Last year we had a little excursion to French France (The French Connection) down to La Tournerie near Montignac – a wonderful site run by Phil & Wendy. This was our first trip with the caravan to foreign shores. While we were at La Tournerie, Chris & Fran who we met up with told us about the Liber-t system for the French Toll roads. A wonderful little device fitted to your windscreen that allows you to use the ‘t’ lane at the toll booths and automatically collects payment.
If you are like us, it means no messing about with a cup holder full of Euro coins and the passenger tasked with trying to reach the slot to insert the required amount when the width of the caravan means it’s just slightly too far to reach, but too close to open the door.
So, in preparation for our return trip to France I went on to the website that Chris had given me. Sanef Tolling UK Ltd is a UK company based in Harrogate wholly owned by Sanef France for the purpose of supplying these little devices to UK drivers. Liber-t is the French national télépéage scheme for light vehicles operated by the members of ASFA, the association of French motorway operators on behalf of the French government. The scheme operates across the entire autoroute network and a Liber-t tag can even be used to pay for parking at some car parks.
To use the service all you need to do is register online and they will send you a small electronic transponder (or tag) that you attach to your windscreen just behind the rear-view mirror. As you approach the barriers, a device by the barrier will read your tag, securely extract your unique reference and then automatically open the barrier without you having to stop. You will receive an invoice the following month for your tolls and then around 15 days later they automatically collect the payment in £ (GBP) from your bank account by direct debit.
The web site is easy to use and registering for the device is simple. A deposit is required for the device and a UK bank account. It took me less than 5 minutes to complete the process. Once you have finished, they will not send a tag out untill you have authenticated your account, which is really easy… they just send you an email with a link in it. You click on the link to authenticate the account and shortly after you receive a second email thanking you for authenticating your account. And that is all there is to it. A few days later your tag will arrive and it’s just a simple matter of fixing it to the windscreen near your mirror. There are instructions with the tag on where and how to fix it, but it’s all on the web site anyway.
There is a really good FAQ page on the website that explains the different classes (nearly all car-caravan combinations will be class 2), charges etc and a short presentation on which lanes to use… basically any with a ‘T’ logo…. except the height restricted ones of course. In most cases you can just slow down to less than 30Kmh through the lane and you don’t even have to stop!
So if you want to make your next trip to France even easier click on the link and get tagged up!
Now… just have to plan where we are going to go in France…. so many places, so many croissants, so little time!
See you there!
PS… Sanef UK are currently negotiating to allow the use of the tag on the Dartford Crossing, M6 Toll, Severn Crossing and in Spain… keep an eye on their website for more news!