Through France without tolls

Route to southwest France, avoiding the tolls
About-France.com - The guide to France

From Calais to southwest France & Spain with no tolls

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► Option no tolls at all

This 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

Paying 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,  are highlighted in salmon pink on the route guide below.

About-France.com recommended toll-saving route:  
Calais > Abbeville > Rouen > Chartres > Tours > Poitiers > Angoulême > Bordeaux.

The tolls that are worth paying:
Calais to Abbeville on A16  :  8.20 Euros
South exit from Rouen on A 13 > A154 :  2.10 Euros
Motorway round Tours: 1.80 Euros ( 2 x 0.90 Euros)
The A63 - the tolled motorways south of Bordeaux avoiding the long built-up area around Bayonne and Biarritz.  Cost 14.90 Euros (see A63)
Total recommended tolls (2018 ): about 28 Euros for a car, or  about 40 €uros for a normal motorhome, RV or camping car.
Time saved by paying tolls: about 2 hours.

Map Key: (clickable markers)

Upscale or classic independent hotels with character
Four-star and quality three star hotels - chains such as Mercure or Novotel
Budget and economy hotels - 2 or 3 stars chains such as Ibis or Campanile
Independent budget hotels
Hotel clusters: more than one hotel of different categories

Route guide:

Leave Calais on the  A16  E402  motorway following signs for Boulogne, Amiens. The short toll section starts just before Boulogne.
Just before Abbeville, take the free   A28  E402  motorway to  Rouen.

 Entering Rouen the A28 becomes the N28. Follow on down through the tunnel, then across the Seine.

 After that, follow signs for Paris and Evreux 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 intersection.
Then follow the A154 > N154 dual carriageway almost to Dreux.At Dreux, follow signs for Chartres and Orleans.
After Dreux,
the N154 is almost all modern dual-carriageway as far as Chartres.
From Chartres follow the  N 10  to Chateaudun, Vendôme and Tours. This is mostly single carriageway for 130 km, but there are sections of dual carriageway, notably round Vendôme. Before reaching Tours, the N10 becomes the  D 910.
On approaching Tours, follow signs for the   A10 motorway, and join it at junction 19. Skirt round Tours on the toll motorway, then exit at junction 23, following the sign for D910 to Montbazon
Follow the D 910 all the way to Poitiers, skirting round the city. After Poitiers, the D910 once more turns into the   N 10 , which you now follow almost as far as Bordeaux. It is dual carriageway virtually all the way. Join the free  A10  /   E5  motorway shortly before Bordeaux, then follow signs for Bayonne.

The A63 south of Bordeaux

South of Bordeaux, follow the  A63  toll motorway as far as the the Spanish border. The cost (April 2017 ) 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 network..
  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 lost: 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.

To avoid 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 (exit 17).
  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 11).

Not what you were looking for ? .....
Click here for route avoiding tolls to Montpellier, Perpignan and the Mediterranean
Click for fastest routes south, using toll roads

Hotels along the route - all very easy to find
Coloured markers
on the map indicate handy hotels close to the road. Click any marker for details. Direction indications for reaching hotels are for southbound traffic.

Continue for Through Spain with no tolls.
 easy driving to the Mediterranean coast.

Or Map of free motorways in Spain.

Or return to About-Fance.com home page

Or return to Driving in France

Alternative route avoiding all tolls :

a) Boulogne: 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 for Poitiers.
d) South of Bordeaux , see "To avoid tolls (southbound) here (left column, in A63 South of Bordeaux section).
Then, rejoin the motorway, but leave again at  Exit 10, signed Bayonne in green. Follow the D810 through to the Spanish border. Warning: this last toll-free alternative, through a largely built-up area, will take up to an hour longer than the motorway.

Avoiding the tolls on the
Calais - Tours - Bordeaux 
route to southwest France and Spain

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