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Télépéage - Version 1
#1
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.
The 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.

   

There 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.
   
#2
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.
#3
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.
#4
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!
#5
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...
#6
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!
#7
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.
#8
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_telepeag...ndez_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.
#9
The website https://www.telepeagepourtous.fr/fr/part.../souscrire is so infuriating. Having got past the postcode quandry (with the advice above - thank you) it now won't accept any of my credit cards (MC or Visa) - I don't have an AMEX - so don't know if the knack is to put that in or not.

Can anyone enlighten me?

#10
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.


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