Greece has become the first European country to implement a pay-as-you-go tolling system where drivers are only charged for the number of kilometres driven on the motorway.

The new electronic ‘hybrid multi-lane toll system’ was provided by Kapsch TrafficCom and replaces the existing payment system, which charges drivers for an entire section of road, even if they exit after the first toll barrier.

Kapsch TrafficCom strategic sales manager Michael Weber said: “Kilometre-based toll billing is the future.

“The European Union sees traditional section payment as an unfair phase-out model and is pushing to charge only for actual kilometres driven. This method will be mandatory for new toll routes and a recommended feature for existing toll routes.

“This means that the changeover on the A8 motorway from Athens to Patras in December 2020 is not only groundbreaking for Greece, but is likely to set a precedent throughout the EU.”

To use the new service, cars will be equipped with on-board units attached to the vehicle’s interior windshield.

Once the vehicle enters the toll checkpoint, the onboard unit automatically debits the toll costs from the owner’s customer account.

As soon as the vehicle exits the route, the overpaid costs for the entire section will be credited back to the driver’s account under a mileage-based billing transaction.

The new tolling system was deployed on the A8 Athens-Patras motorway.

Kapsch said that the civic leaders of cities and towns located along the Athens-Patras motorway called for the introduction of the hybrid multi-lane toll system, as vehicle owners took to the roads going through their towns to avoid the cost of an entire stretch of motorway 8, resulting in considerable noise and emissions.

Weber added: “Other toll routes in Greece, as well as in other countries such as Spain or Italy, are likely to follow the example of the new hybrid multi-lane toll system.”