Earnings from purchases of electronic road tax vignettes – “e-vignettes” – by Bulgarian and foreign drivers of light or heavy vehicles added up to more than 392 million leva (about 200 million euro) in 2019, the Road Infrastructure Agency said on January 2.
The sum is about 35 million leva more than receipts from vignette stickers in 2018, the agency said.
It said that to the earnings from fees to use the paid road network should be added seven million leva in sanctions, in the form of compensatory fees or fines.
The e-vignette system was introduced in January 2019, amid considerable teething troubles, that led to dismissals at the head of the agency.
More than 8.2 million e-vignettes were bought in 2019, of which close to six million were for cars.
Revenue from passenger cars for the use of the road network amounted to nearly 270 million leva, and from heavy vehicles, about 122 million leva.
Drivers of cars preferred to buy weekly e-vignettes, followed by annual and monthly e-vignettes. Lorries and buses, especially foreign-registered ones, preferred daily e-vignettes.
More than 600 000 people bought weekend vignettes, which were introduced in 2019. Close to half of these were drivers of foreign-registered vehicles, most from Romania and Germany, followed by Greece.
Sales of e-vignettes in 2019 were highest in February, at more than 700 000, the Road Infrastructure Agency said.
Sales of e-vignettes to drivers of foreign-registered cars added up to three million, adding up to about 79 million leva. Sales were highest in the summer months, with the number of e-vignettes for foreign-registered vehicles exceeding those for Bulgarian-registered vehicles in July.
In July and August, close to a million e-vignettes were sold to foreigners, earning more than 21 million leva.
Of the foreign-registered vehicles, the highest numbers of sales were to drivers from Turkey, Romania, Greece and Germany.
The Road Infrastructure Agency said that e-vignette prices in 2020 would remain the same as in 2019.
After the introduction of the toll system, vehicles with a total technically permissible maximum mass of over 3.5 tons will switch to a toll levy system, paying on the basis of the distance travelled.
Motorists may check the expiry date of an existing e-vignette on the bgtoll website.
(Photo: Road Infrastructure Agency)