Things to look out for at the end of the year when buying a vignette
At this time of the year, motorways are significantly busier so it is worth reviewing what you need to keep in mind when purchasing your vignettes to avoid incurring excess charges. The most important information can be summarized in two sentences: E-vignettes must be paid for before you enter the toll road section (it’s a practical move to do it before you begin your trip). Prior to making your payment, always check that the registration number, the country code, the category and the validity period of the vignette are correct.
1. Typical user errors
The most important objective and responsibility of the National Toll Services Plc. is to promote law-abiding behaviour. Inspection statistics and experience reveal some typical misconceptions and user errors to look out for in order to avoid excess charges. The most typical mistakes made by customers arise from subsequent purchase, wrong toll category or wrong registration number.
1.1. Subsequent purchase
Under the relevant legislation, e-vignettes must always be purchased in advance, prior to entering the toll road section. Therefore, purchasing the e-vignette even only a few minutes after the vehicle enters the toll road section qualifies as unauthorized road use, and may result in excess charge payment.
Control cameras and mobile group roadside inspections can immediately determine based on the registration number if a vehicle passing by has a valid e-vignette.
This means it may be too late to purchase the vignette on the motorway at the next fuel station. You must take care of it beforehand. The same goes for crossing the border on a toll road when you are entering Hungary on your way home.
1.2. Toll category D2-D1 error
The toll categories changed in January 2015. Many people still purchase road use authorisation for category D1 for motor vehicles which have been reclassified as D2.
A passenger car for up to 7 persons (including the driver) and its trailers remain in category D1 (i.e. no additional e-vignette is required for trailers towed by passenger cars).
All cars not included in the D1 toll category (vehicles for more than 7 persons or those with a permissible gross weight over 3.5 t) and cargo vehicles with a maximum permissible gross weight of 3.5 tons, and campers belong to the D2 category.
Vehicle categories can be identified by the official marks in the registration certificate (fields J and S.1) and further details are included in the table on the www.toll-charge.hu website.
If you entered the wrong category, you can have it corrected personally at the customer service offices of NTPS by paying the HUF 1470 service fee and the difference in the toll paid or reimbursed.
The registration number registered for the newly issued authorization for the appropriate toll category shall be identical with the original registration number, as certified by the registration certificate of the vehicle.
Correcting the toll category after imposing the excess charge shall not exempt the obligor from payment of the excess charge imposed previously.
1.3. Wrong registration number
The Toll Decree clearly states that the motorist is responsible for verifying the accuracy of the data entered prior to paying for the e-vignette. In the case of purchases in person, motorists confirm the correctness of the data by signing the receipt and online purchases are confirmed by the reply text message.
The regulation allows motorists to correct the registration number after the purchase up to 3 characters. This requires the motorist to visit one of the customer service offices of NTPS, present the registration certificate of the motor vehicle as well as the control slip and receipt notification certifying the purchase of the authorization, and pay the service fee of HUF 1470 per character as stipulated by law.
In this case, the authorization shall be valid for the modified registration number for the full length of the term and the excess charge previously levied shall no longer apply.
1.4 Toll category “U”
Category D2 and B2 (buses) vehicles are required to pay separately for the road use of their trailers on toll roads. In other words, if, for example, the bus is towing a trailer, the operator must purchase both a B2 and a U category road use authorization.
Category U authorizations must be always purchased for the registration number of the trailer.
No separate e-vignette is required for trailers towed by passenger cards (D1).
If the trailer is towed by a 9-person minibus, a category D2 e-vignette must be purchased for the registration number of the minibus and a category U e-vignette for that of the trailer.
2. Further useful information
2.1. Toll road network
Most parts of the Hungarian speedway network are toll roads, and so motorway or expressway signs, almost without exception, also indicate the start of toll sections.
The experience gathered during inspection procedures reveal that many are still not aware of toll road sections that have been categorized as such for about the last year and a half. Based on the data collected by permanent control gates installed at the toll section of the M0 expressway (between junction 31 of the M0-M5 (Gyál) and junction 42 of the M0-M4 (Main Road 4 junction) and between junction 69 of the M0-M3 and junction 75 of the M0 and main road 2), it was revealed that about 20% of all excess charge cases have arisen on these sections.
Motorists are advised to visit www.toll-charge.hu to learn more about the toll road network with national and county maps.
Pursuant to the Decree effective from January 1 2016, only the following road sections can be used toll free:
- The entire length of the M31 motorway
- the section between the Csorna-East junction of the M85 expressway and the M85-M86 diverging junction.
- the Pécs south-west loop section of the M60 motorway between roads no. 58 and 5826,
- the M86 expressway,
- the M8 motorway,
- the M9 expressway on its section between Main Road 6 and Main Road 51,
- the Kaposvár loop section of M9 expressway (sign of Main Road 61),
- the M4 expressway (sign of Main Road 4) on the section between Vecsés and the road leading to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (between km sections 19+550 and 20+518);
- the following sections of the M0 expressway:
o the section between Main Road 1 and the M5 motorway;
o the section between the M4 expressway (Main Road 4) and the M3;
o Megyeri Bridge (the section between Main Road 11 and Main Road 2).
In addition to the above, the remaining sections of M0, and, in addition to the access and exit sections of the expressways within the beltway, the previously toll-free city bypass roads and expressways are also toll roads.
In most cases, the scope of validity of the regional vignette extends outside the relevant county, up to the first junction past the county border. Consult the annex to the Toll Decree also available at www.toll-charge.hu about the territorial validity of the regional vignettes according to junction numbers and road section numbers.
Those travelling between the south side of Lake Balaton and Budapest need regional vignettes for Pest, Fejér and Somogy counties.
Those travelling between the north side of Lake Balaton and Budapest, considering the summer diversions, only need regional vignettes for Pest and Fejér counties to travel at any time to the “Hungarian sea” on toll roads.
Similarly to national annual vignettes, regional vignettes are valid from the date of purchase until January 31 of the following year.
Road use authorization is enforced by registration numbers. Those purchasing traditional vignettes in person confirm the correctness of the data (type of the e-vignette, registration number, toll category, start and end of the validity period) by signing the receipt, while SMS purchases are confirmed by the reply text message. It is therefore important that you verify the correctness of this information prior to making the purchase. The motorist purchasing the e-vignette is responsible for verifying the correctness of the data.
In addition to the usual permanent control gates and mobile toll control vehicles on toll roads, mobile group inspections and pull-over type inspections are also to be expected towards end of the year. The purpose of these campaigns is to screen for violators.
During the mobile, on-site pull-over control, violators can pay the levied penalty on-site in cash or by bank card.
Due to this control method already proven in HU-GO, vehicles passing through a checkpoint without a valid road use authorization are immediately identified.
2.3. Services available at customer service offices
NTPS operates 18 customer service offices nationwide offering comprehensive toll payment services to motorists.
In addition to Hungarian vignettes and HU-GO e-toll, these customer service offices sell road use authorizations valid in Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Austria. No worries if you entered the wrong registration number upon purchase because you can correct up to 3 characters at the NTPS offices for a service fee. If you have a valid e-vignette but you sell the vehicle during the validity period or the vehicle is totaled in a traffic accident, you may also transfer the existing road use authorization to another vehicle of the same toll category.
Additional services offered our customer service offices include: changing the registration number, handling cases of theft/write-off, modifying incorrect toll categories/categories, correcting incorrect country codes, handling cases of double purchase, buy-back.
For road safety purposes, always purchase your e-vignette prior to your trip or when the vehicle is parked and never while driving.
2.4. E-vignette purchase options
You can purchase e-vignettes through:
- ematrica.nemzetiutdij.hu by bank card;
- our 18 Customer Service Offices across Hungary in cash or by bank card (more info: http://toll-charge.hu/customer_services/index/eng);
- our points of sale in Rajka and Hegyeshalom in cash or by bank card (more info: https://www.hu-go.hu/articles/article/ntps-points-of-sale#menu);
- the National Mobile Payment System via SMS, the mobile app, the Web or mobile Web (more info: https://www.nemzetimobilfizetes.hu/articles/view/e-matrica-utmutato-ugyfeleink-reszere);
- our resellers (a map showing resellers).