Sanef, the French motorway operator has now extended its Liber-t automatic toll payment service to UK motorists. The Liber-t tag will work on the entire French toll road network and can also be used to pay for parking in some car parks. To use the service all you need to do is register on our dedicated UK website and we will send you a small electronic transponder (tag) that you attach to your windscreen just behind the rear-view mirror. As you approach the barriers, a device by the barrier will read your transponder (tag), securely extract your unique reference and then automatically open the barrier without you having to stop and manually pay the toll. You will receive an invoice the following month and then around 15 days later we will automatically collect the payment in £ (GBP) from your bank account via Direct Debit in the UK.
Having used the French motorways many times we have seen an opportunity to speed up travel for UK drivers and holiday makers. Whilst the Autoroutes are great roads, many people have been frustrated at not being able to use the automatic télépéage / tag lanes. These lanes save time because they avoid both queuing and having to keep Euro cash handy to pay tolls. Following a decision by the majority of French Toll Road Operators, new subscriptions must be via direct debit and existing credit card accounts will be phased out before the end of 2012. This means it is no longer possible for UK customers to register on French websites unless they have a French address and French bank account.
So to enable UK customers to continue to use the Liber-t service, we have implemented a dedicated UK IT system and Customer Service centre in Harrogate to enable UK motorists to pay in GBP via direct debit from a UK bank account.
We are a wholly owned UK subsidiary of Sanef, a French motorway company who operate toll roads in France and other toll systems around the world. We manage our IT systems and customer services from our office in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
To access your account click on "My Account", input your username and password and select "login". Your invoice is available to download at the bottom of the page.
If you have received the invoice notification email and cannot open it simply right click on the PDF text and click "Save Link As". If you are still experiencing problems downloading your invoice click here.
NB. Your first invoice will include all the setup fees totaling 39.14 €(including TVA) as outlined in section 1.1. below even if you have not yet traveled to France.
i. Overview - full detail of the charges are provided in items ii & iii of this section
a. Maximum of 16€ (+TVA) per year (2 trips per year or more) consisting of
i.e. if you only make one trip it would be 11€ for the year or if you did not use it at all it would be 6€ for the year to keep your tag
b. + Tolls (no discount on the tolls)
c. Setup costs
Summary: the tolls are the same cost that you would pay at the barrier. This new service simply allows you to use the automated lanes saving you time and reducing the hassle of manually paying tolls in euros.
ii. Subscription Fees
Total up front fee of 39.20€ (including TVA) of which 20€ is refundable when you return the tag
iii. Monthly Active Service Fee
A monthly fee is payable for each calendar month that you actively use your tag in France but only up to a maximum of €10 in a single year i.e. if you purchase a tag in June and then use your tag in July and August, you will be charged €10 (€5 for July and €5 for August) but you will not be charged a monthly active service fee for the remaining months up to and including the following May. A new 12 month period would start in June.
iv. Toll Charges
All toll charges incurred.
All fees and tolls will be collected by direct debit in £GBP. (the exchange rate used in outlined in section 1.4 below)
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Whilst we are wholly owned subsidiary of Sanef France, Sanef Tolling in the UK does operate as a separate company. Our operating costs are slightly different and subsequently so are our fees. In addition to this, the usage profile of UK customers is very different from those of French residents who obviously use their tags much more frequently.
The exchange rate that we use is set on a monthly basis on the day that we do our invoice run (usually around the 14th of the month) and is based on the average mid market commercial exchange rate for the month that the tolls were incurred The daily historic mid market rate used to compute the average are sourced from exchangerates.org.uk.
There is a 2%+TVA (equivalent to 2.4%) foreign exchange finance charge when converting the currency but the overall exchange rate is still competitive.
An example is provided below and is based on rates obtained on 12th December 2013.
TVA (French VAT) is charged at 20.0% (prior to 01/01/2014 TVA was charged at a rate of 19.6%)
Exchange Rate £1 = €1.19
Foreign Exchange Finance Charge: 2%+TVA (equivalent to 2.4%)
Total bill in Euros inc. TVA: €100
Total foreign exchange finance charge @ 2.4% inc. TVA: €2.4
Total bill in GBP (converted at £1 = €1.19): £86.05
This is more favourable than rates provided by a leading UK trusted brand on the same day:
M&S Travel Money (0% commission, £1 = €1.14): £87.72
M&S Visa Card (2.99% commission, £1 = €1.188779): £86.63
No. The only way of paying for the UK service is by direct debit from a UK bank account.
There is a one off charge for the tag (refundable), an initial admin charge to cover logistics and 3rd party fees, a low annual management fee of €6 plus a €5 charge every month that you use it in France (limited to a maximum of 10€ per year). The exchange rate we get is the same as for other card transactions i.e better than the high street, so you might save a few pence on each toll payment.
It depends on where you start and finish! There is a toll calculator for all of France (in English) at Liber-t Toll rates. In addition, you can use the route planner to plan your end to end route and automatically calculate the tolls.
We bill by calendar month. Invoices are normally sent out by email on the 14th of the month (or previous working day if this falls on a weekend or bank holiday) and payment is collected on the last business day of the month. For example if you subscribe in July, you will receive your first invoice on 14th August which will contain your setup fees, deposit and any tolls accrued in the month of July. Payment will be taken from your bank account by direct debit on the last business day of August.
Orders received before 14:00 (Monday to Friday) will normally be shipped by Royal Mail 1st Class post on the same day so you should expect to receive your tag in 1 to 2 business days. For orders placed after this time, we will endeavour to dispatch the same day but depending on how busy we are this may run to the following working day. The parcel is small enough to fit through your letter box and does not require a signature.
No. For security reasons, we are only able to deliver the tags to the same address as the bank account holder. The parcel is small enough to fit through your letter box and does not require a signature.
If you need an additional tag to be payable from the same bank account e.g for additional family members, you need to sign up as normal. You will then be able to log into your 'My Account' page and there is an option to order an additional tag. There is a charge of €5+TVA per tag for postage and packing and also an additional €20 refundable deposit payable per tag. The charges for all your tags will be shown on a single monthly invoice.
Your tag will be shipped with two clips enabling you to mount it in two vehicles. If you require more than 2 clips, please email your order to email@example.com and we will send you an additional clip at a cost of €7.50+TVA which will be added to your next invoice. Please acknowledge the cost in your email order.
Additional clips can also be obtained from one of the Sanef points of sale in France. A single additional clip will normally be provided for free with additional clips at €2. The location of the Sanef points of sale can be found here: http://www.sanef.com/mainapp/dev/gm/index3.php. This is our preferred option as we do not carry a surplus of clips in the UK, just enough to send out with the tags.
The tag must be visible from above in the centre-top of the windscreen so that it can be detected by the barrier gantry at the toll plaza. Please read these instructions prior to sticking the tag in the wrong place as the tag MUST be placed behind the rear view mirror on the shaded / mottled area. THIS IS CRITICAL FOR VEHICLES WITH HEATED OR ATHERMIC WINDSCREENS.
Some older model cars may not have this shaded area. If this is the case simply place behind the rear view mirror as shown above.
Some vehicles are known to have equipment in the mottled area such as rain sensors or automatic emergency braking sensors. E.g. Volvo XC60 / 90, some Mercedes.
The mottled / shaded area behind the rear view mirror will be free of any heat reflective metallic coating that is sometimes applied to the glass in the factory to reflect the sun and keep the car cool on a hot day. The tag must go in the mottled area as it is free of any heat reflective coating, so the signal to it is not blocked by the metallic coating on the glass.
In situations like this we have had it reported back to us by customers who have such vehicles that fixing the tag on the middle of the plastic casing of the equipment that is occupying the mottled/shaded area has been successful.
However our recommendation is that you contact your vehicle manufacture and ask them to key in your registration number and check if you have a heat reflective windscreen fitted, if you do then you should ask the dealer where in the screen your toll road tags should be positioned so it can be read if no mottled area has been provided for toll road tags.
If you have a People Carrier / MPV or Van with a long windscreen please note:
NB. If you have a small motorhome with a "luton" / overhanging sleeping compartment you MUST ensure that the Tag has "line of sight" with the reader (i.e. can see the reader on top of the pole). If you install the tag behind the rear vision mirror it may not be able to see the Tag reader and will not work - in this instance you have to put the tag at the bottom of the windscreen BUT ONLY if you do not have an athermic windscreen.
Most Fords have heated windscreens.
Vehicles known to have athermic / heated windscreens are listed below but this list is not exhaustive so please check with your vehicle manufacturer before fitting your tag.
BMW: 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, X3, X5
Citroen: Picasso, C5Xsara, Xantia
Ford: Galaxy, S-Max, Mondeo
Mercedes: W220-S Class, Vaneo
Peugeot: 206, 306, 307, 607
Renault: Traffic, Scenic, Espace, Megane, Safrane, Laguna, Clio, Master, Kangoo, Picasso
See the how does it work section for more details.
No. But if you have a new car with a metallic windscreen you need to use the black spotted area under the rear vision mirror as this lets the signal through.
See the how does it work section for more details.
You should approach the barrier at walking pace, once the transaction has completed, the tag will "beep", the traffic light will change to green and the barrier will open. On certain dedicated lanes you can drive through at up to 30 km/hr. These lanes are clearly signed.
The same tags are used all over the world, from the US to UK and Australia. They use microwaves at really low power, they have been tested extensively and are completely safe.
We will make sure your tag works before it is posted to you. When the tag arrives you will need to confirm receipt of the tag on our website by following the instructions provided with the tag before it can be used.
You should approach the barrier at walking pace. Once the transaction has completed, the tag will "beep", the traffic light will change to green and the barrier will open.
On certain dedicated lanes you can drive through at up to 30 km/hr, these lanes are clearly signed as follows
Cars and trailers under 2m can use any lane showing the but you will find there is often a tag only lane on the left hand side of the plaza that will save you most time.
Caravan, motorhome or vehicles between 2m and 3m tall and less than 3.5t, i.e. Class 2 can can use ANY non height restricted lane that has the Liber-t symbol illuminated.
For more information click here to review the vehicle classifications.
Not yet! But watch this space....
Yes! There is no link to a particular vehicle. You can also lend it to your friends if you like, but please note: You are the account holder and are responsible for all tolls and fees incurred.
Sometimes the sheer volume of tag users means there is a bit of a queue on the way in to the plaza as the fast lane might be heavily used. However, the left hand lane is always tag only and moves the fastest.
The battery in the tag is designed to last between 5 and 7 years depending on how often it is used. If your tag stops working, please contact us and we will send you a new one.
On certain dedicated class 1 Liber-t lanes there is a 2 metre height limit. These are always on the left hand side of the toll plaza. However there is always other lanes available for vehicles over 2 metres, simply go though one of the other open lanes that is displaying the Liber-t symbol.
Yes! Provided your vehicle and caravan overall height is less than 3 metres and GVW not exceeding 3.5 tonnes. You can use any non height restricted lane that has the Liber-t symbol illuminated.
For more information click here to review the vehicle classifications
As long as your vehicle is lower than 3 metres and less than 3.5 tonnes GVW you can use any non height restricted lane that has the Liber-t symbol illuminated. A vehicle of this size falls into the Class 2 fee structure. If your vehicle is larger than this then please contact our customer team.
NB. If you have a small motorhome with a "luton" / overhanging sleeping compartment you MUST ensure that the Tag has "line of sight" with the reader (i.e. can see the reader on top of the pole). If you install the tag behind the rear vision mirror it may not be able to see the Tag reader and will not work - in this instance you have to put the tag at the bottom of the windscreen BUT ONLY if you do not have an athermic windscreen - click here for more details.
You can use a Liber-t tag with a motorcycle with some limitations, the main one being that to avoid being charged as Class 1 vehicle you must use the manual lane and hand over the tag to the person in the toll booth. They will use a barcode scanner to read the tag and will charge you as a Class 5 vehicle. The main advantage is that it saves you fumbling for cash / payment cards with gloves on but you should not use the automated lanes. If there is no manned lane, use the automated Liber-t lane. When using the automated lane on a motorcycles just hold your tag up to the gantry, label side facing you. Take care the vehicle (or other motorbike) behind is not too close as the equipment in the automated lane may register you as a larger vehicle and charge for a car (class 1). You can check your transactions in the 'My Account' area a few days later. If this happens you would need to contact us and request a toll adjustment. If you use the automatic lane then we can only request a toll adjustment if you have used the non-height restricted Liber-t lane, all vehicles using the 2 meter height restricted lane will be classed as class 1 with no option to adjust this.
Vehicles with trailers (class 1 or class 2) should use use any non height restricted lane that has the Liber-t symbol illuminated.
If you are a Class 1 vehicle and have a roof load such as a roof box or bicycle that takes your overall height over 2m, you will still be charged as a Class 1 vehicle. There is equipment (laser and 3D imaging) in the Liber-t lanes that can distinguish between 'Class 1 + roofload' and Class 2 vehicles. You should be charged at Class 1 rate.
Occasionally however, this auto detection equipment may incorrectly identify you as Class 2. We advise you to check your bill when you receive it and if you have been incorrectly charged at Class 2 rate, please let us know and we will ensure that you are reimbursed the difference the following month.
Although Liber-t is only for class 1, 2 & 5 vehicles Sanef Tolling is currently working with our sister company Eurotoll on a UK service for Class 3 and 4 vehicles. Please can you email us to register your interest.
Tags do 273 million transactions a year in France alone – probably a billion around the world -so we are confident it will. But if things do go wrong. Simply hand the tag to any of the operators in the toll booths – they will then charge it as if it worked, or tell you if you need to pay using an alternative payment method. You must let us know when the tag arrives at your address – it will not work unless you tell us it has arrived by following the simple instructions that are provided with the TAG
It includes all the toll motorways in France (excluding the Mont Blanc and Fréjus tunnels). Although Sanef run the toll roads in northern France, the new tag will work with every toll road across France. Sanef will simply send you one single bill for your entire trip. See http://www.sanefgroupe.com/en_instit for general information about the network, planning your trip, facilities, radio traffic news in English (107.7FM on the hour, every hour) and how Sanef put the customer first. The Tag also works on any car park displaying the logo. The full network of motorways is shown below
Yes! There are free roads if you do not like smooth, high quality motorways and don’t mind arriving late for your ferry. The N138 is our favourite, but a section of that is shut in mid June so the Brits can race cars on it (Le Mans).
The data in our system can’t be used by law enforcement agencies for detecting excessive speed, but please do keep in mind that the French take speeding very seriously – and have much safer roads as a result. French police patrols and radar traps employ heavy fines. The speed limit on French roads is 130kph (when it is dry - anyway) – a bit more than in the UK. The time you save with a tag means you won’t have to think about speeding, or the cost of missing the ferry.
We keep the identity of the user and the tag information as separate data – we cannot track your movements. We simply know when you pay for a toll. There is no record on the tag either.
Yes. Blue badge holders who have Class 2 vehicles are entitled to be charged at Class 1 rate. However, in order to be charged at Class 1 rate in the automated lane, you will need to stop and press the intercom button to request the correct toll to be applied. Alternatively you can use the manual lane and hand over your tag to be scanned. More information can be found at http://www.autoroutes.fr/en/services-for-disabled-people.htm
The service we offer is for consumers, not businesses. Our advice to people wishing to use a Liber-t tag for business is to subscribe using a personal bank account and then claim back through your company's expenses process.
Simply download and complete this form and return it and your Sanef France tag to the specified address
Click here to submit your query
+44 (0)1423 299017
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From 1st July 2012 it became obligatory for all vehicles (including motorbikes) driving in France to carry a breathalyzer or alcohol-level test. Originally scheduled for 30th March, the law came into force on 1st July as suppliers could not provide enough breathalyzer kits.
From November 2012 there is an 11 € fine for not having one in the car, buy yours here.
For more driving in France tips click here
Existing Sanef France customer? click here