How to Calculate Tolls on a Road Trip
Tolls are fees charged for the use of a road. They exist on specific highways across the United States and serve as a form of road pricing that assists in recovering the costs of road construction and upkeep. By only levying the road users, tolls raise money to maintain existing roads and build new ones without raising taxes on the general public.
If you’re planning to take a road trip across the country or simply wish to travel along highways and interstates, chances are you’d have to pay a toll or two. Currently, toll roads exist in all but 15 US states, with Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas topping the list of the most tolled states in the country.
Calculating tolls for a trip before hitting the road helps you prepare adequately for how they will be paid. However, with more regions in the country adopting dynamic tolling, estimating road trip rolls has become more tedious than ever. To help you find an accurate answer to the question, “How much will tolls cost on my trip?" this article explains how to calculate toll costs using a trip toll estimator.
Best Trip Toll Cost Calculator Platforms
If you intend to embark on a long-distance journey, you’re probably wondering, “How to calculate tolls for a trip”. Not to worry! This section enumerates the best calculators to estimate tolls for trips in the US.
- Uproad’s Trip Calculator app
Uproad is a mobile app that helps you estimate toll costs for trips, find the most cost-effective route, and conveniently pay tolls as you go. The app makes toll roads much easier to navigate by eliminating the need for a tag, transponder, or toll agency account. It displays every tolling point along your trip and its price, so you're neither blindsided nor unprepared when you reach them. It also grants you access to real-time information on toll road usage, past trips, discounts, and available credit. By offering multi-state toll road payment coverage under a single account, Uproad makes inter-state trip planning effortless, flexible, and more efficient.
- Online toll calculators
Use calculators to find the cheapest and fastest route to your destination. Most calculators help estimate toll costs for a trip, compute fuel costs, driver charges, and other expenses incurred during a trip. You can also calculate travel expenses for business reports and submit deductible travel expenses on tax returns.
Some calculators estimate toll costs not only for cars, but also trucks (2-axle to 9-axle), electric vehicles, taxis, buses, rideshare, RVs, and motorcycles. The coverage includes the toll roads, bridges, turnpikes, tunnels, and expressways in North America, India, the UK, Australia, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, German, Italy, Peru, Sweden, Chile, Colombia, France, and Argentina.
Integrate online calculators into your business platforms via API and find toll optimal routes for freight, track orders, and accurately bill customers.
- Toll Calculator GPS Navigation
This toll calculator is the only app that displays tolls on Apple and Google routes across the US and Canada. It can calculate tolls for a trip based on several payment methods, including E-ZPass FasTrak, KTag, TollTag, PalPass, Express Toll, EZ-Tag, TxTag, etc. Toll Calculator GPS Navigation is specifically designed for trucks (up to 9-axle). It considers weight, height, axle, payment type, dual tire, and other factors to provide accurate toll estimates. It also supports other vehicles, including cars, buses, RVs, and motorcycles. Once you enter two addresses, the app will compute toll costs for up to three routes so you can choose your preferred option. It also has an Advisory Notice feature that sends crucial warnings about road or tolling conditions, such as “E-ZPass only” or “car-only bridge” among others.
How to Pay Tolls in the United States
After estimating the toll costs for your trip, the next step is to learn how to pay tolls on road trip. The available methods for paying tolls in the US include:
- Transponders: Toll transponder systems like SunPass, E-ZPass, and FasTrak facilitate a process that allows automatic toll payment. The transponder is mounted onto a vehicle and activated by a signal from a roadside toll reader device. Upon activation, the transponder transmits a unique number that registers the vehicle’s presence on the road and automatically deducts the toll from the account associated with it. Transponder systems reduce traffic delays since drivers do not have to stop to pay tolls. They are also cheaper to manage than staffed tool booths, thereby saving the government operational costs.
- Toll-by-plate: In the absence of a transponder, some tolling booths take a photo of a vehicle's license plate as it travels under the tolling equipment. The vehicle's registered owner will then receive a toll enforcement invoice sustained over 30 days, including an administrative charge.
- Cards: Some tolling booths have electronic card readers, allowing drivers to pay tolls using their debit, credit, or prepaid card. However, note that states like Florida and Pennsylvania do not accept card payments for tolls.
- Cash: Although this method is slowly being replaced with other electronic options, you'll still find tolling booths in states like New York, Florida, and San Diego that accept cash payments.
Tolls are an unavoidable transportation expense. Calculating your toll costs with a road trip toll estimator gives you an accurate idea of how much you’d spend on the road, enabling you to prepare appropriately for payment.