Melbourne has two toll road networks - CityLink and EastLink.
CityLink consists of three tolled roads:
Further information: Linkt Melbourne
EastLink consists of one continuous toll road:
Further information: EastLink
There are no toll booths on Melbourne's toll roads. Collection of tolls is done automatically, without slowing down or stopping. At each toll point, vehicles pass under a gantry which is fitted with both communication scanners and cameras.
If a motorist has fitted a small electronic tolling tag to the windscreen of their vehicle, the gantry scanner communicates with that tag to register usage of the toll road to the motorist's toll account.
For vehicles not fitted with electronic tags, overhead cameras use number plate recognition technology to identify the vehicle for billing purposes.
Accounts for use on all of Melbourne's toll roads can be set up through any of their managing operators. These accounts will also work on any toll road in Australia if an electronic tolling tag is also fitted to the vehicle. Drivers with interstate toll road accounts and electronic tags installed in their vehicles can immediately use all of Melbourne's toll roads.
Alternatively, casual toll road passes can be purchased either prior to or after toll road use. For travel on EastLink, you can buy a pass up to 3 days after you first travel, while for CityLink you have 5 days to buy a pass. Casual passes can cover usage on either a specific toll road or on all of Melbourne's toll roads.
Toll roads in Melbourne have blue signage with gold coloured lettering. This is in contrast to the green signage with white lettering used on roads that do not require the payment of tolls for their use.
Most hire car operators will have arrangements in place allowing you to drive the vehicle on Melbourne's toll roads without restriction and you will be automatically billed for any usage. These arrangements will either consist of an electronic tag fitted to the vehicle's windscreen or the registration of the vehicle's number plate with toll road operators for identification during your rental period. Confirm these arrangements when collecting your vehicle. Additional processing charges may be added to standard toll fees.
If your hire car operator is covering all toll usage, you should not contact toll road operators to buy toll passes or pay for usage, otherwise you may end up paying twice.
If your hire car operator is not paying your tolls for you, then refer to the section below relating to private vehicles without an electronic tag.
Electronic tags issued by any toll road operator in Australia will work seamlessly on all of Melbourne's toll roads. Simply drive though toll gantries without stopping and usage charges will be automatically billed to your own toll road account.
Interstate toll road operators:
If you currently have a toll road account in Melbourne and you have registered your vehicle's number plate with them, simply drive through toll gantries without stopping. Toll charges will be automatically billed to your own toll road account. You will be charged a number plate matching fee, however this is waived for motorcycles.
If you currently have a Brisbane or Sydney toll road account that has been set up a tagless account, then your registration number will be photographed as you drive through Melbourne toll road gantries and the toll will be directly billed to your Brisbane or Sydney toll road account, including either a number plate matching fee or a no tag fee.
Casual toll road passes issued by Brisbane or Sydney toll road operators are not regarded as toll road accounts and cannot be used on Melbourne's toll roads, except for the Linkt Sydney Pass.
Otherwise if you don't have a compatible toll road account or accepted casual pass, you will need to make payment either prior to using Melbourne's toll roads or no more than 3 days after using EastLink or no more than 5 days after using CityLink.
Casual toll road passes can be purchased by either:
When purchasing a casual pass, you will be asked to provide your vehicle's registration number so that it can be recognised by cameras when driving through toll gantries.
CityLink casual passes provide unlimited travel for 24 hours for a fixed fee on either the entire CityLink tollway (all the tolled sections of the M1 and M2) or just the "Tulla" section between Bell Street and Flemington Road (part of the M2 tollway). There is a special weekend pass that offers unlimited travel on the entire CityLink tollway from midday on Friday to Sunday night for the same cost as a weekday 24 hour pass.
For a one way trip on part of CityLink, you may find it cheaper to purchase a Visitor's Pass rather than an unlimited day or weekend pass - see below for further information.
If you buy a CityLink casual pass in advance, you will need to specify the date you will start to use it on. If you don't use it on the nominated day, no refund is available.
EastLink casual passes are single trip passes that cover one journey of any length in one direction on the tollway. Therefore a return trip on EastLink requires the purchase of two passes.
If you buy EastLink casual passes in advance, they are valid for 6 months from the purchase date.
A Visitor's Pass is a convenient option for visitors to Melbourne who make a single trip or casual trips over an extended period on all of Melbourne's toll roads. No electronic tag is required and tolls are automatically charged to your nominated credit card using number plate recognition technology when driving through toll points.
With a Visitor's Pass, you don't need to keep buying casual passes, you only accumulate charges when you actually use toll roads, and you are only charged for the actual part of a toll road you use. Note that if you intend to make multiple trips on CityLink toll roads in a single day, you may find a CityLink casual pass (24 hour pass or weekend pass) which offers unlimited travel to be better value.
A Visitor's Pass is valid for up to 30 days. While it can be used on any toll road in Melbourne (CityLink and EastLink), it cannot be used on interstate toll roads.
If you believe you may have used a toll road without a valid toll account or casual pass, contact the appropriate toll road operator as soon as possible to check whether your vehicle has been recorded as travelling on a toll road.
If it has been confirmed you have used a toll road without a valid toll account or casual pass, you have 3 days from the beginning of your first journey on EastLink to make payment or 5 days for travel on CityLink.
If you have travelled on EastLink no more than 3 days ago or CityLink no more than 10 days ago, you can open a toll road account and back-date the opening date to cover your journey.
Otherwise, a toll invoice will be posted out to the registered owner of the vehicle. This invoice will request payment for outstanding tolls and it will also include a processing fee.
To avoid having an invoice issued which attracts additional fees, ensure you either buy a toll pass prior to or no later than 3 days after your first journey on EastLink or within 5 days of your first journey on CityLink. Alternatively, open up a toll account no later than 3 days after your first journey on EastLink or within 10 days after your first journey on CityLink and back-date the starting date.