Using toll roads
You need an electronic tag or pass to use Sydney toll roads. Find out how toll roads work, plus what to do when driving a rental vehicle.
How do I use a toll road?
All toll roads in Sydney are cashless. Exits to toll roads have green signs near them with 'TOLL' or 'TOLL E e' on a yellow background.
Tags and passes enable you to pay to use toll roads.
A tag is an electronic device that you attach to your vehicle and is detected by toll points on these roads.
A pass is a temporary payment arrangement – usually the best option if you don't often use toll roads.
If you don't already have a tag attached to your vehicle, you can set up a temporary electronic pass before you use the toll road - or up to 3 days afterwards.
Do motorcycle riders pay tolls?
Motorcycle riders must also pay tolls when using these roads. Riders can use tags but it's better to set up a rider toll account, where your number plate is detected by toll points. This kind of account comes with no additional costs.
You can pay reduced tolls for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel, if you set up a quarterly account with E-Toll. See Tags and passes for more.
What if I use a toll road without a tag or pass?
If you have used a toll road without a tag or pass, a toll notice will be sent to the registered operator of the vehicle. The toll notice will request payment of the toll plus an administration fee.
See Toll notices to find out more information.
Rental cars and toll roads
Most rental car companies include an electronic tag when you hire a vehicle. Ask your rental company if they will provide you with one.
If the rental vehicle has a tag fitted, you can't use your own tag or pass. You may be charged twice for a trip if you bring your own tag with you: once through your tag and once through the rental company.
If you do need to carry your own tag with you, you can ask the rental company for a shield bag to store it. The shield bag will stop the tag from being sensed by a toll point when you drive through it.
Rental cars without tags
If your rental company doesn't provide you with an electronic tag, you can pay for an electronic pass yourself.
You will need to know:
- the number plate of the rental vehicle, and
- the state in which it is registered.
Make sure that the pass you organise is only valid for the days you will use the vehicle.
If you use a toll road while in a rental vehicle but do not pay the toll, the toll road operator will issue a toll notice to the rental company.
The rental company will redirect the toll notice to you. But they will charge at least $30 for each toll notice they receive, on top of the toll and administration fee in the notice. So it is cheaper to make sure you have an arrangement to pay tolls, or to organise a pass first, if you plan to use a toll road.
Travel time signs
On toll roads, there are electronic signs that display estimated times to upcoming exits, intersections and interchanges.
These estimated times are based on real-time information technology, which monitors traffic flow. The signs are updated regularly (generally every 3 minutes) and are there to help you make the best decisions on your journey.
The electronic signs can also be used to display warnings and other messages when needed. They may also be blank during off-peak traffic periods or during maintenance.
How are travel times estimated?
The M7 uses magnetic in-road loops to detect how long vehicles are taking to travel along sections of the road. The average time to cover a distance is called 'current traffic flow'. The in-road loops are spaced about 500m apart, in both directions.
Other roads use data from Google Australia to display the estimated travel times. Google calculates the estimates using GPS data from smartphone users.
All the data used is anonymous – it can't be used to identify or track an individual road user or vehicle. It also can't be used to measure the speed of individual vehicles.