- 25 Nov 2023 7:17 AM
- Hungary Today
Since the summer, it has been known that the government will indeed introduce the one-day motorway vignette next year. At that time, the Ministry of Construction and Transport said that the deadline for the introduction of the new system would be March 25, 2024, the date set by the Eurovignette Directive of the European Parliament and the Council.
However, it was not known until now when exactly it would be transposed into the Hungarian toll system. János Lázár announced on Monday that the one-day toll vignette will arrive on March 1, 2024 and will cost HUF 5,150 (EUR 13.6).
This means that the sticker will be available in Hungary slightly earlier than the final deadline. This should come as no surprise, even though it has been suggested that, given the flexibility in the system, the one-day entitlement will only come into effect in Hungary sometime in the second half of 2024.
There is nothing surprising about the price either, with previous calculations by Világgazdaság concluding that the price of a 24-hour motorway vignette could be around HUF 5,100 (EUR 13.4).
This was predictable because the Eurovignette directive set out the framework for how the one-day sticker should be priced. For passenger cars (D1), the main rule is that the price should not exceed 9% of the annual entitlement.
Another important aspect is that the relevant legislation requires the toll rate to be inflation-linked. However, it is not set in stone that growth must be equal to or below the rate of inflation.
The latter was the case this year, when the price of county stickers was raised well below inflation. In any case, the August inflation figure (16.4%) is the benchmark for setting the price of next year’s toll stickers. From this, the 2024 prices could be calculated, with the D1 national entitlement being HUF 57,260 (EUR 151) next year. 9% of this will be HUF 5,153, hence the price of HUF 5,150 (EUR 13.6) is almost the maximum amount possible.
The assessment of one-day entitlement is twofold. In essence, it generates a loss of revenue for countries’ toll systems by shifting purchases from a more expensive toll product to a cheaper one.
The change will therefore not benefit the public purse, but only transit traffic.
The same is true for Hungary: currently, the lowest-priced sticker is the 10-day sticker, varying according to the category of vehicle, but next year it will cost HUF 6,400 (EUR 16.9) for D1 and HUF 9,310 (EUR 24.5) for D2. Until March, this product will be available for those entering and leaving the country on the same day. The one-day pass will therefore be much cheaper.
Accordingly, it is in the well-understood interest of all EU countries to make the one-day vignette available as soon as possible.
In 2022, the European Union voted to reform the transport and charging systems. This means that to ensure fair treatment of occasional road users from abroad, it will be possible to buy a vignette for a shorter period of time, up to one day. Electric or hybrid vehicles may also benefit from discounts.
Member States were given two years to prepare for the new rules and to implement the new vignette system in 2022, thus one-day vignettes will be available in 2024.