► Option no tolls
is not the most sensible option, since
the few euros saved by not paying any tolls - even for motorhomes
- will be offset by a longer route with more stress, and lots
of stopping and starting as you go through built-up areas, rather than
skirting round them.
But for those who really want to cross France without paying a single
toll, the details of the no tolls at all option are indicated below.
► Option minimal tolls
a few euros in tolls on a 1000 km journey pays for itself
in time saved and less stress. This route offers the best balance
between speed and toll costs for driving from Calais to the
Spanish border at Irun, near Bayonne. The toll sections that
are almost always worth paying, given the time or hassle they save,
in salmon pink on the route guide below.
recommended toll-saving route: Calais
> Abbeville > Rouen > Chartres > Tours
> Poitiers > Angoulême > Bordeaux.
tolls that are worth
on A16 : 8.20 Euros
exit from Rouen
on A 13 > A154 : 2.10
: 1.80 Euros ( 2 x 0.90 Euros) and maybe also
as far as Poitiers (up to 9 Euros more)
- the tolled motorways south of Bordeaux avoiding the long
built-up area around Bayonne and Biarritz. Cost 14.90 Euros
recommended tolls (Jan 2022 ):
about 28 Euros for a
car, or about 40 €uros for a normal motorhome, RV
by paying tolls: about 2 hours.
Easily accessible hotels
4-star classic independent hotels
Upscale chains such
as Mercure or Holiday Inn
Midscale chains such as
Campanile, Kyriad or Ibis
Budget hotels - 1 star or 2
Ace, Ibis Budget,
F1 and others
clusters: more than one hotel of
Leave Calais on the A16
E402 motorway following signs for Boulogne,
section starts just before Boulogne.
Just before Abbeville, take the free A28
E402 motorway to Rouen.
Rouen the A28
becomes the N28.
Follow on down through the tunnel, then across the Seine.
follow signs for Paris
then Evreux & Orleans .
You will join the A13
motorway west of Rouen for another short
toll section which you will pay on exit.
About 10 km south or Rouen, leave the A13 motorway for the A154
motorway. Toll gate at the
Then follow the A154 > N154
dual carriageway almost to Dreux.At
Dreux, follow signs for Chartres
N154 is almost all modern dual-carriageway as far
From Chartres follow the
N 10 to Chateaudun, Vendôme and Tours.
mostly single carriageway for 130 km, but there are sections of dual
carriageway, notably round Vendôme. Before reaching Tours,
becomes the D
On approaching Tours, follow signs for the
A10 motorway, and join it at junction 19.
round Tours on the toll motorway, then exit at junction 23,
sign for D910
Follow the D 910 all the way to Poitiers,
skirting round the city. After Poitiers, the D910 once more turns into
N 10 , which you now follow almost as far as Bordeaux.
It is dual
carriageway virtually all the way. Join the free
E5 motorway shortly before Bordeaux,
then follow signs for Bayonne.
A63 south of Bordeaux
of Bordeaux, follow the
motorway as far as
the the Spanish border. The
cost (Jan 2022
) is 14.90€ for a
car, about 50% more for a car plus caravan; but this will save about an hour
in normal traffic conditions. The last 50 km of this toll motorway,
southwest of Magescq (exit 11) , are particularly recommended, as the
Bayonne area is built-up and
busy. The A63 links directly at the
border to Spain's Autopista A-8, and thereafter to the Spanish motorway
Note however that this motorway is not
pay-on-exit; it is pay-at-toll-points, of which there are four. The two
most northerly of these can be avoided by leaving the motorway between
exits 18 and 17, and again between exits 12 and 11. Time
about a quarter of an hour. Tolls saved: 3.50 Euros saved twice (more
than that if you have a camper van). This is not recommended for
trucks, as they have to follow a longer alternative route.
tolls (southbound) :
Leave A63 at exit 18 "Le Muret". Turn south
on D834 to Castelnau. Here turn right onto D410, then D10E which runs
along the eastern side of the motorway. Rejoin motorway at Liposthey
At exit 12, follow D947 for 1 km towards Castets.
Then left onto D378. When this starts running along the western side of
the motorway, fork left onto D10E. Rejoin the motorway at Magesq (exit
along the route - all very easy to find
Coloured markers on the map indicate handy hotels close to
road. Click any marker for details. Direction indications for reaching
hotels are for southbound traffic.
Spain with no tolls.
easy driving to the Mediterranean coast.
Or Map of free
motorways in Spain.
to About-Fance.com home
to Driving in France
Alternative route avoiding all tolls :
Leave A16 motorway at exit 29, and follow D901 > D1001 as far as
the entrance to Abbeville, where you take the Free A 28.
b) At Rouen
before reaching the Seine, take exit at the entrance to a short tunnel,
for D6015 marked Vernon, Cergy Pontoise. Follow D6015 as far as Le
Vaudreuil, then join the free A154 > N154.
c) At Tours
do not join the motorway, just keep following the green signs
d) South of Bordeaux ,
"To avoid tolls (southbound) here
(left column, in A63
South of Bordeaux
Then, rejoin the motorway, but leave again at Exit 10,
signed Bayonne in green. Follow the D810 through to the Spanish border.
this last toll-free alternative, through a largely built-up area, will
take up to an hour longer than the