Chile, Colombia and Mexico have the most expensive toll prices in the region

When comparing the cost of tolls between the countries of the region and the main nations around the world, it is clear that there is no common denominator or 'golden rule' in the pricing of this item. 

Mexico has one of the most expensive toll prices in the region. Photo: Bobby Hidy via Flickr
Mexico has one of the most expensive toll prices in the region. Photo: Bobby Hidy via Flickr

However, LR carried out a survey to find out which are the most expensive toll booths in the region and how this collection system works in each of the territories. The analysis was carried out after the 3.8% increase in the 48 tolls administered by the Instituto Nacional de Vías (Invías) in Colombia was known.

After consulting the rates at the Ministries of Transport or the equivalent of that entity in Mexico and in each of the main countries of South America, it was concluded that the most expensive tolls in the region are in Chile, (US$6.07) Colombia (US$4.97) and Mexico (US$4.49). The latter fare corresponds to the average total cost of one of the most popular routes in that country, Mexico City - Acapulco.

Despite the fact that Chile leads the ranking with the most expensive toll in the region for automobiles, this country has toll booths that charge from US$0.77. According to Diario Financiero, "unlike previous years, when, for example, rates for 2019 rose by an average of 6.4 percent, the 2020 rates were adjusted according to the accumulated inflation of one year, that is, 2.8 percent".

It should be noted that this neighboring country, like Colombia and other nations such as Brazil, Argentina, and Peru have most of their roads in concession, so many of the adjustments are not determined by the national government based on inflation, but rather take into account operating costs, investments made or financial models that were adopted to carry out the construction, among others.

Colombia ranked second on the list for the cost of the Pipiral toll (US$4.97). Although this is the most expensive toll booth so far in the national territory, it is expected that in the remainder of the month or at the beginning of the next one all road concessions will define, together with the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI), what the rates will be in 2020.

Returning to the analysis, the third territory with the most expensive tolls is Mexico. This country was located there because of the average cost of each station. According to one calculation, the values of the toll booths per journey range from US$4 to US$5.

Even though Mexico is the third country on the list, travelers will be able to find free toll booths during their trips. For example, on the route between Mexico City and Acapulco, there are eight booths, two of which are free when planning a trip on the website of the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Based on the above, citizens or visitors who wish to make a trip without paying or paying the minimum amount of toll booths may do so, provided that they plan the trip in advance and choose routes where there are zero peso tolls or where there are none.

Closing out the top five countries in the region with the most expensive toll booths are Peru (US$4.32) and Uruguay (US$2.04), the latter counting on the recent government increase in December 2019. The lowest rate is in Venezuela.

Given this scenario, José Stalin Rojas, director of the Logistics and Mobility Observatory of the National University, explained that the reason Colombia stands out on this list is that "some sections are built by public-private partnerships, so the costs that are set serve to raise resources for road maintenance. However, the high cost paid by drivers is not reflected in the service provided on the roads. In addition, there are frequent tolls in areas.

Toll costs in some of the world's major countries

According to international media, in Spain, toll rates vary according to the month, the day or the time zone. In addition, the regulatory bodies clarified that in almost a third of the 39 payment methods, the rates vary mostly by time. This charge will be affected by the influx of users. There are periods (at night) when motorcyclists do not pay. In the case of England, more precisely in London, drivers will encounter the so-called 'urban toll', which applies to those who enter and park within the central area of the English capital during working hours.

By Mexicanist