Until I finish this page, read all you need to here about toll roads in Sydney.
Sydney has a long toll network; roughly 110km of the freeway network is tolled. This can be expensive and frustrating to commuters, regardless of how much time may be saved. In almost all cases, however, there is a faster route that can be taken, which is generally not as long. These are most preferable to tourists or those who don’t use the route often; you may drive yourself mad taking a slow route everyday to work.
All toll roads in Sydney are cashless. You can only play electronically.
Can I pay with cash on Sydney’s Motorways?
No. All of Sydney’s tolled motorways are cashless. You cannot pay tolls on a motorway without a toll tag or pass.
What is a toll tag?
A toll tag is the more standard payment system. An electronic tag can be detected once you pass underneath a toll gantry, with the corresponding payment subtracted from your account. This is the most desirable method of payment.
One toll tag can be used on any Sydney motorway, regardless of its brand
What is a toll pass?
Alternatively to a toll tag, a toll pass may be used. This is best for tourists, and allows the number plate to be recorded by cameras if a tag has not been detected after passing underneath the toll booth. The toll payment will then be made to the account you registered with. There is a $1.50 surcharge alongside a $0.75 processing fee for each toll road used attached, which may not be worth the money or hassle. Hence, you may wish to drive on a free alternate route as a visitor.
Purchase your toll tag and toll pass here.
Good news; a toll tag from any other city in Australia will still work in Sydney
What if I have a tag from another city in Australia eg; Go-Via?
Don’t worry; regardless of which city you buy your toll from (Melbourne and Brisbane are the only two other cities with tolls), you can use it in Sydney. Toll tag are universal; they will work in any city; Sydney tags work in Melbourne, Brisbane tags work in Sydney, and vice versa.
Remember that Transurban owns almost all of Australia’s toll roads, and hence a universal tag has been allowed to exist, including for those roads Transurban doesn’t own.
What if I use the motorway without a tag or pass?
If you do not have a toll tag, your licence plate will be recorded. Your registration will be used to send you a notice to pay the toll plus an admin fee (about $10). Failure to pay this may incur a Penalty Notice which could result in a court appeal. All over a small toll; dude, just pay the toll!
How do I know if the road I am on is tolled?
It is safe to assume that it is tolled; almost all motorways in Sydney either are tolled or will be by 2019.
In Sydney, a yellow toll sticker will be present on the sign as you enter the freeway. This tells a motorist whether a toll needs to be paid on the road or not. If there is no sticker, it is not tolled. For example, on the sign on the right a TOLL sticker is next to the M7 marker as this road is tolled.
If the road you are on becomes a toll road after a certain exit, there is usually a sign that clearly denotes this so you may exit to avoid the toll if you wish.
Sydney does not have yellow-on-blue signage for toll roads. Only Melbourne does.
View a map of all the toll roads in Sydney here.
View a map of all the toll roads in Sydney here.
M5 South-Western Motorway
The M5 South-Western Motorway is currently tolled. Regardless of where you enter the motorway, even if to drive between the very short distance of Fairford Road and Belmore Road, you will need to pay $4.50. Going eastbound, tolling starts after the Heathcote Road exit, and westbound after the King Georges Road exit.
A cashback scheme exists on the M5. As a regular M5 motorist, you are most likely eligible. Find out more here.
The Hume Highway (A22) is a slightly shorter route that goes via Bankstown into Sydney. Another alternate route is the A34, including Canterbury Road, that runs closer to the M5. When using either alternate route, set aside more time to travel.
Find out more about the M5 tolls here.
Currently the M5 East is not tolled. However the freeway will receive a $5.71 maximum toll in 2019 to help fund the WestConnex project. It is unclear how this will be collected, however it will most likely be distance based.
Regardless of the lack of a toll currently, this is a route that, if travelling in peak hour, you want to avoid at all costs. The terrible congestion will probably be fixed by the introduction of a toll.
Interestingly, the M5 East has a clearly signed alternate route; the D5. Clearly this was signed as a detour route because the M5 East is A) Crappy, meaning a detour should be signed for incidents and closures, and B) Free, hence no toll revenue can be lost by advertising a free route. Its map can be accessed here.
Read more about the future tolls here.
Lane Cove Tunnel
The Lane Cove Tunnel, an underground freeway north of Sydney, is tolled at $3.17 for standard vehicles. There are only two entrances to the tunnel; at the western end in Lane Cove and eastern end at Artarmon. Toll is collected electronically at either end.
Find out more about the Lane Cove Tunnel tolls here.
M2 Hills Motorway
The M2 Hills Motorway has a maximum toll of $6.74. This price varies depending on where you enter or exit the freeway. This toll calculator will give you your price.
Find out more about the M2 tolls here.
Alternatives to the M2 Freeways-
Unlike every other major freeway, the Hills Motorway does not have a clearly defined alternate route. Epping Road is the alternative for the Lane Cove Tunnel and the M2 all the way to Epping.
From here, you may want to continue north on Beecroft and Castle Hill Roads to get to Castle Hill and beyond or Carlingford and Pennant Hills Roads to go south to Parramatta, from which you can take a turn-off and go north on Old Windsor Road to Bella Vista and beyond. Naturally this depends on where you are going.