Slovenia road tax

This item appears on page 14 of the January 2011 issue.
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My wife, Sigrid, and I took an extended road trip in Europe in August-November 2010. While in Germany, we were warned about driving on the toll roads in Austria without first purchasing a vignette.* We were not alerted about needing a vignette in Slovenia, however, and it never crossed our minds.

Entering Slovenia at Trieste on Oct. 25, on the toll road we stopped at the tollgate to pick up a toll ticket. In our experience on toll roads, you get an entry billet that is to be turned in upon exiting the toll road, at which time you pay the appropriate amount. In this instance, however, the machine issued nothing, and any instructions were not in English.

A couple of lanes over was a long queue of trucks. Naively, we thought that only they had to pay tolls because of the damage they do to the roadbed, so we continued on our way, slowing but not stopping at multiple tollgates.

On the AI-E61 & 57, not far from the Austrian border near Leibnitz, we were pulled over by Slovenian police, who informed us, quite rudely (in German, which my wife speaks fluently), that because we had no vignette, we had to pay a fine of €300 (near $402) before proceeding.

When we protested that we had seen no signs indicating that we needed to buy a vignette for Slovenia, one officer said that it was our responsibility to have the proper sticker. They did lessen the fine to €150. We paid in cash right there on the spot and were issued a receipt.

Now we know that we could have purchased a vignette at a gas station immediately after entering Slovenia; we did stop at one just after crossing the border.

ALLAN LONNBERG

Aptos, CA

*A vignette is a sticker that indicates that road tax has been paid. The price depends on length of stay in the country. Vignettes for Slovenia can be purchased at toll stations in Slovenia and at gas stations and certain other establishments in Slovenia and in neighboring countries; for a full list of purchase places, visit www.dars.si. For a listing of all countries requiring vignettes, including prices, visit Wikipedia.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My wife, Sigrid, and I took an extended road trip in Europe in August-November 2010. While in Germany, we were warned about driving on the toll roads in Austria without first purchasing a vignette.* We were not alerted about needing a vignette in Slovenia, however, and it never crossed our minds.

Entering Slovenia at Trieste on Oct. 25, on the toll road we stopped at the tollgate to pick up a toll ticket. In our experience on toll roads, you get an entry billet that is to be turned in upon exiting the toll road, at which time you pay the appropriate amount. In this instance, however, the machine issued nothing, and any instructions were not in English.

A couple of lanes over was a long queue of trucks. Naively, we thought that only they had to pay tolls because of the damage they do to the roadbed, so we continued on our way, slowing but not stopping at multiple tollgates.

On the AI-E61 & 57, not far from the Austrian border near Leibnitz, we were pulled over by Slovenian police, who informed us, quite rudely (in German, which my wife speaks fluently), that because we had no vignette, we had to pay a fine of €300 (near $402) before proceeding.

When we protested that we had seen no signs indicating that we needed to buy a vignette for Slovenia, one officer said that it was our responsibility to have the proper sticker. They did lessen the fine to €150. We paid in cash right there on the spot and were issued a receipt.

Now we know that we could have purchased a vignette at a gas station immediately after entering Slovenia; we did stop at one just after crossing the border.

ALLAN LONNBERG

Aptos, CA

*A vignette is a sticker that indicates that road tax has been paid. The price depends on length of stay in the country. Vignettes for Slovenia can be purchased at toll stations in Slovenia and at gas stations and certain other establishments in Slovenia and in neighboring countries; for a full list of purchase places, visit www.dars.si. For a listing of all countries requiring vignettes, including prices, visit Wikipedia.