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This is no surprise: motorway toll prices will increase in 2023. The important thing is to know by how much. A question to which Clément Beaune tried to answer, this Wednesday 29 in the morning on RMC.
And the minister, questioned on this subject, to mention an increase which will be “less than 3%”. Which will undoubtedly be a little higher than inflation for 2024, estimated at 2.5% by the Banque de France:
“Toll prices increase every year on February 1. This is notably linked to inflation. This year, the increase was significant, of 4.8%. Next year, the increase will be limited. It will be lower at 3%, from February 1.”
The new tax would have no impact on toll prices
The subject has been explosive in recent weeks. In fact, the government wanted to impose a new tax on highway management companies, for the ecological transition.
And the latter regularly threaten to increase prices. An increase that the government wanted to avoid. Clément Beaune wanted to reassure on this subject. Prices will not be impacted by this, the State has the last word:
“There has been a lot of misinformation, sometimes lies, linked to this tax on motorway companies. It has no impact on the evolution of tolls.”
“There is no 5%, all those who said that and talked about passing on the tax are not telling the truth to the French. It is the State which, in the end, takes a legal text which validates this evolution of tolls.”
Towards a catch-up with a big increase in 2025?
The 2024 increase had barely been mentioned and not yet implemented when the minister moved on to that of 2025. This is to reject the idea of a 5% increase for this year:
“We will see what inflation is for 2024. The indications we have and the official forecast are inflation around 2.5%. So we will perhaps have increases the following year, but which will also be moderate.”
“Every year, there is a revaluation, which depends in particular on inflation. As long as we do not know it, we cannot determine it for the years to come.”
A tax that is “not for pleasure”
In the meantime, the new tax will certainly weigh on highway management companies. It will also bring in around 600 million euros to the government. But it’s for a good cause, recalls Clément Beaune:
“We are asking for a contribution from the motorway companies (…) It is not for pleasure, but it is because it will also finance investments in electrical terminals, social leasing, the purchase of new trains…”
“This is 600 million euros per year in tax that we assume to finance the ecological transition and so that transport, in the years to come, is greener and less expensive.”
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To sum up
The increase in toll rates will be “less than 3%”, from February 1, 2024, according to Clément Beaune. The minister also promised again that the government tax on management companies will not be passed on to users.
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