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An update on Sydney’s tolls

update on tolls

We last visited the controversial topic of Sydney’s tolls in March 2019. There is some good news for campers who have been paying truck prices, and for drivers who spend over $25 a week on tolls. But thanks to WestConnex M5 East and M8, and to NorthConnex later this year, we are paying more tolls than ever.

The bad news

Current tolls all over Sydney keep going up each quarter. Now drivers from the western suburbs must pay two new tolls:

  • M5 East, which used to be free, now costs up to $6.95 to get from King Georges Rd to Southern Cross Drive
  • M8 from Beverly Hills to St Peters costs $6.95.

More tolls

Opening later this year is NorthConnex, which will cost drivers $7.83 to get from West Pennant Hills to Wahroonga. Truck drivers will have to use this road, paying $23.73, or incur a nearly $200 fine for avoidance.

WestConnex M4-M5 Link will open in 2023 and connect Haberfield to St Peters. Its current expected cost is $7.76. Part of this project is the Rozelle Interchange, which connects the M4 and new M5 to Anzac Bridge and Victoria Road in Sydney, also to cost $7.76.

Finally, there are three more toll roads coming:

  • M6 Stage 1 to Sydney’s south
  • Beaches Link, to start construction in 2023
  • Western Harbour Tunnel, to start construction in 2022 and open in 2026.

Some good news

The good news is for drivers who tow caravans, boats and horse floats. Their vehicles will be reclassified as smaller cars rather than trucks, saving them up to $14 per toll road. This will be backdated to 1 June 2020 using the usual Cashback system and will apply to WestConnex and NorthConnex.

Some motorists may not know that, if you spend an average of $25 a week over a year on tolls, you get free registration. Even if you spend only $15 a week over a year, you get half price registration. So there is some relief for some drivers, however small.

The cost of trips (July 2020 prices)

For a while now we have been calculating the cost of the same five trips in Sydney. The cost of tolls for three of our trips in July 2020 has skyrocketed because of the M5 East, which used to be free and is now $6.95. Travellers from Wahroonga and Cremorne have seen only incremental increases so far but NorthConnex could soon affect them too.

to City Glendenning
to City Penrith to 
Airport via M5 Wahroonga to
Airport Cremorne to Katoomba
Toll there $25.70 $21.23 $20.09 $9.77 $21.28
Toll back $11.80 $27.23 $19.04 $15.38 $21.28
Daily toll $37.50 $38.46 $39.13 $25.15 $42.56

Source: Sydney Motorway Toll Calculator. State the entry and exit points or locate them on a map. Some entry points do not operate as exit points and vice versa.

Transurban says tolls are based on how much time you save. As long as you do save time, that may justify the price. But unfortunately, you don’t save more time whenever the toll goes up each quarter! See more on tolls.

You can at least save money on your greenslip.


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Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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