Tolls for trucks are on the way up. Whether you drive a truck or a passenger vehicle, these tolls will hit your pocket eventually. As truck tolls cost three times more than light vehicle tolls, goods that trucks carry must become more expensive.
Tolls for heavy vehicles in NSW are known as Class B charges while passenger vehicles are Class A. For both types of vehicle, tolls for the M2 and M7 vary depending on distance travelled while the Harbour Bridge or Tunnel toll depends on time of day.
|Class B tolls|
| Eastern Distributor
| Cross City Tunnel
|M7||Up to $23.67|
| Lane Cove Tunnel
| Harbour Bridge/Tunnel
The cost of trips
This table shows you the difference between the cost of driving a truck and driving a car on each of four return trips in Sydney.
| Penrith to
Airport via M5
| Wahroonga to
|Road tolls there||$17.12||$19.74||$12.41||$9.29|
| Road tolls back
| Car daily road tolls
| Road tolls there
| Road tolls back
| Truck daily road tolls
|Difference|| 2.3x higher
|| 2.8x higher
|| 3x higher
|| 2.4x higher
It draws on the publicly available Sydney Motorway Toll Calculator. You need to know the names of entry and exit points and, if not, locate them on a map. Some entry points on motorways do not operate as exit points and vice versa.
- Government contracts with the private sector allow for tolls to rise each quarter
- These prices still increase, whether or not the road fulfills its promise to cut congestion and reduce travel time
- Tolls go up even while roadworks are underway and benefits are still far off.
There are few businesses in Australia that enjoy the luxury of increasing prices every quarter, no matter what.
Tolls are currently rising at around 4% per year, well over inflation. The NSW government says toll increases should not be limited to the rate of inflation because that would push up the initial price of future toll roads.
Transport for NSW claims it would be harder to attract private investment, reduce competition in the market and increase overall costs for everybody. Yet, Morgan Stanley says Transurban has a “meta monopoly” on private roads in Australia, controlling 13 of the 15 toll roads in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Industry observers say freight owners will be forced to pass on the cost of tolls to their customers while others will just avoid the toll roads altogether. This would clog up local roads with heavy vehicles.
Proponents of tolls and toll increases claim the considerable cost of fuel and maintenance makes it more important for truck drivers to save time. They claim truck owners get value for money with the time they save.
However, the same claims have been made for passenger vehicles. Clearly these roads are heavily congested during peak hours.
Worth the cost?
Transport for NSW recently claimed users are not sensitive to the price of tolls, as long as they save time. Taxpayer money was used to fund this research. So is it true?
We’re asking you, whether you drive a truck or a car: do you care about the rising price of tolls?