The companies that run the motorways are unhappy about earning less than they could have done. / E.P.

Motorway toll charges in Spain to go up by less than inflation but drivers will still end up paying the difference

After difficult negotiations with the companies which run the country’s 11 toll motorways the Spanish government has agreed to partially compensate them

EDURNE MARTÍNEZ MADRID.

The Spanish government has decided that motorway tolls will go up by 4% in 2023, which is half the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the sector this year, which was nearly 8.5%. If the full increase had been applied the tolls would have cost a record amount and would have been unaffordable for many regular users of the 11 toll motorways in the country.

However, what drivers are not paying now they will make up for in the future. The companies which hold the concessions for the motorways are not prepared to lose half of what they could have earned in 2023 and difficult negotiations have been taking place with the government over this in recent weeks. In the end the Ministry of Transport has agreed to pay them compensation, although far below the amount they would have liked.

Users will have to pay more from 2027

Between 2023 and 2026 the government will pay 2.3 million euros to partially offset these losses for the companies, but from 2027 it will be those who use the toll motorways who have to pay. From that year a series of increases in toll charges will be applied and they will be above the inflation rate.

Sources at the Ministry of Transport have pointed out that the rise will be “accumulative” – in other words, motorway users will end up paying the difference between the toll charges and the income the companies are not receiving, but the increases will be gradual – and believes this will be better for those who drive on the toll motorways than the full increase next year would have been.