EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Charging vehicles for using roads



Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures

Directive (EU) 2022/362 amending Directives 1999/62/EC, 1999/37/EC and (EU) 2019/520, as regards the charging of vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures


It sets out how European Union (EU) Member States can charge vehicles for using their road infrastructure. The charges are designed to:

  • establish an internal market in road transport with a level playing field and ensure uniform and non-discriminatory application of rules;
  • strengthen the application of the user and polluter pays principles;
  • contribute to the financing of road infrastructures;
  • tackle congestion and the negative environmental and health impacts of air pollution and noise;
  • boost transport decarbonisation by contributing to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the EU’s plans to reduce CO2 emissions.


  • The directive applies to:
    • vehicle taxes on heavy goods vehicles;
    • tolls* and user charges on vehicles.
  • It does not apply to vehicles:
    • used exclusively in Member States’ territories outside Europe;
    • registered in the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, the Azores or Madeira that operate exclusively in those territories or with mainland Spain and Portugal.


Member States:

  • set the procedures for levying and collecting the taxes;
  • must respect the minimum tax rates set out in the directive;
  • are able to apply reduced tax rates or exemptions for vehicles:
    • used for national or civil defence, for road maintenance and used by fire and other emergency services and the police,
    • only occasionally using public roads of the Member State of registration,
    • unanimously agreed by the Council of the European Union on socioeconomic grounds.


Member States:

  • may apply tolls and user charges on:
    • the trans-European road network and other motorways under specific conditions laid down in the directive;
    • other roads, provided that these do not discriminate against international traffic or result in the distortion of competition between operators;
  • can apply charges independently to different categories of vehicle (heavy duty, heavy goods, coaches and buses, light duty, light commercial, minibuses and cars);
  • are allowed to apply reduced charges or completely remove them on certain sections of road, in particular in sparsely populated areas;
  • are allowed to apply reduced road charges or exemption for:
    • vehicles eligible for vehicle tax reduction or exemption,
    • vehicles used or owned by people with disabilities,
    • zero-emission vehicles with a technically permissible maximum laden mass up to 4.25 tonnes,
    • heavy goods vehicles with a maximum laden mass between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, used for carrying materials for the driver’s use in the course of their work on a craft basis,
    • heavy-duty vehicles exempted from the tachograph regulation;
  • must not apply user charges for heavy-duty vehicles on the core trans-European transport network from 25 March 2030;
  • inform the European Commission at least 6 months before applying new or substantially changed infrastructure charges;
  • may give discounts or reductions of the infrastructure charge to, for instance, frequent users, to reflect savings in administrative costs;
  • may not give discounts or reductions for any users in relation to the external-cost charge element of a toll;
  • are free to set charges to:
    • reduce traffic congestion or combat the environmental impacts of road transport, including poor air quality, in urban areas and including trans-European network roads crossing such areas,
    • finance installations providing energy to low- and zero-emission vehicles and levied on such vehicles;
  • apply effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for infringements of this directive;
  • draw up and publish, by 25 March 2025 and every 5 years thereafter, a report on the tolls and user charges levied on their territory.

Tolls and user charges:

  • must not discriminate on the following grounds:
    • nationality of the road user,
    • home country of the transport operator or vehicle registration,
    • origin or destination of the goods being transported;
  • are lower for passenger cars, minibuses and light commercial vehicles that meet the strictest CO2 and pollutant emission standards;
  • should be payable 24 hours a day, at least electronically, and disrupt the flow of traffic as little as possible.

User charges must:

  • be proportionate to the time of use of the infrastructure;
  • not exceed maximum rates set out in the directive.

Member States may introduce the following charges.

  • Infrastructure. For heavy-duty vehicles based on the principle of recovering the costs incurred (construction, operation, maintenance and development of the infrastructure network). The charge must vary depending on the vehicle’s CO2 emissions. It may vary to reduce congestion, minimise infrastructure damage or optimise its use, or to promote road safety.
  • External costs. These reflect the cost of air pollution, noise and climate change generated by heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Congestion. For sections of roads affected by congestion and only during times of high traffic volume. The charge applies in a non-discriminatory manner to all vehicle categories, with the possibility to exempt minibuses, buses and coaches to promote collective transport and socioeconomic development and territorial cohesion.

The Commission:

  • assesses the impact of the directive, particularly on light-duty vehicles, by 25 March 2027;
  • adopts implementing and delegated acts.


  • Directive 1999/62/EC had to be transposed into national law by 1 July 2000.
  • Amending Directive (EU) 2022/362 has to be transposed into national law by 25 March 2024.


  • Taxation and infrastructure charging are important to maintain and develop the trans-European road network. Heavy-duty vehicles have a big impact on roads and the environment, but it is light-duty vehicles that are most responsible for emissions and congestion.
  • The original Directive 1999/62/EC (Eurovignette) on charging heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructure has been amended three times. Most recently, Directive (EU) 2022/362 set a deadline for phasing out time-based charging (including the Eurovignette) used on the core trans-European network. It also introduced a new system of varying charges to encourage the deployment of heavy-duty vehicles with lower CO2 emissions.


Tolls. Distance-based charges.


Directive 1999/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1999 on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (OJ L 187, 20.7.1999, pp. 42–50).

Successive amendments to Directive 1999/62/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Directive (EU) 2022/362 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 February 2022 amending Directives 1999/62/EC, 1999/37/EC and (EU) 2019/520, as regards the charging of vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (OJ L 69, 4.3.2022, pp. 1–39).


Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 setting CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles and amending Regulations (EC) No 595/2009 and (EU) 2018/956 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Directive 96/53/EC (OJ L 198, 25.7.2019, pp. 202–240).

Directive (EU) 2019/520 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019 on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems and facilitating cross-border exchange of information on the failure to pay road fees in the Union (recast) (OJ L 91, 29.3.2019, pp. 45–76).

See consolidated version.

Decision (EU) 2015/1814 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 October 2015 concerning the establishment and operation of a market stability reserve for the Union greenhouse gas emission trading scheme and amending Directive 2003/87/EC (OJ L 264, 9.10.2015, pp. 1–5).

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on tachographs in road transport, repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport (OJ L 60, 28.2.2014, pp. 1–33).

See consolidated version.

Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity (OJ L 283, 31.10.2003, pp. 51–70).

See consolidated version.

Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC (OJ L 275, 25.10.2003, pp. 32–46).

See consolidated version.

last update 30.06.2022