I have an instinctive dislike of international road tolls. Hell, I object to paying 20p to cross a bridge somewhere between the A1 and Lincoln. But I’ve got a good old British outlook of I’ve paid my road tax and been screwed for petrol tax so I don’t want to pay any more thank you very much.
So I was momentarily put out to discover £28 charged to my credit card by Avis this morning, in respect of New England toll roads.
One of the irritants is that I’d forgotten it was coming. The other frustration was that I’d got jo way of knowing what the bill would be. Yes, I’ve driven past a few signs with a $ fee on them. Yes, I’ve driven through the automated toll booths that click an electronic device in your car to start the charging cycle. But it didn’t seem like I’d accrued quite that many charges.
I’ve no idea how they fund their road system over the pond. The regular “Sponsor a Highway” signs make me laugh. Although perhaps the “M6 sponsored by NCP Car Parks” has a ring to it.
But petrol is cheap. Even allowing for the Yanks rather annoying having a gallon that’s a different (smaller) size to a good old British gallon I reckon fuel is about half the cost. I’m not paying any road tax over there. So is my £14 a week USA toll charge comparable to what I pay to use the roads in Blighty?
On balance I think it probably is. We drove many more miles than I usually do back home and given the half price fuel benefit it’s quite clear that the total spend on fuel and tolls is quite considerably less than I’d have paid for fuel alone in the UK.
So yes, driving in New England is probably better value than driving in Ye Olde England. Still hate getting a bill a week after I got home though!