Saving toll costs in poland: this is how it works!

Roberto Hamidi

In our neighboring country of Poland, some roads are subject to tolls for use. This article shows you how the toll system works in Poland, which roads it applies to and how you can save when paying the toll.

is there a toll or a vignette in Poland?

There is no such thing as a vignette. Poland collects tolls for its roads through the system of so-called “distance-based tolls”. Unlike a vignette, you only pay for the distance you actually drive.

In return, however, this fee must be paid again each time the toll road is driven on, whereas with a vignette there is a certain right of use for the duration of the vignette.

What does the toll cost in Poland?

The toll in Poland depends on whether the freeways are privately or publicly financed. The following table sheds some light on the different tolls:¹⁺²⁺³⁺⁴

CarMotorcycle
Highway A1 0.16 PLN per km 0.16 PLN per km
Freeway A 2 Świecko – Nowy Tomyśl 0,2 PLN per km 0,2 PLN per km
Freeway A2 Nowy Tomyśl- Konin 0,46 PLN per km 0,46 PLN per km
Freeway A4 Katowice – Krakow 24 PLN 12 PLN
Freeway A2 Konin – Strykow 0,1 PLN per km 0,05 PLN per km
A4 freeway Bielany Wrocławskie – Sośnica 0.1 PLN per km 0,05 PLN per km
⚠️ Attention
The toll is calculated in the national currency PLN. You won’t be able to pay with a normal EC card. If you still want to pay by card, a special multi-currency card can help here.

How to pay the toll in Poland?

All toll routes in Poland are always interrupted by toll booths, so you won’t get the problem as with a vignette that you accidentally drive on a toll road.

Since the freeways in Poland are either publicly operated or run by private companies, it varies how to pay.⁵ One common feature:

On all freeways you can pay in cash or by EC / credit card. When paying cash in EUR, only bills are accepted, but the change is given in PLN. But this should only be a stopgap solution for you, as you will most likely get a bad exchange rate.

On the A1 freeway you can also pay with “AmberGO. This works as follows:⁶

  1. Download the AmberOne, SkyCash or Autopay app
  2. Register your vehicle and deposit a credit card
  3. When you pass through a toll station on the A1, your license plate number is automatically checked, the barrier goes up and the toll amount is debited

Similarly, it works on the A4 freeway at the two toll stations Myslowice and Balice:⁷

  1. Download the Autopay, Skycash or IKO app
  2. Enter your vehicle and payment details
  3. Slowly drive up to the toll station barrier, where your license plate will be scanned and the toll will be debited automatically

On the publicly financed parts of the A2 and A4 freeways, electronic payment is also possible via the ViaTOLL system. This will be on 30. September replaced by e-Toll though.⁸

From the 1.12.2021 electronic payment will be mandatory for public highways, manual payment with cash or credit card will then no longer be accepted.⁹

To then be able to drive on the toll roads, you need either an on-board unit (OBU), an external tracking device or – probably the most convenient option for visitors to Poland – the e-Toll PL app.¹⁰

To be able to pay the toll with it, you need to do the following:¹¹

  1. Download the e-TOLL PL APP from the Playstore or App Store
  2. Internet customer account (IKK) on etoll.gov.pl, for which documents such as an identity card and the registration documents are required
  3. Connect the business ID of the app with the IKK
  4. Indicate that the vehicle will be monitored via the e-Toll PL app and whether you want to be charged prepaid or postpaid
  5. Load credit on the app, either as a cash deposit for postpaid or settlement for prepaid
  6. To pay the Poland toll, simply open the app at the beginning of the journey and tap on “End journey” at the end of the journey, the amount will be calculated and deducted automatically

Can I pay the toll in Poland with Euro?

Yes, it is possible to pay the toll in Poland with Euro. Either you can choose to pay cash in EUR, but then you will only get back PLN, or you can choose EUR as currency at the card terminal. However, the exchange rates are set by the toll stations themselves and are usually disadvantageous for you.

Here it is worth paying directly in PLN, preferably with a card that uses the mean exchange rate for currency conversions. The Wise debit card offers this function. You always get the exchange rate as Google would show it and pay only a minimal exchange fee.

Penalty for violating the toll in Poland

In general, it’s almost impossible to avoid tolls in Poland, as you have to pass a toll station to use the toll roads. The only way you can get fined is if you drive a vehicle with a trailer.

If the combination weighs more than 3.5 t, but you do not declare this, a fine of 500 PLN (approx. 110 EUR) can be imposed.¹²

Where do tolls apply in Poland??

The road sections on which tolls for passenger cars apply in Poland are easy to name:

  • The entire A1 freeway from Gdansk to Gorzyczki
  • Parts of the A2 freeway between Świecko and Strykow
  • Parts of the A4 freeway between Katowice and Krakow and Bielany Wrocławskie – Sośnica

Pro tip: How to save on payments in Poland

Although the neighbor Poland, especially in border cities, often accepts the euro for payments, but the exchange rates then include in most cases a surcharge and you pay on it. It is better to pay directly in Polish Złoty PLN.

For this purpose, the Wise multi-currency account is a good choice. You can open this account for free and if necessary you can also apply for a debit card for a one-time fee of 8 EUR. With the account you can hold money in over 50 currencies, including EUR and PLN.

If you exchange credits from one currency to another, the average exchange rate is always used, the fair exchange rate without markup. For the money exchange itself there is only a small fee, which is far below the market average.

The same applies to payments made with the debit card. If you have a credit in the currency in which you pay, it will be consumed first. Otherwise, the money is exchanged from an available balance at the mean exchange rate.

Conclusion

Like other countries, Poland finances its roads through tolls. The toll is paid at toll booths, either in cash, by card, app or other electronic payment system. You can also pay in EUR, but this is often impractical because it is either more expensive or you get PLN as change afterwards.

For convenient and inexpensive payment of bills in Poland, the Wise multi-currency account with the debit card is suitable. This way you always get a fair exchange rate without any markup and pay only minimal fees.

This publication is provided for general informational purposes and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics discussed. There is no claim that the totality of the information displayed can be used as reliable advice. Before any decisions are made or actions taken by the reader based on the information provided in this article, professional advice must be sought from a specialist. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other advice on the part of TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Past results do not guarantee similar future results. No representations, warranties or guarantees, express or implied, are made as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the contents of the publication.

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