A Guide to Toll Roads in Australia

highway-trafficToll roads are commonplace throughout Australia, particularly in the capital cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. When hiring a car in any of these areas, you are responsible for paying the toll. Fees typically vary between states but not paying for them can result in a fee.

Here is an overview of toll roads in Australia and what you can expect if you are travelling here for the first time.

How tolling works

Toll roads are an important part of the infrastructure in major capital cities. Unlike other parts of the world where you can simply pay cash or use a credit card, the toll roads here are all cashless. That means you will need to an electronic tag or user pass.

The amount you pay also depends on the road you are travelling on and your vehicle type. For example, larger vehicles such as trucks can expect to pay more than a regular sedan.

Opening an e-TAG Account

Electronic tags are the easiest way to pay tolls. These are physical devices that attach directly to the windscreen of your vehicle. When you pass a toll point, the tag will beep and the amount will automatically deducted from your account.

The most convenient way to pay for a pass is to open an account with CityLink. Simply choose the option that best suits your travel needs and you will then be prompted to fill out your personal details. If you expect to travel to any cities with toll roads, it’s a good idea to purchase a pass in advance.

If you are only in town for a short trip, you can purchase passes without having to open an account.


If you are renting a vehicle, be sure to speak with the rental company first as they might already have an e-TAG account. The process is much more straightforward in that case as you would simply pay for any tolls when you return the rental.

Travelling on a Toll Road Without a Pass

It happens.

You may have forgotten to purchase a pass before your trip or you suddenly remembered something important in the next town over. If you travel on a toll road without a pass, a Toll Notice will be sent to the registered operator of the vehicle which includes the cost of the toll plus an administration fee. Failure to pay on time will result in a Penalty Notice exceeding $165.00.

Fortunately, you can avoid any extra fees by simply purchasing a pass within 3 days of your trip or by opening an account with 7 days. If you are renting a vehicle, any toll notices will be sent directly to the rental company and you will be charged for the toll plus any fees as a result of not paying for the initial toll.

Have any other questions?

The traffic laws can seem confusing, especially if you are travelling to Australia for the first time. Contact us today and we will be happy to answer your questions or arrange bookings for a car rental.

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