How do Portuguese road tolls affect hire cars?

We have just returned from Portugal and, as usual hired a car from Faro to drive via the A22 to Lagos. Thanks to previous remarks from readers we were aware of the new tolls and the latest update is that the only car hire company at Faro airport with transponders fitted to hire cars is Avis, who make a small charge to set up the system and then you pay with your credit card at the end of the hire. With all other companies you are responsible for paying the tolls at a Post Office within 48 hours of using the toll road, but beware some people who have hired a car for a few days, don't pay the toll and then the next unsuspecting hirer who does pay is also liable for the first tolls. We have always used Avis and we don't intend to change now. The flip side of the tolls is that the A22 is now an empty motorway.

Asked on 14 July 2012 by DC, via email

Answered by Honest John
Thank you for the warning. Portugal has certainly opened itself to ridicule over this. According to The Portugal News of 10 March 2012, some local people were exempted from the A22 tolls for ten trips, but the EC overruled this kind of preferential treatment for “discriminating against fellow Europeans.” The EC did not ban the A22 toll system.
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