How to Calculate Tolls on a Road Trip
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 charging fees to 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 across the city, chances are you'd have to pay a toll or two. Currently, toll roads exist in all but 15 states, with Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas topping the list of the most toll plazas 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 toll rates that increase during peak traffic times, 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?" it can be more convenient and accurate to calculate toll costs using a trip toll estimator.
Best Trip Toll Calculator Platforms
If you intend to embark on a long-distance journey, you're probably needing to think of many things that a trip planner can help with: gas mileage, where the cheapest gas stations are so you can manage fuel costs, route planners, and your trip cost breakdown.
Want to know how to calculate tolls for a trip? It can be complicated since toll rates vary by road, toll provider, and even time of day. Here are the best calculators to estimate tolls for trips in the US. Trip calculations will provide a variety of route options and answer the question "How many tolls on my trip?"
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 toll cost calculator function on the app makes toll roads much easier to navigate by eliminating the need for toll tags, transponders, or toll agency accounts. 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 interstate 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 route based on rates posted by local tolling authorities, 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, including calculating the fastest 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 much do tolls cost?
How much you pay for toll roads depends on several things.
Toll road you travel on: Almost every toll road has a different type of pricing system. Certain geographic areas charge higher rates.
Vehicle type: Many rolling authorities charge more for commercial vehicles with trailers or multiple axles. Passenger cars and trucks pay another rate and sometimes, motorcycles pay another rate.
Time of day: In some metropolitan areas, you can pay to drive in a toll-based express lane to bypass traffic. These types of express lanes are often more expensive during peak traffic times but may be worth it to drivers who want to save time with the fastest route.
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 a road trip. The available methods for paying tolls in the US vary by tolling authority and highways and include both cashless and cash options.
Toll payment methods:
Transponders: Toll transponder systems like SunPass, E-ZPass, and FasTrak facilitate a process that allows automatic toll payment by using electronic tolls. Transponders or toll passes/toll tags are 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 by the toll booth 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. Using an electronic toll is also cheaper to manage than staffed tool booths, thereby saving government operational costs. These toll passes/toll tags are issued by toll providers and often require individual accounts with each tolling authority. Some toll discounts are given to those with accounts already set up.
Toll-by-plate: In the absence of a transponder, some toll plazas 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. Often, the cost of tolls when drivers pay by plate is higher.
Cards: Some toll facilities 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 stations in states like New York, Florida, Texas, and San Diego that accept cash customers.
Apps: A convenient way to manage toll payments is to use an app to manage your toll options. The Uproad app allows customers to upload vehicle details and enter a payment method. It works with tolling providers to pay tolls as you go on any route. It's also a good option if you plan to travel to several states or don't have time to wait to receive a toll passes/toll tags in the mail.
It's important to note that rates may be different if you're in a passenger car vehicles - car, truck or motorcycle - compared to a commercial vehicle or vehicles with trailers. Make sure you use a toll calculator that allows you to customize additional details about your vehicle type to get the most accurate price estimate.
Tolls are a key 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 and avoid fines from unpaid tolls.