Passenger car drivers are currently paying a fee for using highways and express dual carriageways in the form of electronic stickers lasting various lengths of time. Now the European Commission is proposing to change this scheme and include passenger cars in the toll system. This would mean that drivers would pay for exactly driven kilometres.
However, Slovak Transport Minister Árpád Érsek (Most-Híd) does not like this proposal. The Slovak Transport Ministry believes that the European Commission (EC) should leave it up to member countries on whether to impose fees or a toll on their highways and express dual carriageways, deciding on the method and size of vehicles.
“Making drivers pay a toll would mean a disproportional increase in costs,” the ministry wrote in its remarks to the proposal, as cited by the Sme daily.
With its proposal the EC to unify rules for road tolling. It argues that the toll scheme is more than just stickers because in the case of the former the driver pays an exact amount based on how he or she uses the roads. The EC is proposing a united toll system for trucks within the entire European Union from 2023 at the latest and for passenger cars from 2027 at the latest. The toll to be paid will be derived from the exact amount of kilometres driven.
Slovakia has already launched such a toll system for trucks, paying for kilometres driven as of 2010. Passenger cars are still paying for highways via stickers. Slovakia recently replaced paper stickers with electronic ones. Drivers pay €50 for the annual sticker. The price of the monthly and 10-day sticker is €14 and €10, respectively. These prices will not change for 2018, the Transport Ministry has already decided.
“Today you pay €50 for an annual sticker regardless of whether you drive 10 or 1,000 kilometres,” said Ľubomír Palčák from the Research Institute of Transport, as cited by Sme. “Thus this change would affect those using the highways more often. For them driving on a highway may become more expensive even in tens of percents.”
The Transport Ministry has not calculated what an increase in costs the toll system would bring.