Love them or hate them, toll roads are here to stay

Love them or hate them, toll roads are here to stay

Toll roads may not particularly high on the road user’s popularity list, because as the name suggests they’re roads that you must pay to travel on. Even so, the toll road network provides benefits to the road user and the wider community. Located on the eastern seaboard, toll roads deliver reduced travel time, vehicle operating costs, and improved safety, and its not a new concept.

The history

Believe it or not the history of toll roads in Australia stretches back to 1811 when the first toll road (Sydney–Parramatta) was built.  Fast forward to the 1920’s and construction was underway for Australia’s first toll bridge the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Since the early 1990s, there has been increasing number of private sector toll road projects, they are only found in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. In Australia, all toll roads are electronically tolled. There are no cash tollbooths. How much you pay generally depends on how far along the road you travel and the class of vehicle you are driving.


Toll roads in New South Wales are based on the Sydney Orbital Network. A series of nine motorways that connect Sydney with its outer suburbs, the network extends for 160km.  In Sydney, some toll roads costs vary according to time of day, while some have a flat rate. For others routes the toll is based on distance travelled. Details of the different toll types for each motorway and further information on each toll road can be found on the Sydney Motorways website.


There are two toll road operators in Melbourne, CityLink and EastLink. The roads are easy to identify by their blue coloured signage with gold coloured lettering. Parts of the M1, M2 Motorways and Batman Avenue in Melbourne City Centre are CityLink Toll Roads, whilst part of the M3 Motorway between Nunawading and Seaford is tolled by EastLink.


Toll roads in Queensland are all located in the greater Brisbane area and include the AirportlinkM7, Clem Jones Tunnel (CLEM7), Gateway Motorway, Go Between Bridge, the Logan Motorway and the Legacy Way a tunnel that was opened in 2015.  Charges vary according to the section of each toll road that is travelled and by vehicle type. More information can be found on the Queensland Toll Roads website.


When you pick up your vehicle you are set to drive on any toll road in Australia. At the toll collection point you may drive through any lane marked with an 'E' or 'e'. Your tag will beep and automatically record the toll on your account.  Transurban Linkt tag fitted to Rentco vehicles can be used on any toll road in Australia. Each rental vehicle is individually identified for travel on all Australian toll roads and usage is calculated based on the start and end times in your rental agreement.

You should only use the electronic tag that is fitted in your Rentco rental vehicle. If you do bring along your own tag, request a foil bag from reception and place your own tag in it, to avoid being charged twice.   Any questions, talk a Rentco team member wherever you pick up your vehicle.