In Spain, several toll roads, especially in Catalonia, have become free. The end of the toll, after half a century, is the result of the expiry of concessions that Spanish governments had given to operators.
Most important change for many tourists who take the car is the end of the toll on the AP7. This is the south motorway between the French border at La Junquera and Salou more than 80 kilometres south of Barcelona. With a passenger car, a single French border – Salou cost around 25 euros. Holidaymakers with a caravan or motorhome quickly pay about 55 euros.
In the same region, the AP2, the coastal highway south of Barcelona to Zaragoza, is now free of charge. The Catalan motorway along the Costa Brava, the C32, is no longer a toll road. There too, the vacationer now saves a nice amount. This gives the Catalonia region 550 kilometres of free motorway. Those who drive further south will pay tolls again.
There have been discussions in Spain and the Spanish regions on the financing and maintenance of motorways for a long time, so it is still unclear how to fund the highways now. According to Spanish media, one kilometer of motorway costs an average of 60,000 euros each year.
In Catalonia, the central government is responsible for the former toll roads AP2 and AP7 and the Catalan government for the C32, among others. Both Madrid and Barcelona are looking for a new way to get motorists to pay for the use of the motorways and finance them. In Catalonia, for example, we think about a vignette as it has been introduced in many other European countries.
Spain has relatively few toll roads. Of the 12,000 kilometres of highway of the Spanish state, there are 2000 kilometres of toll roads. The regions have 5200 kilometres of motorway, of which there are 500 kilometres of toll roads. Spain must have a plan from the EU to fund motorways by 2024.