Australian Toll Road Etag comparison

Electronic “beeper” or etags are currently used on all major Australian toll roads, including Melbourne’s City Link and Queensland’s Logan and Gateway motorways.

In Sydney the road network includes the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel, Cross City Tunnel, Lane Cove tunnel, M1 Eastern Distributor, M2 Hills Motorway, M4 Western Motorway, and M5 South Western Motorway and the M7 ringroad


The tag is a small device attached to the front windscreen of the vehicle. As the vehicle passes one of the tolling points of the tunnel, the tag will transmit a signal to the tolling equipment. This will acknowledge and deduct the appropriate toll amount from your toll account.

There are several different beep tags you can sign up for around the country and Motorists can use any of them on all Australian toll roads.

The NSW RTA E-tag is probably the best e-tag to get as it has no fees at all (other than the cost of a toll) and no stupid fees for tag inactivity plus you get statements posted every quarter for free.

Another good option from Queensland Motorways is an E-toll tag that seems to be the good value for people living out of town and only doing occasional trips to cities. There is no joining fee, no inactivity fee, minimum initial payment $25 and then top ups when you get down to $15 to be made in multiples of $25.

Two alternatives im aware of are the “Beep Tag” system setup by Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel, and the E-way™ tag powered by the consortium that runs Sydney’s M5 & M4 motorways as well as the Eastern Distributor

115 thoughts on “Australian Toll Road Etag comparison”

  1. This list of current toll road costs was printed in the March/April 2006 NRMA Open Road magazine:

    M1 Eastern Distributor – $4.50 northbound only, cash option

    M2 Hills Motorway – $3.80 North Ryde (both ways) $2.20 Pennant Hills (both ways), cash option

    M4 $2.20 – both ways, cash option

    M5 $3.30 – both ways, cash option

    M7 – $0.51 to 5.93 each way depending on distance travelled, no cash option

    Cross City Tunnel – $3.56 each way or $1.68 (Sir John Young crescent from east) both ways. No cash option. Note: There is a temporary discount price of: $1.78/$0.84 from 06/03/2006 to try and increase tunnel usage

    Harbour Bridge/Harbour tunnel – $3 southbound only, cash option

  2. When will the various tag operators provide a useable solution for motorcycles? We are road users too!

    EDITOR: According to motorcyclists posting at :

    … the powers that be cannot provide a suitable e-tag for motorbikes (and fail to even include motorbikes in road planning) and so will force bike riders to pay an extra $1.60 administration charge for not having an e-tag (when the compulsory e-tag thingy comes into effect), even though there arent any suitable devices that can be used!!…

    … motorbikes dont have any proper e-tags that are weather+vibration resistant (and can be attached properly), we dont have a safe choice…we HAVE to pay the surcharge, PLUS the full toll itself as well…

    … Great, bikes getting screwed over again. The fee is payable EACH time you use the tunnel/tollway … In NSW you still cant apply for an Etag for a motorbike only, i have tried heaps. You have to have a NSW registered car and then put the bike down as a linked vehicle, and the etags arent waterproof…

    … I dont want to have to carry a tag in my pocket because, as previously stated, its dangerous to me in a crash. I cant attach it to my bike as it is a naked sports bike (no fairings). I hate the NSW road syatem and its stupid treatment of its users, this is another prime example of revenue raising at a minority road user groups expense…

    PS The Eway Motorcycle Card can be used by motorcycles on the M4 and M5 in Sydney.

  3. Hey Neerav, Dinesh here. Just happened to come across your blog when I was googling about E-tags (yours was actually the first link). Nice blog. Some useful information there. I thought all the tags were more or less the same, but it’s good to be mindful of the small differences.

  4. BRISBANE motorists will have to pay a toll of more than $4 – twice what they were initially promised – to use what will be Australia’s longest road tunnel when it opens in late 2010 … The cost of the 5km tunnel, which will run from Woolloongabba in the city’s south underneath the Brisbane River and the Fortitude Valley area, has blown out from $910million when it was first proposed three years ago to about $2 billion.

    Excerpt from article “Tunnel toll to double, but rate still cheapest”

  5. On Melbourne’s Citylink toll roads motorbikes are FREE!!! Everyone else has to have an etag or phone up before/after their trip to pay the tolls

    EDITOR: that is the case at the moment, however according to a Citylink press release:

    ‘Motorcyclists have had a free ride on CityLink for five years,’ [Head of Operations at CityLink, Mr Bruce Anderson, said], ‘and they continue to do
    ‘Our upgraded tolling technology currently being installed is primarily to improve video tolling in general.
    ‘If it proves to be effective for motorbikes, we’ll develop a business case and give plenty of notice of any decision.’
    CityLink has always had the right to toll motorbikes at half the price of a car

  6. The problem with video tolling motorcycles is the following:

    Some states issue the same licence plates to both cars and motorcycles;

    Motorcycles in general have only rear license plates (most roads only have front image viewing);

    Currently Citylink dont charge customers because riders complain the tags are dangerous in an accident (shards can break and injure the rider)and they cant differentiate when image viewing even with Rear Camera’s beacuse the picture is of the licence plate area and not the entire vehicle.

    In short if you are a NSW licensed motorcycle – go and get a license registration in another state and they cannot charge you

    EDITOR: Interesting advice Nathan!

  7. Motorists will get a clearer online view of Sydney’s roads this morning [13 Sept 2006] when the Roads and Traffic Authority fires up 24 new webcams on its revamped traffic information website.

    The new 24-camera network replaces the seven previously run by the RTA in key traffic hotspots like the Harbour Bridge, Anzac Bridge, the F3 freeway and the M4 motorway.

    – Sydney Morning Herald “RTA’s online eyes on the city”

  8. Interesting that the RTA is setting up web cams for the public. Most other Road Toll operators have this already (because of traffic management and incident response) but do not show to the public because legal advice has provided it would break current privacy laws.

    Still its a nice gimmick.

  9. If you order your RTA E-Toll tag between 3 September and 28 October, you’ll receive a $30 bonus. That’s 10 free trips through the Harbour Tunnel or over the Harbour Bridge.

    * The $30 toll bonus is only available to new customers who open an RTA E-Toll account between Sunday 3 September and Saturday 28 October 2006.
    * Only the first account opened per customer is eligible for the bonus.
    * You can receive a $30 bonus for each tag in your account up to a maximum of 3 tags.
    * Unused bonuses will not be refunded

    You can order your RTA tag at “myE-Toll”

  10. unsure who to contact regarding my etag as i have had a fine even though the tag sounded as normal. I’ve since used the tag again and it sounded like it worked i have already authorised deductions from account when purchased so cant understand why im getting fines. Any information on how to rectify this problem would be appreciated thank you


    EDITOR: You haven’t mentioned who your etag comapny is (RTA, e-way, Beep Tag, Express Tag etc). Call them for support.

  11. where and how can i get this beeper tag? thanks

    EDITOR: “beeper tag” is a generic term describing the toll road tags issued by various companies eg: NSW RTA, Interlink Roads, Cross City Motorway and Tollaust. What you should do is ask each company for a list of it’s fees and charges and choose the one that best fits your needs

  12. Still confused, but thanks I didn’t know that you could get one from the RTA

    EDITOR: No need to be confused, all the tags do the same job and work on all tolled motorways, it’s just that they have different administration charges

  13. How much will it cost from Old Windsor Road interchange to Potts Point using the M7, M2 and harbour tunnel using an E-tag?

    EDITOR: The only way to find out is to try it and see what charges appear on your etag statement for that day 🙂

  14. To help explain tags that beep currently tags will basically beep once when your account is ok and more depending if your account is low or of interest (lost, stolen, low battery or problem etc.)

    Basically for the tag to beep more than once an action list needs to be loaded at the roadside with your tag details to identify to you these issues. This is done usually every six hours or so. Some of the toll roads dont have capacity to load action lists from other tag suppliers so if you are travelling on the road the tag was issued you are prbably getting a correct beep reading, otherwise you might get incorrect beep advice – usually that your ok (one beep) because the action list from say the M7 is not loaded on the M4 as an example. So you might actually get a toll notice but the beep worked.

    EDITOR: thanks for that info Nathan.

    Now that Transurban has purchased the Sydney Roads group it will control most of the toll roads that ring Sydney as well as toll road between the airport and the Sydney CBD. Hopefully this means that the tag systems will be better integrated across the different Sydney toll roads

  15. my wife and I are travelling around melbourne next month. Where can we purchase a etag for their roads? Can we only we buy etag for the time we are there? Thank you for your help and have a great new year. Kevin Burke.

    EDITOR: What you need to do is call CityLink (the melbourne toll road company) on 13 26 29 and buy a pass for one-day or the number of days you’ll be using their tollroad in Melbourne

  16. Has anyone noticed that using cash, the M5 is $3.80, but using a “Roam” e-TAG you also pay 10% GST on top?

  17. hi,
    i like to buy e-tags for i need to cross city tunnel & harbour bridge tunnel when i need to go to work, what type of e-tags should i pay? thanks


    EDITOR: I’d suggest the RTA e-Toll etag

  18. Are there any tags currently out there that do not charge in advance? (ie. top up your account automatically when it drops below a certain level)
    I have a problem with this practice because the authorities who run these tags are making an absolute mint in interest from unsuspecting tag users accounts.

    Take this example: 1 million tag users each with $50 sitting on their accounts will net the tag authorities $3,000,000 a year in interest! (assuming 6% interest) As you can see, Sydneysiders are being ripped off! In NY where I’m originally from, they have a similar tag system where users are only only charged AFTER they use the tag. That’s the way it should be.

    EDITOR: Thomas, you’re not the only one who’s spotted this scam. Unfortunately all the Etag’s here require an initial deposit and then regular topups.

    In my opinion the The best one is the RTA e-toll tag because unlike the E-way tag it doesn’t charge inactivity fees.

  19. In regards to the tag deposit (scam?) comment there are few business issues you do not consider.

    Firstly consumer (household) accounts are allowed to go into overdraft upto a certain limit before an automatic top up occurs or a suspension of account occurs (after that violation happens on every instance of travel), therefore the tag issuers are effectively funding individuals that go into overdraft. This is a significant cost due to the volume of accounts that are in negative balance and offsets the rough calculation you supplied. As a consumer (household account) you do not have an independent credit check only commercial accounts do.

    If everyone went post paid tags (commercial) then credit checks are necessary and many consumers wouldn’t receive tags because of poor credit. Through this method all consumers can get tags.

    The $50 is seen as a rough guide to ensure consumers that travel frequently are not put into violation even though they are in overdraft. For instance if you travelled for a week and on average spent $20 a day and you had $50 at the start then Monday $30, Tuesday $10, Wednesday $-10, Thursday $-30 (automatic top up). If you worked out your interest calculation based on that for all customers you wouldn’t come close the interest calculation you supplied.

    This ensures that consumers are not put through the violation process on their next day of travel because of delays in processing. So the situation of all accounts sitting with $50 is very rare in fact only small use customers would have this occur and there are many post paid products available which suit better than tags for these customers.

  20. Sorry for spelling before but I checked you New York system and found:

    2. Tag Use
    a) Tag Deposit. Cash or check customers must pay a deposit of $10 for each Tag. The deposit will be refunded when you close your Account and return the Tag in good condition as determined solely by E-ZPass. The Tag deposit is waived for customers authorizing Account replenishment via automatic charge to a credit card.
    b) You may use the Tag on the vehicle(s) specifically listed on your Application.
    c) In accordance with section 5 herein, you must surrender a Tag immediately upon request.
    d) When you use the Tag at any E-ZPass facility, you authorize E-ZPass to debit your Account for charges incurred.
    e) If you use the Tag on E-ZPass facilities other than New York E-ZPass facilities, you are subject to the laws and regulations governing such use.
    f) You must maintain a sufficient balance in your Account, and may not permit Tag use unless a sufficient balance is maintained.

    3. Your Account
    a) You must maintain a prepaid amount in your Account to cover applicable charges to your Account. Applicable charges, if any, will be deducted from your Account each time the Tag is used. E-ZPass will also deduct from your Account applicable administrative fees incurred pursuant to this Agreement.
    b) Your Account may be suspended based upon outstanding violations and/or for failure to pay administrative fees.
    c) No interest will be paid on balances in your Account or on refundable Tag deposits.

    Doesnt seem any different to Australia here – you need a prepaid balance, tag deposit is waived although if you go automatic top up, in fact if you go into overdraft unlike Australia you go into violation. The system used in australia in fact mimics overseas electronic toll road operations but in general more options here with products.

  21. I was in the throes of building a comparison between Tollway, CityLink and Roam e-tag – and then I goggled this site.

    Has anyone done a full comparison of suppliers for occasional use?

    What I’m looking for is an e-tag that can be used in both Sydney and Melbourne maybe 8 to 10 times a year in each city and spread around the possible toll routes.

    EDITOR: whichever one has the lowest fixed charges and no inactivity fees. As far as I know only the RTA etag does that

  22. Sydney’s Lane Cove tunnel has opened late today and will complete the 110-kilometre Sydney orbital network.

    The new Falcon Street Gateway connects Military Road and Falcon Street to the Gore Hill Freeway, avoiding 19 sets of traffic lights along the Pacific Highway.

    Tunnel charges will be $2.55 for cars and $5.09 for heavy vehicles. Tolls on the Falcon Street Gateway will be $1.27 for cars and $2.55 for heavy vehicles. There are no toll booths as tolling is electronic using e-tags

    The first month will be toll free to encourage people to get used to the tunnel and how to enter/exit it

  23. Hi I was wondering what tag would be the best to purchase as we live in Canberra and travel to Sydney occasionally to the Northern Beaches and sometime Western Suburbs. We also have 1 permanent car and we often have a 2nd car but it is not always the same car. Can these tags be changed between cars if we only purchase 1 tag. the 2 cars would not be travelling to Sydney at any 1 time. What would the cost be and how do I purchase this.

  24. It appears that my recently aquired RTA ETAG will get me past BRISBANE via thier toll ways. It this correct?. I really enjoyed reading the inputs for this site. I have added it to my fav sites. Thanks girls & guys.

    Regards Douglas

    EDITOR: Hi Douglas.

    You can use your RTA E-Toll Tag on all toll roads in Australia – the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and Bridge, Cross City Tunnel, Eastern Distributor, the M5, M7, M4 and the M2. You can also use it on the motorways in Brisbane and Melbourne.

  25. I have noticed some of you were trying to compare products for interstate (i.e Victorian and NSW travel). The only cost to you if you buy a Sydney tag and travel in Melbourne is the cost of the travel for the length of road. Interoperability fees are earned by each toll road for instance TollWay tag travels on CityLink in Melbourne and the cots of travel is $5.40 then Citylink get a $5.40 less a fee to Tollway say $40c. All you pay is the normal cost. So the cheapest tag is still going to be the one that offers you the best deal for your home use (i.e based in Sydney).

    As an alternative for travel in Melbourne (where I live) I know CityLink have an Access Account for limited travel (say around 12 times per annum). This adds a video tolling fee ($1.20 I think to your charge (i.e $5.40) and dosent require a tag just a phone call to regaister your car registration number. Saves money by not pying out for a tag.

    EDITOR: thanks for the advice Nathan. I’ve never driven outside of Sydney so I wasn’t aware of that

  26. Why is one forced to have ‘relationship’ and open ‘accounts’ in order to simply pay a toll?

    I consider this practice to be on the nose or a scam,as well as an abuse of privacy, as well as useless for interstate or foreign visitors.

    One asked can I pay the toll with credit card, and the answer was NO. Obviously, very, very wrong.

  27. Interesting article. It seems the state government has found another way to rip off the people by demanding deposits for e tags and earning heaps through interest. I think it likely that this tends to be the case whichever party is in government – Labor or Liberal and so people do not have a real voting choice and continue to be ripped off. My motot cycle does not have a windshield and they are no longer available for purchase. My only current solution then is try to find a second hand windshield at a bike wreckers, mount it and waterproff an e tag – all before 8 July 2007 after which there will be no cash toll booths. All registerred motor vehicle users should be able to use any thoroughfare subject to payment of a toll where required and I consider that a government which creates difficulties for people by introducing a e toll tag only use for the harbour tunnel without first solving problems for use of the tag for all motorists is unfair to the people of this country.

  28. Peter to anwser your question you dont have to have a relationship. You can travel and get video tolled without first registering for an account or for day pass travel. The road operator gets your Vehicle Registration number and address details from the road authrority in your state and you are sent an invoice for the toll.

    All roads have privacy codes which they must obey and are audited regularly on. I think from your comment you really dont like the idea of private toll roads. The fact is you dont have to use it. The original roads are still there that were once used to get you from the same point a to point b and they are free. For instance you can still go the length of the M7 using the original road with 32 traffic lights instead of using the toll road.

    I agree not being able to pay by credit card is unacceptable. Most have numerous channels to pay. Infact most have more than any other companies operating in Australia. Some have 17 different ways to pay. As far as I know all toll road operator accept credit cards as long as you are not at cash collection booth on the road. Which toll road operator wont let you pay by credit card?

  29. Hi i know that this might have been answered already but can some one please supply details of all tags payment options.

  30. Depends on the Road –

    Transurban owned roads have:

    Phone credit card (one off payment);
    Credit Card – Auto top up (register with Toll company);
    SMS top up,
    Shell Auto Touch,
    Customer Service Centre,
    Australia Post,
    Commercial (by arrangement) – Monthly invoice in arrears,
    Late Toll Notice – Fee plus Toll (no prior registartion),
    Daypass on credit card (upto three days after travel);
    Website payment;
    Bill Express;
    Tattersalls agencies;
    Touch kiosks.

  31. Hi, thanks for the heads-up. Your heading of ‘comparison of e-tags’ was the most useful thing that caught my eye. Thanks for the info.

    is there anything we can do to changeover from ‘beep’? my dad’s got a beeptag. wish i’d read your blog earlier!

    EDITOR: Well I guess all you have to do is call Beep and ask to shut your account with them. Make sure there’s no contract or penalty clause first.

  32. As a recent visitor to Sydney from Perth I found the toll system very hard to deal with. Despite only having a few days to spend there I was really keen to visit because I so much enjoyed a brief time there some years ago. That time I was alone and happily used public transport. Ever since, every time I’ve mentioned it to anyone else, it’s been with great enthusiasm. Also Sydney itself is iconic in Australia and I wanted my children to have a taste of it so back we went.

    This time, with partner and children and a side trip planned, we hired a car. Although we weren’t aware of this at the time, within a couple of hours of collecting the car and before we had finished making sense of all the pamphlets we were given, we had already incurred an admin fee for a toll route with no booth, that we inadvertently took. By the next morning, we’d made a bit more sense of it and went to an RTA E-Toll centre to ask to get something we could use to make sure that wherever we drove we wouldn’t have that happen. I thought I would walk in and give someone some money or my credit card details. It took me an hour and a half, with the rest of the family waiting, while I asked someone and was pretty much told I couldn’t be helped; was told by someone outside that I should try again, went back; was told that the girl at the counter didn’t know how to give me what I wanted and called someone else, who couldn’t come straight away, but did come after a while bringing someone else with her because it was new to her to, then they found out that I didn’t need the new way, and left and I filled out a form, paid something like $80, mostly refundable, and got an e-tag. I used this for 2 days before I left Sydney, after spending more time at the airport filling in another form and posting it back to the RTA as I’d been told. Later they refunded us most of the money, but forgot to cancel us off the mailing list until a month, and three letters later, when I rang them. Now, over a month later we have a bill for $11:60 for a $1:60 tollway we used. My partner is telling me we should only pay the $1:60 plus postage. I hope there are no more of letters like this about to come.

    I just read on another site that there is a tollway which can only be paid by e-tag type methods, on the way from the airport!! I think it was the one we were pinged on, though we hadn’t come from there ourselves.

    Now when I talk to other people about Sydney I will warn them that they should make an in depth study of the toll system before they leave home.

    I don’t know if our underlying problem was specific to our hire company (Budget), or how other tourists cope. Maybe it was harder for us because Perth has no tolls. I have never paid one anywhere before.

    I get that Sydney has maybe needs tolls and a system whereby the people using their transport infrastructure help pay for it, tourists included. I was always happy to pay for what I used – but the way a tourist helps pay for it should be easier than this. I really think this is a crazy way to treat tourists!!

    EDITOR: You’re right Kerry, it’s definitely not the way to gain a good reputation with people visiting Sydney

  33. Which is the smallest tag? I have a car with metallicised windscreen and the place where the tag must go is quite prominent. I’ve seen the E-Way tag (huge thing, hangs below a hook), and the other common one I see around is a clamshell type of shape – the RTA tag perhaps? But I also see a few cars with something that looks like a very small square tag. Is there a tag that’s significantly smaller, or am I just seeing a bracket without a tag on it?

    EDITOR: Hi Andrew, I’m guessing that what you’ve seen is an empty white tag bracket. All the tags I’ve seen are reasonably similar in size

  34. Hey All, what a mess and a rip-off these tolling systems are! I wont even start on the PPP’s (Public Private Partnerships) and the fact that we pay taxes for our road systems and then are funnelled onto these tollways… suppose I did start 😉

    Anyhow, I have a quick question for the people in-the-know here. I opened up a Roam e-Pass Account, not long after the M7 was opened and had a similar experience to our Perth visitor, except it was in a Melbourne Post Office (Note: I’m a Sydney-Sider).

    I’m now finding that many of our toll roads are becoming cashless, hence I’m having to research my options for converting to an e-Tag Account. I’m finding that my options are limited due to the fact that I don’t want to use Credit Card nor Direct Debit options… the less info these &*%$ have on me, the better.

    I attempted to create a ‘manual payment’ account via the Roam website, filling in a couple of pages of my particulars, only to get to the last page and find that the ‘initial deposit’ has to made via a Credit Card! Well that defeated my purpose, so I canned the application. Called them directly, only to find out that I once again have to visit a Post Office to create a new e-Tag account, then call Roam back to have my e-Pass balance migrated to the new e-Tag account – Oi Vey!

    So, I did some hunting around to find other suppliers, only to find that most of them (including the RTA and e-Way) only offer Credit Card or Direct Debit accounts… what rubbish is this? Funnelling us onto their roads and not supplying us with more than two intrusive forms of payment methods.

    Then I came across Roam Express, who seem to offer what I’m seeking in a manual payment option. They even have a seemingly simple downloadable application form ( )that just has to be faxed, mailed or dropped into one of their M2 booths. Thinking, ok I have a Roam e-Pass, surely Roam Express are linked and I will be able to have my account balance migrated across to the other. But no!!!

    Here’s the kicker. Both these businesses, Roam (aka – Roam Tolling Pty. Ltd.) and Roam Express (aka – Tollaust Pty Ltd.) are 100% owned by the company Transurban Group. Yet they treat themselves as seperate entities, and as such, I wont be able to get my account balance migrated from one to the other… WTF!!!

    Geez! I did have ‘a quick question’ for you, before I rambled. Oh yeh, I suppose the question is:

    Q. Apart from Roam & Roam Express, are you aware of any other tag issuers that provide manual payment options that DO NOT REQUIRE Credit Card or Direct Debit involvement?

    Looking forward to your response/s 😉

    – TZ!

  35. Smallest tag: c-class tag Transurban entities only offer currently to commercial customers but available soon to household customers.

    TZ each road has Asset (maintenance, cleaning etc) and Retail (manage customers) component.

    M7 Asset owned by Westlink of which Transurban own 47.5% They contract out the retail contract to ROAM which is 100% owned by Transurban.

    M2 Asset owned 100% by Transurban and TollAust who operate the retail contract owned 100% by Transurban.

    I don’t get what you mean by transferring your account. Firstly you could not do this as if it was allowed Transurban could manipulate all customer and tags into the lowest costs entity effectively reducing payments (concession fees) to the State.

    Secondly as I pointed out above Transurban don’t own 100% the customers in the two entities (they are owned by the asset) you mentioned so why would they on a commercial basis alone transfer a customer they 100% own to an entity they own only 47.5% of. Most importantly why would you want to migrate your account (presuming you want to close one and transfer the credits over to the new account). Just close your account get a credit back and open one in m7 if that’s what you want. You don’t need to own more than one tag as they work on all roads.

    Citylink have a customer centre which offers manual payments without direct debit or credit card. No other roads sell tags at their customer centres I believe but may be wrong there (maybe rta do). Thats a long way to travel to pay presuming you live in Sydney. There are a heap of payment options usually but they all need generally these two payment methods. i.e web payments, newsagents, post offices.

    You will have to explain to me why you consider this intrusive. In the end cash booth tolling decrease traffic flow, decrease revenue and increases costs.

    Metallic windscreen dissipates radio waves hence why your microwave will have on the inside front screen a metallic mesh. This make reading the tags slightly more difficult. i.e 3 in 10,000 error rate compared to 1 in 10,000 error rate (example of the top of my head) but if it doesnt work the gantry will video capture your Vehicle licence plate and register a known tag but failure to communicate. We then filter against the customer tag listing and you are charged as normal.

  36. Issue around people finding the road network hard if they are visitors.

    Casual User Pass (“CUP”) for the Sydney network has not yet have a solution although it it being worked on.

    Agreement between each road and then approval from the RTA would be needed. This would take the from of agreement of video tolling (as no tag involved) information or a set rate slice up of the fee earned from the cutomer when travelling.

    There are a number of complications other the those already stated including making all roads electronic tolling, having video imaging at all roads, agreeing on commercial rate, agreement of data file transferring and settlement, ensuring same business rules apply i.e three days to make payment after travel. Significant investment in some of the roads to be able to do this. For instance ex macquarie roads run on generally the smell of an old oil rag and couldnt download the trip data needed to be have this capability. M2 is close to be fully electronic and thats taken at least a few years.

    Totally agree this needs a solution though especially when so many different roads apply and you dont wont to have to get a tag for short term travel.

    EDITOR: Hi Nathan

    I just wanted to say thanks for replying to people’s questions about Toll roads and e-tags several times.

    It’s obvious you have a deep understanding of the industry

    FYI I’m on the lookout for guest article writers who are experts in their field.

    As a guest writer you get to embed a graphic roughly 300px square with link in the article promoting your website or organisation of your choice.

    If you’re interested send me an email.


  37. We have something like this in America…EZ first they were giving people for tickets if they got from one to another TOO fast…but now they don’t do that I think.

  38. Thanx for your response Nath, muchly appreciate it 😉

    In regards to – “I don’t get what you mean by transferring your account”. I was under the impression (from both their websites) that Raom & Roam Express were 100% owned by Transurban. Now that you have pointed out the difference, I can see my mistake. Thinking that both were owned wholly by the same mob (must say, I wasn’t far wrong), I could ‘simply’ open a Roam Express account and have my Roam e-Pass funds transferred across! Remembering the only reason I want to change suppliers is because the latter seems to offer a MANUAL payment method that I was seeking.

    C’mon, they both share the same name prefix – ROAM! They both have Transurban as owner/part owner. Actually, when you view their webpage “About Us” you get the following statements:

    @ – “Roam Tolling Pty Ltd is a Transurban Group company”
    @ – “Roam Express is 100% owned by Transurban”

    Well… you can see why I came to my earlier conclusion.

    In regards to – “You will have to explain to me why you consider this intrusive”. I personally, find it intrusive to be asked to provide either Credit Card or Direct Debit bank account details in order to open an account with them when there are perfectly good alternate options to make payents via. Payments that DO NOT REQUIRE these intusive options of holding your Credit Card or Bank details on file. Roam say that they offer manual payment options but, as stated in my previous post, a Credit Card is initially required to open an account with them, either online or over the phone… then you can make manual payments!! What type of convoluted customer service is this?

    With identity theft on the rise and the headaches that such a theft causes, the less access these and other companies have to this sort of personal info, the better! Besides, where is our freedom of choice here… “yes you can make manual payments – but only after you give us your credit card details”. Bahh-hum-bug!

    – TZ!

  39. We have something like this in America…EZ first they were giving people for tickets if they got from one to another TOO fast…but now they don’t do that I think.

  40. Just found that Qld Motorways has an E-toll tag that seems to be the best value for people living out of town and only doing occasional trips to cities:

    There is no joining fee, minimum initial payment $25 and then top ups when you get down to $15 to be made in multiples of $25. They have a simple on-line application system. And of course you can use it in any toll way around the country.

    So beats all the others hands down for value and simplicity.

    EDITOR: thank you for that tip HJB 🙂

    I’ve updated my article to say the offer you’ve found is roughly as good as the NSW RTA e-toll tag.

  41. If I go out of state and hire a car can I take my RTA e-tag with me? Or does it have to be with the registered car?

    EDITOR: To the best of my knowledge you can use your etag on any car whether you own it or if its a hire car

  42. Has anyone heard anything about the new legislation that etags will be used to monitor speeding on NSW motorways?

    Apparently there will be start and finish locations on the motorways that will take a photo of your vehicle, your etag will also be recorded as it passes, then when you pass the so called finish location your vehicle will be photgraphed again and you etag recorded again. The time taken to travel between the two points will be calculated and if you have travelled the distance in less time that the calculated speed limit you will automatically be issued with a speeding fine?

    Refer clause 8e of the terms and conditions
    The only way to object would be to prove your etag is faulty.

    EDITOR: Clause 8e is pretty vague: We conduct, or obtain from third parties, video and/or camera surveillance of toll roads for traffic management or toll violation enforcement purposes which may include Personal Information about you, Additional Tag Users and other individuals;

    Westlink M7 has issued a press release saying what you’ve heard is a hoax:

    Westlink M7 has dismissed a hoax email currently circulating that claims that the motorway has implemented a secret speed fine based on the time a vehicle enters and exits the motorway.

    Rachel Johnson, General Manager of Westlink M7, said that the email was a hoax and that no secret speed enforcement system operates on the Westlink M7.

    Westlink supports safe driving and urges all motorists to comply with posted speed limits.

    “However, the secret speed fine system detailed in the hoax email does not exist,” Ms Johnson said.

    “Speed limits are enforced on the Westlink M7 through the normal policing measures that operate on all NSW roads.”

    “Westlink meets regularly with the NSW Highway Patrol.”

    Westlink has installed signs that remind motorists that speed cameras are used in NSW.

    These are the standard speed camera signs seen on roads across the state and do not mean that any new or secret speed system operates on the Westlink M7.

  43. I use the RTA eTag, mostly for work and rely on statements on order to claim back the toll costs. I’ve requested these as monthly statements and could also use the online tools to pre-empt what will arrive in the statement in order to claim from work a bit earlier….

    The problem is
    – The scans take up to 2 weeks to be seen online (they quote a few days, but I often wait more than a week!)
    – The ability to view scans online is removed at the start of each month while invoicing occurs – in other words, you cannot see ANY scans until the invoice is generated
    – The invoice does not arrive for at least 2 weeks after the new month.
    – Given the above points, there is a period of upto 4 weeks when I’ve got no visibiltiy whatsoever of a scan (ie it takes 2 weeks to turn up online, but at that time online is taken down for 2 weeks while the invoice is made. It’s very hard to request expenses for a period this far back!

    Has anyone else encountered these issues with claiming tolls at their work? Are any of the other toll tag providers any more reliable?

  44. Can anyone supply a commercial account to register bulk vehicles in all states with one account??? having to hold different accounts in each state is time consuming as well as added expense.

  45. Re: the Comment by nic – May 21, 2008

    Yes you can have one commerical account with one billing address over multiple depot locations with CityLink. This is how they handle such clients as TOLL / Linfox etc. So they have CityLink tags even though they travel in say QLD. You can get multiple billing addresses if you want as well. Being a commerical customer has very good flexibility.

    EDITOR: Thanks for the tip Nathan, have emailed it to the original commenter

  46. Wish I had read this first.
    Just arrived to NSW from abroad, I put etag into google, found and ordered my etag through them. I didnt know that there are more etags to choose from in this country, bugger!
    Do you think I can cancel it before they send me the etag? I paid $40 for deposit plus $50 for the first top up.

  47. We purchased a car with an old etag bracket on the windscreen. It needs to be removed so that we can attach a new one. How do I remove it? I have tried a wet cloth and various products like citrus oil and it hasn’t budged.

  48. I dont understand why hire cars in sydney arent fitted (all, or optionally) with e-tags (of whatever brand), and then the fees charged back to the hirer? (ok, a bit more paperwork on the part of the hiring company, but it would be worth it).

    We have an international branch, and one particular rep travels in australia about 2 out of every 4 weeks, hiring a car each time. After a few trips where his options were to pay exorbitant “no tag” fees, or to pre-register his unplanned travels on each of the separately operated toll roads, we then tried getting him an RTA e-tag, but were required to enter a licence plate number in order to do so, and it had to be a numberplate that wasnt currently “attached” to another tag. Being the only person in the company without an e-tag, we used mine – which i’ve now been able to go online to remove from the etag so i can get my own now that nearly every damn road is cashless, and they’re even bringing the bridge down to 2 cash lanes this weekend. not like travelling on the harbour bridge isnt confusing enough.

    I dont mind paying a toll if i use the road, but i do object to having to pay $80 to use the bridge or tunnel less than once a month. (and mostly where i travel to the tunnel is by far the most appropriate method). grrr.

  49. As a potential tourist I am confused. We have been in Sydney many times in the past (we are from NZ) but now we are worried that driving from Sydney to Melbourne will cost us exorbitant money simply because we don’t understand the system. The car hire company are happy to rent us a chip thingy for $25.00 per day and I assume we pay tolls on top of this! This may be good for the Australian economy but plays havoc with our holiday budget. We need a simple option to travel through Sydney to Melbourne and return without having concerns about extra unexpected cost. Surely tourists were considered when this system was introduced. We don’t mind paying tolls for the use of the roads, but we, like all tourists, just need to know the best and easily understood option.
    John B

  50. Regardless of the payment scams, to expect visitors to Sydney (or even Sydneysiders) to purchase a different pass or a tag based on who owns which road is an absolute joke! I don’t have a clue which toll I used. So we come to the administration scam. After a recent visit to Sydney I was concentrating on where I was going and was a bit tardy with my pencil and paper when it came to noting down which road/number etc. I now have wait for the notice to reach me in the mail with the attached admin fee. Vistors to Sydney each year multiplied by toll payment confusion equals admin fee which equals total F*%king rip off. Shame Sydney, shame.

  51. We have been in Sydney many times in the past (we are from NZ) but now we are worried that driving from Sydney to Melbourne will cost us exorbitant money simply because we don’t understand the system. The car hire company are happy to rent us a chip thingy for $25.00 per day and I assume we pay tolls on top of this!

  52. Roam totally sux – I have been on hold for their customer service department for 20 minutes. Why are all companies who run their customer service via phone so suck?
    Bdw Im still on hold, and still frustrated and annoyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. I am a tourist and will travel around Australia, sometimes on motorcycle and sometimes by car. Can you advice me to call ‘a’ number so that I can just pay up through my credit card?
    Please reply through my email too. Thanx.

  54. Buyers beware – the NSW RTAetag does have charges other than the various tolls – you must pay a non refundable security deposit. I’m sure I heard in the last couple of weeks that there was a tag coming for which there will be no scam-artist “security deposit” and no minimum balance required – has anyone else heard of this and if so where do we get one?


  55. In trying to fill out the rebate forms for the M4&M5, I am having trouble figuring out the pre GST amount for the M5. Help please, and is there a site which lists the pre GST charges? Why is this information not available on every e-tag and tollway site, including the RTA?


  56. Although the owner of this blog recommends the RTA as the best option, beware that they have an exorbitant security deposit (which you can never get back until you move out of Australia or die since it is impossible to cross the Harbour Bridge without a tag) or a monthly administration fee. (You get to choose). In addition, their terms and conditions contain clauses like this:

    >> We may charge you an administration fee each time the balance of your E-Toll Account falls to or below $0.00.

    So, just using up your balance (your money!) will cause them to charge you a fee which puts you into debt. Ah, yeah…

    Finally, no where on their web site do they list their fees and charges, and their telephone staff don’t know what they are either (I phoned them), such as the fee in the clause above.

    From what I’ve seen so far, the Qld Motorways is much more upfront about their fees, has a nice easy to use site and lower fees.

  57. I live in Sydney and do occasional interstate travel. If I sign up with the Queensland, would I be able to claim M4/M5 cashback?

  58. Hey Theo,

    I was just reading through all of these comments and yours reminded me of the cashback scheme (which I had forgotten all about). The RTA website for the cashback scheme – – states that it is only the RTA pass, or one of the following 3 providers that participate in the cashback scheme – Express Tag (aka Roam Express), E-Way Tag and Roam E-TAG.

    So it doesn’t seem that you get it with the Queensland

    How much do you get through the cashback sceme anyways?

  59. I have real civil liberty concerns in regards to the Harbour Bridge.
    Nathan, whom appears to me to be an agent of the tollway system, has stated (26/05/2007) that if we are concerned about giving access to our account details we can exercise our rights and not use the system by using another road. This does not apply to the bridge/tunnel system for the vast majority of people unless they make a huge arc around the harbour – they know this is impractical for many people. In effect, this places a person in the effective situation of having to surrendering to their payment system demands without a real” option being allowed to retain privacy. At least having a single pay booth would overcome this.
    I am interested to know whether this could be argued as a violation of rights to privacy within civil rights in law.
    In brief discussions with “legals” in my family and the State Ombudsman it seems a case could be mounted as the bridge/tunnel toll network is unlike the other tollway systems as it effectivly exercises a monopoly in access.
    A final point.
    I can see why tollway systems charge tolls for systems they have built at great cost but the bridge was built and payed for by use over 60+ years, they did not build it. Any claim they need the vast sums collected for labour/material maintenance is inflated rubbish.
    Since the largest labour bill on the bridge was for 24 hour collection and they have now been fired saving the company money – should not the toll be reduced, if not what is the justification given to government.

  60. Hi all,
    I have just had a typo which tripped up my registering for a new tag with

    I tapped on something like ‘another vehicle’, using the tab button and it stubbornly insisted that I wanted to register more than one car from then on. So, I have stalled in my etag purchase now. This site is for Victoria’s Citylink tag, and seems to have no deposit for the tag. Just the prepayment for the tolls. Good-oh.

    I may go back and try the site once more. But I am interested that the NSW RTA etag is still held up as the best by Neerav. This page comes up fast on my google search.
    A reader in the Syd Morn Herald, the daily paper of the city in which I live, cited Breeze/Citylink as a good option. I wonder if anyone here knows?

  61. @ Noel (Comment #62)

    Hear, hear! I agree with your comments whole heartedly! Although I’m unable to offer any legal advice, I would be more than willing to join any petition that may fight a reversal of this most recent funnelling exercise.

    As you can tell, I’m not much of a fan – refer to my earlier comments made over 12 months ago (Comment #37 & #41 in response to Nath’s response to mine #38).

    Not only have we lost another liberty, we now have to consider the time of our trip across the Harbour Bridge with the introduction of “Time of day tolling”, as per the RTA Website:


    Time of day tolling will come into effect on the Sydney Harbour crossings on Tuesday, 27 January 2009.

    The move aims to help ease traffic congestion on the busy corridor and to encourage motorists to travel outside peak hours where possible.

    Time of day tolling charges will be as follows:

    Time of day Cost

    From 6:30am – 9:30am $4
    From 9:30am – 4pm $3
    From 4pm – 7pm $4
    From 7pm – 6:30am $2.50

    Weekends and Public Holidays
    Time of day Cost

    From 8am – 8pm $3
    From 8pm – 8am $2.50

    Motorists can consider one of three options during time of day tolling – adjusting the time of their trip, paying the appropriate toll or changing their route.

    The introduction of time of day tolling will be the first time the toll has been increased on the Harbour Bridge since 2002 but only motorists travelling from 6.30am to 9.30am and from 4pm to 7pm on weekdays will face an increased toll.

    Time of day tolling is expected to raise around $12 million a year which will be reinvested into buying and running 300 new buses.


    Just lovely!

    – TZ!

  62. Noel,

    I obviously work for toll road operator and have tried to help some people out with their queries without my employers consent.

    So I am an agent for toll road operator and I will tell you the RTA is a joke. No where else in the world would you have tolls on a paid up asset and be the government agency for toll road governance yet compete against other toll roads through tag distribution.

    Good luck challenging on civil rights but I can point you in the right direction (Privacy!):

    The national privacy principles apply to private companies hence not the RTA but you would have to check what requirements they have under the privacy act as I havent looked.

    National Privacy Principles

    8. Anonymity
    Wherever it is lawful and practicable, individuals must have the option of not identifying themselves when entering transactions with an organisation.

    CityLink has the option to have anonymious accounts you might want to check the RTA if they do. It is a requirement under the national privacy principles for private companies to have this requirement.

    I have a tag comparison spreadsheet which was what this site was originally about which I did in my spare time, its a little old (early last year) so maybe someone could work on it. (Neerav do you want to contact me and I will pass it on to you and the readers) But it would show that depending on what your requirements are as a customer (i.e some customers want good invoicing so they claim cash back etc and cost and quality of information can vary) RTA is not the best tag. Detailed monthly statements for RTA are the most expensive, vehicle matching fee is $10 compared to about $1.00 for everyone else, i.e if your tag dosent work you get extra fee other operators have this around $1, highest additioanl tag holders fee, cant tag lease which is a cheap way of obtaining a tag. So my point is consider what you need rather than something that appears the cheapest.

  63. Nath… just read your comment above…
    I am in the process of trying to find an etag and I’ve already crossed the RTA tag off my list… the deposit is ridiculous!

    would you be willing to share the list? I am a student (so I’m poor!!) and my travel may be the M4 a couple times a week if I’m running late and can’t manage to avoid the tolls. The QLD Motorway tag ( has appealed to me based on their australia-wide usage. It appears that even though I reside in NSW I can still register for and get this tag. I was also told by a rep on the phone today that there are no additional fees on top of the toll itself to use the tag outside of QLD… is that really the best option? I really just want a tag that minimizes fees… I didn’t even know about that $10 fee from the RTA if your balance drops below $0… even more reason to avoid them!

    Great site by the way, thanks Neerav!


  64. Oops! I just read about the cashback scheme… how cool is that? A pain to sort out yes, but it takes the burn off a little bit.

    Soooooo that eliminate the option (i mistakenly called it in my previous post)

    Then the question boils down to… Roam, Roam express and Eway, or the dreaded RTA…

    any advise??

  65. Hi,

    I am from the UK and was driving in/around NSW over the New Year. The first time I went onto a motorway and passed the tolling signs I stopped at the nearest tourist info office. They got me a temporary payment account set up for the duration of my hire car using my credit card. Anyway, I crossed several zones and once home got a nice credit card statement with my charges. Forward on 6 weeks and I have now received a demand for $14.40 for a payment that I’d missed. I’ve emailed roam saying that I had an account up and running when they said I made this trip and as a consequence they’ve agreed to drop the $10 admin fee. I now owe $4.40, the price of a beer!! Anyway, they said that I can’t pay this over the internet as the toll still says that I owe $14.40, and they want me to email my credit card details…like I’m going to do that! I could send a UK cheque but then it wouldn’t be valid, I could send a postal order but that would be more than what I owe. I could also phone but then that would also cost me more money. I know that it’s only $4.40 but it’s the principle as it was their systems at fault. Does anyone know if I’d get any hassles from immigration the next time I visit Australia should I chose to just not pay? After all, its not as if they will set Interpol onto me or try to extradite me now is it?



  66. Just want to draw attention to one area of Toll Tag has not been addressed.
    Could someone please clarify the Haven’t Paid Toll situation.
    I understand that a driver must contact the Toll Road Operator within 24 hours to get a Tag.
    However what happens on weekends. Calls are not answered. I got an E-toll online.
    Will the RTA match the Rego or do we still need to contact the Toll Road Operator ( Cross City Tunnel)?

  67. Hi,

    Good article, very helpful. Now that the gateway bridge at Brisbane is becoming entirely e-tag I needed to find out which supplier was best for me. I only visit Brisbane once every couple of months for family so I didn’t want one that was going to be expensive to set-up or has expiring credit -> e-toll for QLD Motorways looks good.

    Just wanted to let you in on something I found on the E-toll site’s FAQs ( It appears that you can choose not to auto-top up (and have $40 credit just sitting there) and top up manually. This just means that you would have to pay attention to the actual amount left on your account before you choose to travel – a much better option for a very infrequent traveller like me!

  68. Visitors to Sydney – how to pay

    Hi. I will be upfront and let you know I work for a tollway provider. Will let you figure out which one ;-). I’ve just looked at this for the first time and would like to provide information on several points. Will be long so I’ll post different answers… bear with me.
    There are several electronic passes (NOT TAGS) that work on all Sydney toll roads. They are the best bet for a once off trip to Sydney. They work via video tolling – that is a photo of your number plate is taken as you go under the gantry and your number plate is matched up to your account (pass or tag) to charge the toll. As this takes an element of human processing you pay an extra 75c per trip. There is also a set up fee for a pass – generally around $1.50 over the net. You can set up a pass before you travel of up to 48 hours after your first trip on a toll road.

  69. What happens if you don’t pay the toll

    If you don’t organise to pay the toll up to 48 hours after the first trip on a toll road you get a toll notice. This is the toll plus a $10 administration fee. If you don’t pay the first toll notice you’ll get a second one and the administration fee will increase to $20 – and from there a fine.
    You can also get a toll notice if you have an account but the tag didn’t work – perhaps it wasn’t installed properly. Then you provide your account details on the toll notice payment slip and the toll only is charged to your account (as long as it isn’t suspended and has money in it – see your provider for details). It doesn’t have to be this way!
    All you have to do is give your provider the number plates of any vehicles you use and want to cover with your account. Then even if the tag doesn’t work the toll will be automatically charged to your account.

  70. Different accounts

    The advice has been very good – it’s best to look at all options and make a choice that suits you. This depends on whether you are ok with paying a refundable tag deposit, how much you want to pre-pay, how quickly you want to see your trips by logging into your tolling providers website, whether you claim for cashback (yes, must be NSW provider) etc.
    The Roam ( and Roam Express ( (yes, two different and separate companies) both:
    • Let you see your trips and invoices by logging into their website
    • Provide trip details to easily claim Cashback
    • Don’t charge fees for account inactivity
    • Offer fee free e-TAG account options
    • Charge a refundable tag deposit
    • Have different pre-paid top up options – choose the one that suits your spend
    • Use the new small e-TAG that looks better in your car

  71. See how much your trip will cost
    The RTA has provided an excellent resource, It provides information on every toll road and tolling provider in NSW and includes maps and trip calculator tools. A good one for visitors to Sydney to check out.

  72. Help please,
    We have visited several times before and this time will be visiting a few cities and hiring cars at different times.
    We will not have a fixed address so any guidance on how to get a tag with a temporary account?
    RCA sites etc. aren’t very helpful.


  73. I recently did 2 trips through Sydney, I registered for camera identification both times prior and only got billed for one trip! With the new Brisbane tunnels opening next year it’s time to get a tag I guess. Thanks.

  74. Hi fellow tag users!

    Just found an e-tag bracket that uses a suction cap instead of permanent adhesive tape to mount your e-tag to your windscreen.
    I take my tag down to Melbourne and use it in hire cars, and having the removable bracket avoids toll notices getting sent to the hire car company if my tag doesn’t go off. Plus you don’t have to spoil the look of your car by having a permanent bracket stuck to your windscreen.
    Website is if anyone is interested 🙂

  75. Hello

    is it possible to pay a QLD or VIC toll road notice with my NSW RTA etag?
    Ive tried but doesnt look like it. Its possible to pay NSW toll notice with a QLD tag tho.


  76. We travel from SA to mostly Melbourne, but also Sydney and Brisbane. We recently had such a hectic time in Melbourne, and isp failure, so didn’t pay in time – would be great not to have to worry about it. I suppose it’s wishful thinking that there is one system which covers all toll roads?

  77. I have access to a family RTA etag and want to use it in a Sydney hire car instead of having to pay the car hire company’s excessive fees for using theirs. Easy enough to remove their device and stick mine on with blue-tack. But theirs has to still be in the car, at least initially. How do I make sure I don’t get charged twice? Is it enough to put their zapper in the glove box or does it need to be wrapped in aluminum foil, or put in a tin box/lead coffin or what?

  78. Tolls in Aussie are a rip.
    What is our car rego. for – thought that was supposed to cover costs of roading?

    In NZ the only toll road (when I was last there, a squillion years ago) was over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. When the bridge was paid for, the tolls were removed (free passage from thereonin). Can’t see that EVER happening here in Oz.

  79. Since governments put the building of our roads in the hands of private companies and these companies have to make BIG profits road tolls will continue to rise. It has nothing to do with on going maintenance. It is just like electricity, I was told from someone in the know that the more companies that come on the market the more the profits have to be shared so the price go up. My family agrees that once a road is payed for then the only toll collected should be for maintenance. As for the Harbour Bridge the toll should not be used for buying buses.

  80. Hi, as you can clearly see I am confused big time about all these toll charges & ETags as I am a small town girl & currently reside in Central Qld where we don’t have any toll roads. I however did have to travel to Brisbane last month & hire a car that used these etag things & am so confused about how to go about finding one that best suits me as I am currently in the process of moving from here down to Central N.S.W & know that I am most likely going to be charged for these tolls & will need an easy pay option.

    I also understand some etags are state by state others are australia wide. Can anyone give me any advice on the best option for me as I have 2 cars that my husband & I will be using to move south.

    I don’t know the roads down there so am thinking a australia wide one would be my best option atm. I don’t know how frequently we will travel across tolls or anything yet as it has been 18 yrs since i last lived in central N.S.W. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanx.

  81. I used to live in Sydney and now live in SE Qld. Unless you are planning to travel to the cities alot I would suggest do as I do and pay as you go. You just go on line and pay for your journey within a couple of days. What other people tell me is that the etoll tags start at about $30 and they never let you get down under $15 before topping up. I hope this helps you. Sue.

  82. Hi everyone. Nice BLOG!
    Just a bit of advice for ppl out there who like me move one or more E-Tags between vehicles or rental vehicles ect. If you pass a toll and suspect that it did not beep or as in my case the unit has triggered and then a picture was taken anyway you will get hit. GoVia reserves the right to charge you a full toll and then $7.20 “admin fee” if their system takes a picture(this is added on each month if you dispute and don’t pay)
    Make sure you register every vehicle rego, even if it never see’s a toll road.
    It is complete BS. I am not against toll roads, Irun trucks and company vehicles all the time however I do hate stupid companies who cannot offord empathy to their customers.

  83. Hi – very nice blog. I’m new to Sydney and i’ve never bought an E-tag before. It seems like the RTA one is the one that i’m going for. What I want to know is if I cross over into ACT or Q’land will the Etag that i buy in NSW still be valid?

    thanks for the info
    Bishan 🙂

  84. Have just completed a study of all Australian toll operators, while looking for a 30 day credit account option. Unfortunately they ALL require a pre-paid balance to be topped up monthly. What a F#@king scam !!! They are stealing millions in interest which should be accruing to OUR accounts. As a business operator, I should be afforded the same 30 day credit which the rest of Australian business lives by. Just another typical Australian Rip-Off.

    Let Gillard have her way and we will be paying Mining Tax, Carbon Tax, Flood Tax, Sh*tting Tax and breathing the F#@king Air Tax !!! There is just way too much of this crap happening. Give us a break 🙁

    Sydney Australia

  85. I hate where I’ve stuck my bracket (the tape kind). Any advice on removing it? It feels like it’s been put on with superglue.

  86. Hi,

    I was just wondering whether i will receive a fine or notice, as my RTA etag did not beep. Because it is a Saturday i was unable to call them so i am just a little confused.


  87. I have worked as customer service rep for a toll road in Australia for the past 2 and a half years. It still amazes me every day that so many people who has registered e-TAG accounts remain SO ridiculously ignorant about how their accounts work and the tolling system in general.

    Many people think it’s a scam. No. As a Senior Customer Service Rep, I know that the way these companies run are completely lawful. They are there to MAKE MONEY OFF YOU. All businesses are there to create a profit. I am sick and tired of hearing customers harp on about how they’re getting ripped off for their tolls. You’re NOT getting ripped off, you’re paying your tolls. If you think you’re spending too much money on the tolls and your account keeps replenishing with top ups all the time, it’s pretty simple! DON’T USE THE TOLL ROADS. You still have the option to use free roads to get where you’re going. Oh but GUESS WHAT? No one wants to do that either because that will end up costing you more than the toll in petrol! Oh well, just give up then! Stay home? Go for a walk? Move closer to your workplace so you don’t have to use the toll roads? You might pay higher rent or mortgage but you’d probably be spending that much on toll costs anyway, right?

    My favourite complaint is when they leave a sold vehicle on their account and think that taking the tag out will mean that the trips won’t be charged to their account. Ever heard of VEHICLE MATCHING? Well, you should have. It’s stated how it works in your customer service agreement that was sent to you on delivery of your e-TAG. So you didn’t call up to remove the registration number from your account when you sold it? Oh, you’re angry? You want to be reimbursed for the $400 worth of trips the new owner of your old car has racked up on your account because you couldn’t be bothered knowing how to take responsibility for an account you’ve opened?

    Sure, let’s dispute that for you. Oh. Your refund was denied? What a pity. Maybe try taking responsibility for your inaction instead of yelling at someone who doesn’t make enough money to actually care that you’re yelling down the phone.

    That felt good. Haha.

  88. Hi everyone,
    Be very carefull about using citylink toll ways in melbourne.I reveal my experience for your benefit. when you have an account with city link they apply late toll charges and may send you infringement notice after many months.

    Civic complince send me a fine for using city link ,saying my car has not registered to use citylink. The fine was recieved after 7 month of the offence date.When i check my records i found that the car was registered and city link statesment show e-tag account was charged for the trip.

    When i call them and request why i have been issued the fine they said i have issued a fine for late payments.But, i always had direct debit agreement on payment through my bank account and could not believe this unresponsible explanation from arrogant city link customer service.

    Lucky, i had all the records i need to deal with this matter and i will take action against this.
    So, please check your records and keep your records safe since city link melbourne trying to grab your money if you are not aware.Always , check your trips since they may replicate since you can hardly prove it.

    I think we all have to work hard against the injustice towards the public from the organisations authorised by governments to provide service.

    Thank you

  89. the toll roads used to display the charges, now they dont, i was wondering about the legality of charging people for a service, when they do not display the cost? if i had known the price i would have taken an alternative route.

  90. If you need to remove anything stuck on with double sided tape, one method is to cut the tape with fishing line/cord using a sawing motion. Just place the line over the tape and work down keeping a steady downward pressure. May need to replace line part way through if a largish piece of tape. Needs to be about 20lb at least and fixing handles to each end helps. The remanents can then be rolled off with thumb/eculyptus oil etc

  91. Hi there

    I’ve been fighting the system on this for years, as the toll situation in this country is a RORT. We could previously always pay at the point of purchase, and now they are setting us up to fail or be ripped off and pay more – unless you do your homework and find a company that doesn’t charge you for an etag. IE – all monies paid go to paying tolls only. Then the only real inconvenience is agreeing to have an RFID device in your car that COULD be used to track your movements. (Fight for your rights to real, not pretend, freedom, folks!)

    With NO CONTRACT – by law, toll-ways CANNOT charge you an administration fee if you don’t have a e-tag. It is NOT LEGAL for them to do this. This is because they didn’t advertise this spurious charge before you used the road, they advertised the toll charge ONLY. Without an agreed and signed contract with you, the answer to them is simply – ‘NO CONTRACT’. Ie. I never agreed to pay these extra, ‘Administration’ charges (which are always MORE than the cost of the toll – what a rip-off) Legalising this would be tantamount to allowing a company to put their hand in your pocket for an extra charge you never agreed to. Simple. Straight. Ask any relevant lawyer if you doubt this.

    This was finally confirmed by a senior manager in the RTA after having to insist several times on talking with the boss, and, yes, my admin fees were waived.

    In answer to a previous question, if they are not CLEARLY DISPLAYING the toll amount before you use that toll road, they would not legally be able to charge you for that trip.

    WHY would we PAY ($45 or $80 for a tag) to be INVOICED..?? AND potentially tracked wherever we drive..?

    NO OTHER company can put their hand in your pocket WITHOUT permission, OR CHARGE YOU to send you an invoice (which is what they are doing by charging you for an invoicing system such as a ETAG)

    The article above needs updating. Etags from the RTA ARE NOT free. They charge you all over the place to have them.

    The best value one to buy is FLOWTOLL see below..

    This is the only way to get a ‘free’ Etag, where there is NO MINIMUM SPEND and all money ($25 to open) goes into toll costs ONLY.

    It’s only worth even doing this to save you the hassle of having to sift through layers of bureacracy to get to someone who actually understands the LAW.

    There it is. I really hope this helps.


  92. thanks for that info, noripoffsthanks……i have been in correspondance ( well hardly correspondance if one doesnt gt any replies) with govia . my argument is that if one doesnt have a computer or a credit card then u cant pay the tolls. the only info they give u on qld toll roads is a sign with the website and a big long expensive number to ring…..which u cant write down when u are driving. they also do not display the fees. is that legal to charge a customer a fee when u dont know what the fee is?
    i did give them my credit card once to pay some tolls and they charged me 20 times!!! on the same toll on the same day!! i went through it once… i still have not had any replies to my query, just a wopping great fine form sper.

    court fees added…though i dont recall going to court to defend my case.
    they make a killing, most people get fines and just pay without question.

  93. Well this has been a wellcome insight to tolls but my hassel is when did we give the power of permission to the so called rta and others in any state that they could remove manuel tolls and force us to pay by any other mean and incur additional charges what happened to the voice of the people dont we have a say anymore or have we become just puppets how many people have been caught not only in QLD but other states aswell buy not paying on time or buy just plain forgetting about it and recieve the fine.
    But the other is that if we dont have an etag etc we have to do it thier way not that we have had a choice because we were not consulted we the people so we have lost once again to the asspects of government and private enterprize so that they can make more money and not have to deal with employees, so whats wrong with pay stations that are automatic opps sorry that is not an option just pay or else so that my gripe when are we going to stand up for our rights!!!

  94. hear hear graham, so true. i am stanidng up for mine and although it is ending up costing me in money and precious time i will not give up, finally got a reply and a statuory declaration to sign, i may well win ..will keep u posted.

  95. Here’s a good one. I hired a car a few months ago for work in Brisbane for two days. I got a valid permit to cover the two days and entered the license plate details correctly at govia. Got a shock when I received two toll notices from Qld Motorways – it turns out the car was a NSW registered vehicle not Qld as I entered on the website (understandable since I hired the car in Brisbane).

    I rang them up to correct the error, & they told me I still owe them for the admin charge – I said no way, I filled out the form in good faith, with the full intention of paying the tolls and made an honest mistake —- they then reduced half the admin charges, but I still find unacceptable.

    For a start the license plate numbers in AU are unique, as I understand ( eg in Qld it’s num-num-num let-let-let) so the state of reg doesn’t matter anyway; secondly why should I pay for the fact their system isn’t robust enough to go through a simple iterative process (ie check other states). I reckon it’s revenue raising of the worst kind and pretty disgraceful. They’ve rejected my complaint so I’m off to the Ombudsman….

  96. At the end of the day unfortunately these kinds of ‘set-up to fail’ models are rife throughout our controlled and corrupt monetary system, which spoils and entices a few while enslaving and starving many. It is obvious that like so many ‘hidden’ taxes, this is planned revenue raising. Banks, Corporations, Government departments, telephony and internet companies and other service providers can and do get away with backing us into corners, or simply illegally over-charging us for things, and forcing us then to, in our own time, and our own expense, have to choose to fight for justice and reason, or just let it go because we are too damned busy.

    All these administrative, often inefficient hoops; emails, applications, difficult phone calls – work for us to do which to progress our case becomes ever-more demanding, time consuming and costly – whilst at the same time making us feel like criminals. They often complicate and slow the process, demanding posted letters, bank statements, personal information, complicated forms, legal forms – and then still often rejecting our claims several times over many months before they finally admit they made a ‘mistake’ and propose to refund the illegal charge without having to pay for any of our effort.

    Naturally, most of us simply don’t have the time to chase these things, we say, ‘it’s not worth it, don’t complain, pick your battles, we have it real good.’ And in many ways we are right, and yet, we know that, ‘real good’ is when we all live with trust, love and compassion, having stood up to and filtered out evil and corruption that we encounter – towards a world of good energy, freedom and love. it is happening and the people of the world are waking up and starting to make different choices to protect themselves and their own sovereignty. There are millions of groups of people and organisations ‘picking their battles’ to help better the world, its people and its environment. Every little bit we can do enhances our freedoms and energies.

    An unfair parking fine in the UK last year has meant I have just had to go through 30 emails and posted letters over eight months with numerous people rejecting my straight-forward case, before the guy at the top finally admits they had made ‘a mistake’ and offers me about 4 pounds an hour in compensation, plus the 110 pounds they had taken off my credit card 8 months ago. After the first hour of work on this claim, and their threatening to double my fine (which they did), I told them that all of my time to sort this case out would have to be paid for, for at least my minimum consultancy rate. I’ve logged my time, and have the email stream, and now the case and my invoice are with the Government funded Ombudsmen. If they don’t insist that this council pays my invoice, which they won’t, then I would be bound to take the council to court at my own expense and in my own time, and still be very unlikely to be paid back.

    And so, you see, we need to keep track of the taxes and fees that are imposed on us, and make sure we keep them straight, and get our money’s worth. We straighten out corruption by collaborating and sharing information, being active in our communities, giving and sharing, and keeping insisting that fairness and justice is done everywhere and in every case, always loving being here to improve ourselves and each other towards a better world. I might send this to Sovereign Man aka Simon Black. Check him out. Best of Luck and Love. Peace.

  97. well written well said. i got off the toll charges…i was fortunate to get a nice lady, or maybe she just sensed that if pushed i would explode, after finding the well hidden hard to get to customer services office. still have to sort out a 12 yr old parking ticket which has accumulated to 300 dollars and they suspended my husbands licence because of it!!!! grrrrrrrrr

  98. Take it from someone who used to work for one of the above mentioned companies, on the phone… for many years.

    ALWAYS CHECK EVERY LAST DETAIL you give them. For visitor passes, etags, ANY ACCOUNT YOU OPEN. Vehicle registration, state of registration, your address, your contact details, UPDATE them when you move, make sure your payment details are up to date, make sure you CHANGE your vehicle details WHEN YOU SELL YOUR CAR (photographs CAN match trips to your account, you don’t need a tag to travel on the road if the license plate is listed on an active account and your sold vehicle MIGHT make many, many, many trips on the toll roads that YOU will be totally liable for). Make sure EVERYTHING is accurate, ALL THE TIME. If you don’t… they will screw you for every trip you didn’t make becuase you forgot to take that hire car off your account 6 months ago… They will NOT back down on the toll notices you received because you got the license plate state of rego wrong when you signed up for a visitor pass.

    And let me tell you, the struggling, 20 year old kid on the other end of the line that you’re screaming at, is getting paid NOTHING to listen to you throw a fit at the other end. They DON’T care about your problem, because they’ve heard the SAME thing ALL day long. After they’ve had 50 or so people a day scream at them for all the above reasons, culminating from what are essentially YOUR OWN MISTAKES, day in, day out, they tend to shut off empathy.

    So, take it from someone who has heard it all before. Check your account online. Check your statements. MONITOR your account. Make the appropriate changes. Be more organised. It’s YOUR money, after all.

  99. with respect to the post from the ex customer service guy.

    so here’s the thing, you can be as diligent as you like, update your details, have the tag on you all the time, it doesnt help. i have an EWAY tag linked to a motorbike rego. I have been getting toll notices for the last 6 months, every trip that is not on a tollway owned by the issuer of my tag. WHY you may ask, it is because they refuse to data match the rego and supply billing when requested by the other motorway providers. WHY would they do that? well don’t know really, but suspect it is so they get to keep my funds for longer (gaining interest and all that) and make me go through the hassle of contacting the other companies, manually providing details wasting my time, all so they can keep my money for several weeks longer (and remember they are doing this to lots of money and getting lots of interest) and deprive the other toll companies of their payments for that same several weeks. So Mr Ex customer service guy it is not necessarily the consumers not being diligent it is often the companies being so frustrating, so unhelpful and making it so hard that gets people upset.

  100. Hi, I sold my old vehicle in July 2011 and transferred my ROAM ETag onto my new vehicle but mistakenly forgot to notify ROAM of the disposal of my old vehicle. I have since been billed nearly $400 in tolls through number plate recognition for my old vehicle. I have contacted ROAM for a refund but they don’t want to know about it. Private companies are all about PROFIT not about doing what is right.

    I have also contacted the Roads and Maritime Services for assistance but so far they have not been able to do anything due to BULLSH*T privacy laws. Be aware that your ETAG is not automatically linked to your registration and that the RMS do not notify them when you sell a vehicle. They will not release any details about the new owners due to their Beauracratic Bullsh*t. BEWARE and always check your monthly Toll statements thoroughly.

    I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else (I’m sure it has as the lady at the RMS said it happened to her). I would like to hear from anyone else this has happened too. Maybe we could start a class action against the RMS and the private tolling companies (who couldn’t care less once they’ve got your money). The ETAG should be linked to your registration. The politicians need to move to close this loophole in the name of a FAIR Australia.

  101. Lachlan, of course they didn’t want to know about it! If you read your terms and conditions, you are responsible for removing the license plate number off the account by contacting Roam. What’s RIGHT? It’s plain and simple, you did the WRONG thing and are now paying for it, so Roam are bad? It’s not unfair, you’re just an idiot consumer who requires instant gratification, who doesn’t want to know what they’re signing up for or KNOW their responsibility as a customer!

    I had people like you on the phone, screaming at me for 3 years and I have no empathy for people who don’t look after their accounts or money, nor care to learn how it works. You’re just ignorant! That’s all it is, ignorance.

    So, as I said before, Roam fulfilled their part of the deal you signed up for. They covered a vehicle YOU put on your account and didn’t tell them you were no longer using. The fact that you didn’t do that last part is totally your costly mistake and not theirs. You would need to find te new owner and get the toll money from them, in my opinion.

    It feels great to finally say what I really think!

    Also, the person above Lachlan, yes I’m aware that LPN matching for motorbikes is not perfect due to different companies not matching them to your toll account. This is actually something I have empathy for, but even so, you don’t pay the toll notice in full with the admin fee, which really accounts for your time being wasted as the issue. Hopefully the toll roads will come up with a better agreement/method in the future.

  102. You know the system is flawed – why else would you have endured 3 years of abuse?
    It is also more than likely the reason you are an ex-toll worker – at least now you can lie straight in bed at night!

  103. Toll roads should be abolished full stop. We pay enough taxes. How many more roads will be toll roads in the next 10 to 20 years – think about it? We will all be paying a fortune! TAKE ACTION NOW to stop all our roads being privatised. The Toll company’s will keep RAPING the motorists of NSW.

  104. To post 103. I hear you mate. Telco’s, toll company’s and local councils and many others are destroying this great country. If you think Australia is a fair and just society think again! We all need to stick it up these organisations and their corporate greed. Your right – they make you jump through hoops to get any information, waste your time and charge you for the privelidge of doing so. They do this as most people do not have the time or resources to follow through so they just give up. They hide in back rooms behind emails and gatekeepers who they pay a pittance to. They use bully tactics to line their own pockets and don’t give a shit about what is fair and just. There behaiour is totally unacceptable. We all need to rally together and put an end
    to this for the future generations of Australians.

  105. Must buy some shares in toll road companies! However, as only an occasional visitor to toll-road-land (I live in toll free WA) I find it a complete hassle having to frig around either avoiding toll roads or going through the rip-off process of somehow paying for them.

  106. My husband and I have also been unfortunate enough to sell a vehicle and NOT REALISED that the licence number was listed on our account till the new owner had racked up over $600 worth of fees over 12 months! Considering the money is automatically deducted from our account and no paper bill issued (because they want to charge $2.50 per invoice) – it does make it hard for people to keep track. Sometimes I noticed the bill seemed high but as we run a business with three cars – one of which is a ute that is used to pick up supplies – I just assumed it was due to more frequent pickups from Sydney and in my busy-ness I obviously didn’t have time to investigage it further. These toll companies are obviously loving this.

    I don’t think it is fair to lay the blame entirely on the customer under these circumstances. Considering we have RTA E-Tags on our cars it never occurred to us that the car we sold without an E-tag would still be covered on our account. Its not like you get an updated contract or booklet every year like your insurances detailing what vehicles are covered! Why doesnt the RTA – sorry, Roads and Maritime Services – include a reminder either on their notice of disposal/sale (both written or online) that you may need to update your number plate with your toll service provider?

    Also, why can’t the toll provider send you a letter when it notices excess fees on your account? I know our bank will contact us to clarify unusual spending on our account!

  107. Big surprise today by Go-via toll system in Brisbane.
    My second car which only crosses the tool roads about once a month which I keep up to make sure there is no fines. I just got a message
    “Your pre-paid go via account balance is low.
    To avoid account suspension and additional fees, we recommend you make an immediate top-up of $54.28 at
    This will help you retain a positive balance on your account”
    It was in a positive amount and had nothing owing. I rang them up and they said it was to make sure that I was in the positive. I asked why are you threatening to suspend my account even though there was enough for 3 trips on it. They still said it was below there new guidelines which I knew nothing about and they would also fine me even though it was not in the red. And the who time they were trying to get me to set up the auto top up. Which I feel like they were trying to force me to do. It actually felt like blackmail to me. It should only get serious if there is money owing. Is there a government body who monitors these toll providers? I mean to be threatened about payments even though nothing was owing.
    Also had a problem a few months back as well got a new car and took the toll beeper from the old one. And because I got one digit wrong I coped a fine and a warning. As they do not excuse customer errors, which do happen. So I had to pay my tool twice a few times. From what I can see it is a very un customer friendly system.
    Thank you Queensland Government.

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