SCUTS (without costs for the users) were highways with virtual tolls that the Portuguese State supported.
The SCUT system was introduced in 1997 and eliminated in 2011. Since then, those who use these highways have to pay via electronic toll.
1. If you’re going to Portugal in a vehicle with a foreign license plate, you have four options to pay the electronic tolls:
EASYtoll is a system that associates the license plate to the credit card (Visa or Mastercard).
When you get to an EASYtoll terminal, you’ll just have to insert your credit card. You will receive a receipt that you should keep until the toll rates are debited from your bank account. From then on you may use the highways with electronic tolls without any problems. To subscribe EASYtoll you have to go through one of these four country entries with this logotype : A28 – Viana do Castelo service area; 3,5 km from Chaves/Verin border; A25 – Alto de Leomil (Vilar Formoso) service area; A22 – Vila Real de Santo António (see map of the Portuguese highways).
Toll card is a prepaid card (5, 10, 20 or 40€) that you can purchase in CTT stores (Portuguese post-offices), service areas or at tollcard.pt. The activation and association of the credit card to the license plate is made via SMS. You may activate several cards at the same time and accumulate balance of each card. To know your balance you have to go to the website tollcard.pt or await for an SMS that lets you know your balance ran out.
Toll service is a prepaid ticket valid for 3 days and with a fixed cost of 20€. The ticket may be purchased in the EASYtoll points, in Portuguese hotels and in portugaltolls.com. The association of the ticket with the license plate is made at the moment of the purchase.
Via Verde is a device to put in the windshield that is valid in all Portuguese highways and electronic tolls, allowing to pay the tolls without stopping. The rental of the device VVV (Via Verde Visitors) costs 6€ in the first week and 1,50€ in the following weeks. When you rent VVV you will have to leave a refundable deposit of 27,50€. You can use the device for 3 months. To purchase Via Verde, you will have to go to a CTT store or a Via Verde store (viaverde.pt). Everytime you go through a toll, the toll rate will be debited from your bank account.
2. If you’re coming to Portugal by plane and want to rent a car, you have two options to pay the electronic tolls:
When you rent a car, ask the store a ViaVerde device that will allow you to pay the tolls when you return the vehicle. The upside of this device is that it is valid for all the Portuguese highways. The downside, however, is that you have to pay 1,50€ per day (to a maximum of 18,50€ per rental).
Going to a CTT store, a post office or a Payshop agent and giving your license plate number, you will know how much you have to pay.
3. If you’re living in Portugal and have a vehicle with a Portuguese license plate, you have several options to pay the electronic tolls:
Buying a Via Verde device costs 27,50 and allows the toll rate to be debited from your bank account whenever you pass through a toll. The upside of this device is that it is valid in all the Portuguese highways.
In a CTT store, post office or Payshop, giving your license plate number. CTT also give you the possibility to pay in the Multibanco network (ATM terminals) or Homebanking; to do so you need to ask for a MB Reference. It can be on-line, on the CTT site, or sending an SMS to the number 68881 with the text «CTTMBspaceLicensePlatespaceTIN» (for eg.: «CTTMB AA-00-00 123456789»). SMS cost is 0,30€ + VAT.
You may subscribe a prepaid contract by purchasing a Prepaid Via Verde or a Prepaid Anonymous that you can get in the CTT stores. Prepaid Via Verde is valid for all the highways and the Prepaid Anonymous is only valid for the highways with electronic tolls.
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