Irish Motorists left behind €816,000 at motorway toll booths

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Irish toll booths made €816,000 in leftover change

Excess toll windfall for Irish motorways

Irish motorists left behind almost a million euro last year at toll booths across the country. Mainly, drivers did not collect their change. The old adage certainly rings true, “Every Penny Counts” with €816,000 in overpayments.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland revealed that “excess tolls” collected during 2020 came to a staggering €429,000, compared to the figure of unpaid tolls which was €392,000.

Last year, from January to October €387,000 was collected in overpaid tolls compared to just €251,000 lost to motorists evading charges.

The details show that nine of Ireland’s busiest roads collected in excess of €173,000 in tolls, even when factoring in the cost of toll evasion.

The most lucrative road in the country, as you can imagine for excess tolls, was the M1 motorway between Dublin to Dundalk. This section of motorway made €143,000 in uncollected change at their toll gates between January 2020 and October 2021.

The second most lucrative route was at the M7/M8 toll plazas in Co Laois where a combined €120,000 was paid out by motorists in excess tolls. Coming in third was the M3 toll in Co Meath where €112,000 was taken in overpaid tolls. Next on the list was the M4 between Kilcock and Kinnegad at €104,000, the M8 in Cork at €89,000, the Limerick Tunnel at €96,000, the Waterford Bypass at €86,000, and the Dublin Port Tunnel at €36,000.

Top nine overpaid toll roads:

M1 Dublin to Dundalk - €143,000

M7/M8 Co Laois - €120,000 (combined)

M3 Co Meath - €112,000

M4 Kilcock to Kinnegad  - €104,000

N18 Limerick Tunnel - €96,000

M8 Cork  - €89,000

N25 Waterford Bypass -  €86,000

M1 Dublin Port Tunnel -  €36,000

In comparison to the overpaid tolls, unpaid tolls on the top nine roads totalled €643,000 but TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) did not provide a breakdown of which roads were most affected. They said this would compromise their ability to target those drivers that repeatedly evade their toll charges.

The M50, which is Irelands busiest motorway, did not take in any excess tolls as there is a barrier-free system in cooperation there. In 2020, the revenue collected on the M50 came to €123.78m with €3.35m in unpaid charges and evasion.From January to October 2021 a total of €111.68m was collected on the M50 with unpaid taxes coming in at €3.43m.

Figures provided for the M1 between Dublin and Belfast saw €26.1m taken in revenue between January and October 2021. Following is the breakdown of payment methods.

  • Cash - 20.2% 
  • Debit or Credit card - 11.1%
  • Electronic tags etc. - 68.6%

Other routes were more dependent on cash payments however, with 36.2pc of all payments on the Limerick Tunnel made through cash. Cash payments of 30% on the M8 motorway. On the M50, almost 69% of all tolls last year were through an electronic toll card or tag, while 16.5% were processed via a video registration system. Another 14.6% of motorists using the M50 were unregistered, meaning the motorists had to later log on and make payment for their journey.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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