Photo credits © Raimond Spekking

6-fold road toll increase for HGVs will hurt Romania’s economy, hauliers warn

Romania's national transport organization COTAR has issued a warning concerning the country's proposed increase in road tolls.

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According to COTAR, under the ministry’s plans, hauliers would face tolls up to six times higher for more polluting lorries starting from 2026.

COTAR expressed its outrage at the move, claiming that the introduction of significantly more expensive motorway tolls, amounting to at least 16,250 euros per year from 2035, would bankrupt the industry and harm the Romanian economy. Additionally, the organization raised concerns about the implementation of other price increases, taxes, and levies.

Based on COTAR’s calculations, the road toll for a new low-emission Euro VI truck would cost a minimum of €7,050 in three years and at least €16,275 per year from 2035.

COTAR criticized the fact that even clean trucks would have to pay tolls, although they argue that tolls should not be necessary to cover the cost of pollution. The organization attributed this requirement to a law mandated by the NPRR, but speculated that it was designed to bankrupt hauliers and cause economic hardship.

COTAR highlighted that road tolls in Romania would increase from €1,200 to €7,050 for Euro VI trucks starting in 2026, with even higher increases for Euro V and Euro IV trucks. Notably, COTAR stated that there are currently no Euro VI trucks in Romania.

The organization warned that if the toll increase is implemented as planned, the prices of products on store shelves would increase tenfold, leading to potential bankruptcies of businesses.

“It’s not just the hauliers that will suffer, but the entire country of Romania,” COTAR emphasized.

COTAR also criticized the toll increase draft, claiming that it was copied from the Austrian administration without considering the significant differences between Romania and Austria.

The organization argued that the tolls were implemented as if Romania were a Schengen area country with extensive motorway networks and a monthly net minimum wage of 3,000 euros. They expressed disappointment at not being consulted during the transposition of the European directive into Romanian law and stressed the importance of a comprehensive analysis and evaluation by specialists.

According to the Ministry of Transport’s simulation, the road toll for a 40-tonne lorry covering the same distance would cost 10,000 euros per year in Bulgaria and 26,000 euros in Hungary. COTAR explained on its website that Hungary has rejected EU support provided through the NRRP and renegotiated most of the fees imposed under the guise of support.