I used the automated tolls and card payment.

 

I have a large outfit, and I also had bikes on the roof of the car.

 

Should I have been charged for Class 3, and if not what chance do I have of getting a refund - I didn't get a receipt, but I can provide credit card statement details.

 

Does the Paris-Calais link have variable fees depending on the time of day?

 

I travelled Saturday from about 10:00 to 13:00

 

Any advice gratefully received.

 

Regards,

Steve

 

Olympus II 620-6 & Mitsubishi Shogun

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Of course ask, but in hope rather than expectation. ....Car and caravan, class 2 ( 50% surcharge)

 

Once on the A71 at the Vierzon exit I was charged as a Class 4 HGV but I recognised the error when the price came up on the screen so I queried it and it was changed before I paid.

 

My wife always insists on waiting for the receipt while I don't bother, maybe I will in future.

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I know it's no help to you now, but when you look at the price displayed on the screen it gives you the 'Classe' of vehicle too. There is a button at the side to press if you think the classification is wrong and it will be changed and the price changed to reflect this.

 

Here is a website which gives you an indication of vehicle classifications so you can see what you should have paid. A caravan should only be classe 2 (I think even with bikes on - though the automatic sensor may fail to recognise the extra height is not vehicle).

 

http://www. autoroutes. fr/en/vehicle-classification. htm

 

Next time press the buttons - it works, we've been wrongly classified once and also once when we were towing and were shown as Classe 1 - that time we didn't bother pressing the button.

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The website above seems to suggest that a train over 3. 5 tonnes is class 3.

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My understanding was that it was the tow vehicle weight of 3. 5 tonnes.

 

It's the bikes that have been the problem since they just push up over 3m.

 

However, again according to my understanding, it is the vehicle height, not including luggage, which is the important point.

 

Regards,

Stephen

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Trying to find the receipts first.

 

I'm quite happy to pay the correct fee for a caravan.

 

Might have to put this down to experience.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

Olympus II 620-6 & Mitsubishi Shogun

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If you use a toll tag, you can review your charges before they are taken from your card so you have a bit of time to spot such errors.

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We had a similar problem travelling up to Royan from the Pyrenees this year. We also had bikes on the roof. You can usually tell when you have been incorrectly classified as the ticket pops out of the top slot! I pressed the button at the lower ticket slot and took the new ticket, but it still said Class 3. I moaned about it all the way on the journey, but when we came to pay, the machine failed to read the ticket - maybe the electronic equipment there recognised us as a Class 2 but ticket said Class 3? Anyway, I ended up having to press the button and giving our point of entry details to the operator and the machine then displayed the Class 2 payment amount. I think she could see our outfit via a camera.

 

I think if we'd had a tag system it may have been a different story, as how do you prove what size vehicle you have once you're back home?

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I don't think it would be a problem - you get a big list of all the tolls, showing Class 2 - a Class 3 would look obviously wrong and (I would hope!) make it easy to rectify. Aprr recommend you check it,

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I had bikes on the roof this summer holiday, used a tag and all was charged at class 2 thankfully.

 

Would be interesting to find out what went wrong so that I can ensure we don't do it in future.

 

That said, I did have to reverse out of one toll booth as it wouldn't work or so I thought. I am used to the M6 toll tag, which is instant, the ones in France do take a while to bleep and work. You have to be patient, unlike me.

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I guess it depends on the overall height.

 

A Landrover Discovery with Bikes is on or around 3m high.

 

Other cars plus bikes will be lower than 3m I suspect.

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The bikes shouldn't count towards your height - but the automatic 'measurer' will think you're overheight as it won't recognise them as bikes - that's why you need to know about the button on the toll booth.

 

It's a frequent problem, and French efficiency has pre-empted the work involved in everyone trying to reclaim tolls for the wrong Classe by giving you the option to press a button to correct it. Once you know there's something you can do about it it's not a problem any more. The only French you need is the appropriate words for your correct classification.

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Having looked at my CC statement it seems I have been correctly charged on the Paris-Calais leg, but I'm sure that the receipt (that I have now binned) showed Class 3.

 

I have asked for the Claremont-Ferrand to Paris leg to be refunded, based on a copy of the Credit Card statement.

 

​Now I know there is a button, things will be easier for our next journey abroad.

 

Regards,

Steve

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have had conformation I will get a refund of the difference between class 3 and class 3.

 

I had to provide credit card details and bank account details for them to refund to, which I am wary of doing, but the system seems to have worked.

 

:rolleyes:

 

Regards,

Steve

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Interestingly we were charged as Classe 1 instead of Classe 2 by both automatic toll booths yesterday - down near Montpellier/Beziers area!! I didn't press the button to change it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now that pretty much all booths are unmanned it is causing all sorts of confusion. I am just back from 2 weeks on my motorbike. i was charged at Cat 2, 4 (HGV), and 5 (Bike)

What makes it even more irritating is that so many of them are now card only which means that banks add their little bit on every transaction.

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As a toll badge user I enquired at an APRR office some time ago about the automatic classification of vehicles on autoroutes and was told the following. .......

 

Automated tolls use the vehicle outlines to set the charge. In theory, roof racks and bikes should not provide an image that will trigger an incorrect classification but some vehicles/outfits with a bike/roof rack may create an over 2m image to trigger class 2 for a solo car or cause a car and caravan to be classified as class 3 as a vehicle with GVW exceeding 3500kg OR the height exceeds 3m.

Only class 4 will be charge through an LGV lane with an orange hexagon logo above.

 

From French forums it seems the autoroute operators will refund excess charges with some proof. Apparently, as all tolls plazas are video'd a date and approximate time (which the toll ticket or account details will show) can produce a recording confirming the error.

 

As stated above check the tarif displayed at the barrier when driving through as it is easier to correct on the spot than some weeks later. .

Edited by beejay
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Now I know I need to press the button to select the correct tariff, life will be much easier.

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Now that pretty much all booths are unmanned it is causing all sorts of confusion. I am just back from 2 weeks on my motorbike. i was charged at Cat 2, 4 (HGV), and 5 (Bike)

What makes it even more irritating is that so many of them are now card only which means that banks add their little bit on every transaction.

This is where you need a fee-free card - our Halifax Clarity credit card and Norwich and Peterborough debit card are both transaction fee and conversion charge free - so all you pay is the toll.

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Just got back and checked my APRR account - all went through as Classe 2, although still waiting for one or two to show up.

 

Had an 'interesting' experience at the huge peage north of Lyon on the way down - I managed, stupidly, to drift left towards the car auto-toll gates, rather than, of course, aiming right, towards the non-height restricted auto-toll gates. I think I just lost a bit of concentration. Anyway, I finished up having to cross all the lanes of queuing traffic to get from left to right so I could go through the right gate.

 

It was completely my fault, clearly, and very embarrassing - I could almost feel the waves of 'stupid Brit' thoughts coming from other drivers!

 

Hey ho - life goes on!

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