I added this section just to make future travelers planning to drive in Ireland aware of how Irish tolls work. There are currently 11 toll roads in Ireland, all which feature a manned booth to pay like normal except for 1, this is the M50 toll. The M50 is a motorway which loops around Dublin, and just north of the River Liffey is a barrier-free toll (those things you drive under and your license plate is photographed) which will automatically access a toll charge to the vehicle when you pass under it. It works like similar US tolls, except that with the M50 toll, you must pay the toll by 8pm the following day or suffer fines or penalties which increase the longer it’s left unpaid. This can add up quickly if you’re unaware you passed under it and you have a 2 week vacation planned.
For example, the toll’s fee is €3.10. If not paid by the 8pm following-day deadline, a fine of €3 is added. If not paid by 2 weeks there’s an added fine of €41, and if not paid in 56 days an additional €102.50 is added. Nice surprise right? Especially if you got home from your vacation and were completely unaware?
When you rent your vehicle, you can ask the rental company about taking care of this toll charge. Some rental companies might include an option to cover the cost of your tolls at an added charge, or some may include it in your rental agreement. Some may add administrative fees for handling toll charges. Some may include tolls but won’t cover the M50 toll. Rental companies all have different policies so it’s important to ask the company you rent from how this is handled.
If you are required to handle the M50 toll charge yourself, or prefer to for fear of possible confusion and receiving an unexpected fine, have no fear. Below I explain in step by step instructions how to pay this toll yourself, and it’s really very simple.
The first thing you need to remember is to be aware of the location of the toll (shown below). The better informed you are about its location; the more likely you will be to notice it and take action when you pass it. Once you do, make a note that you passed it set a reminder to pay it.
There are many options available to handle paying the M50 barrier-free toll. These include registering a toll tag account or registering your vehicle with the toll authority, however these aren’t the most relevant for visitors who plan on renting a vehicle for a short period of time, therefore I will only cover these options.
OPTION 1: Pay Online (This is the option we chose)
The toll gives you until 8pm the following evening to make payment for the toll. This is plenty of time to be able to reach an area with internet access to log-in and pay the fee (Many Irish hotels offer free Wi-Fi). You also have the option to pay the toll in advance if you know you will be traveling through the M50 toll in the future and are worried you will forget to pay it. Either way, here is how to do it:
Once you connect to Wi-Fi, open your browser and navigate to eflow.ie. Here you simply click on the large button saying PAY A TOLL, and then on the next screen you enter your rental vehicle’s license plate number (no spaces) where it says “Enter your Vehicle Registration Number:“
Next click “Find my vehicle” and the search will bring back your rental vehicle information. Make sure this information MATCHES the make, model, and color of your rental vehicle, and then just proceed to pay for the number of journeys you wish. If you just went under it the once, enter “1”, and pay the total using your credit card. It’s that simple.
Be sure to save your confirmation number in case you do receive a penalty letter, but this is unlikely if you pay it. We had no issues.
OPTION 2: M50 Quick Pay app
There now is an app available for download on Apple or Google stores which will let you pay the toll charge. This also is an easy option, however for travelers who plan to pass under it once (like we did), Option 1 is probably the simplest for one time use.
OPTION 3: Payzone Outlets
Scattered throughout all of Ireland are Payzone outlets. These are typically located like ATMS would be, in gas stations, pharmacies, shopping areas, etc. Just look for the pink Payzone logo and you can pay the M50 toll charge at any of these locations. You will need your vehicles registration number as well. This is a handy option if you plan to be out and about a lot, however keep in mind the further out you travel from the Dublin area, the more sparse these outlets become. You can pin-point the locations of these outlets in advance by visiting the website here.
OPTION 4: Pay by Phone
You also have the option to make your payment via phone. This is the one I least recommend because most travelers will not have cell phone service while traveling in Ireland, however if you will, or prefer to handle it this way, you can do so by calling 1890 50 10 50 anywhere in Ireland.