published: October 2001
Mexicos extensive system of toll highways cause a good deal of groaning and teeth-gnashing from tourists. Those who drive big rig RVs and motorhomes are especially vocal in their complaints about the high toll costs involved in an extensive Mexican road trip.
After more than 30 years of driving in Mexico, and countless white-knuckle, near-death experiences involving jaywalking burros, rolling rocks, and tire-busting potholes, I personally love these toll roads. Whenever we want to experience the good old days of driving here, all Lorena and I have to do is follow any free Mexican highway -- and there are literally thousands of them still to explore. But... when we have a long road trip ahead of us, or an important errand in a distant city, well take the autopista. Yes, the cost can be painful. In our experience, however, the increased comfort, safety, fuel economy, and reduced wear and tear on our nerves and vehicle, are well the worth the tolls.
What exactly will you pay on a Mexican toll highway? Rather than fret, check out the website of the SCT, Mexicos Transportation Ministry. This site offers detailed information on highway distances (in kilometers) and toll charges for all of Mexicos highways. If you dont read Spanish, follow our step-by-step instructions and youll easily calculate the costs of your Mexican road trip.
To begin, go to this webpage "Presentacion": <http://www.sct.gob.mx/autotransporte/index.htm>
This page includes Tarifas entre Ciudades (tolls between cities). The opening paragraphs explain the codes used to designate federal and state highways, as well as the various toll categories: automobile, bus, multiple axles, etc. For example, automobiles are A category. For Rvs and motorhomes, it depends on the number of axles (ejes)
Scroll even farther down the page and youll find two links to pages that present toll information organized by city or state, in alphabetical order.
Heres a brief explanation of the principal vehicle categories:
A Automóvil, Pick-Up, Panel y Motocicleta (the term panel means a van.)
C-2 Camión de 2 ejes (truck or RV with dual axles)
C-3 Camión de 3 ejes4
C-4 4 axles. As you can see, each C category is by number of axles.
Scroll down the page and youll come to the heart of the matter, the Consulta de Tarifas Por Ruta, or Tolls Listed by Route links.
The beauty of this highway by highway list is that each link leads to a page that gives the total number of kilometers youll travel on a highway, as well as the total sum of the tolls youll pay, category by category.
Here is the list of highways, Ruta (Route) that you will find. In this webpage, click on the 'ruta (route) for the tolls.
Tolls Listed by Routes
¨ México-Balnearios (Morelos)
¨ México-Veracruz (Jalapa)
¨ México Oaxaca
¨ México-Guadalajara (vía Tol.)
¨ México-Guadalajara (vía Qro.)
¨ México-Guadalajara (vía Qro-León)
¨ México-Lázaro Cárdenas
¨ México-San Juan de los Lagos
¨ México-San Miguel Allende
¨ México-San Luis Potosí
¨ México-Monterrey (Matehuala)
¨ México-Nvo. Laredo
¨ México-Reynosa (Matehuala)
¨ México-Matamoros (Matehuala)
¨ México-Ixtapan de la Sal
¨ México-Cd. Juárez
¨ Guadalajara-Pto. Vallarta
¨ Hermosillo-Nuevo Laredo
¨ Saltillo-Cd. Juárez
Additional information is also available on this website.
For another way to check your route, try Tolls listed by city name: Red de Autopistas y Puentes (Highway System and Bridges <http://www.sct.gob.mx/tarifas/carretera_puente/f_auto_princ.html>
This page indexes the federal highway system by city names, in alphabetical order.
If you prefer to see the highways by the state in which they are located, click on the link near the top of the page, Autopistas por Entidad Federativa. Once you reach that page, click on the various highway names to see what the tolls are.
If you want to explore this site even further, start at the homepage of the SCT: <http://www.sct.gob.mx/>
The page is in Spanish, and if youre looking for toll info, scroll down the page to: Carreteras y Puentes (Tarifas en carreteras y puentes: Información sobre los trámites, servicios y tarifas de la red de autopistas y puentas; información sobre la tarjeta IAVE,)
Click on the link that says Más... and youll be taken to the page that offers the links described above, as well as a trip planner.
Also check out "Planea tu viaje" (Página de CAPUFE) A trip planner page.