Drivers will pay the 4% increase limit of highways for years

Drivers will pay the 4% increase limit of highways for years


The savings that users will have from not raising the rates by 8.5% that corresponded in 2023 according to the CPI will be passed on to them in future increases in a staggered manner

edurne martinez

The Government decided in its last Council of Ministers of the year that the increase in toll motorways by 2023 should be 4%, less than half the increase established by the regulations linked to the evolution of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) that The sector had registered up to now and that this year it should have been almost 8.5%. A historic increase and one that would have been practically unaffordable for the millions of users that the eleven toll motorways register every year in a context of economic crisis and a drop in disposable income for families.

But what is not paid now will be paid later. The concessionaires of the network of 1,500 kilometers of state tolls (the main ones are Abertis, Itínere, Glovalbía and Ausol), which billed around 1,500 million euros in 2019, are not willing to lose half of what they would bill in 2023 if they comply with the rise linked to the CPI. Negotiations between the Government and these companies have been tough in recent weeks and finally the Ministry of Transport has established compensation for them, but far from what they requested.

Specifically, the State will subsidize with a line of 23.3 million euros between 2023 and 2026 part of the income that these concessionaires will stop receiving next year due to the containment of the increase in tolls. Thus, from Transport they explain that the agreement establishes the obligation for the State to provide the necessary items to “partially mitigate” the rise between 2024 and 2026 so that it is staggered.

The Government limits the increase in tolls on highways to 4%

Of course, from 2027 this compensation will be paid directly by the users of said motorways. From that moment on, a series of rate increases beyond the CPI for that year will be allowed, so that drivers will be passed on this year’s savings in future rate increases, albeit gradually.

From the Ministry of Transport they explain that the increase in rates will be “cumulative”, that is, the user will end up paying the difference that he does not pay in 2023 but little by little so that the high increase in tolls that could have occurred as of 1 January without an agreement between the concessionaires and the Government will have a diluted impact over time and can be assumed “in better conditions by the citizens,” they point out.

A report with the income difference

The Official State Gazette (BOE) details that from 2024 the percentage of compensation assumed by the Ministry of Transport to the concessionaires will be progressively reduced. But this amount will be set at the Government’s proposal before January 1 of each year and “at the latest before December 31, 2026, this subsidy must be abolished.”

The decree also establishes that as of 2023, the concessionaires will have to send the Government, in the first fifteen days of each quarter, a report on the transits that have occurred in the previous quarter, indicating toll revenues and those that would have been received if they had not been received. would have applied this 4% limit. With this information, the Ministry of Transport will calculate the compensation for each company, to which will be added the interest accrued from the 16th day of the second month to the date of payment, calculated at the legal interest rate of money, details the BOE.

This will be the first time that the Government has not applied the revaluation of tolls according to the CPI since this system was approved in 2002. The highest increase in recent years occurred in 2007, when, according to the average inflation of 2006, rates rose by 4.5%. Far below have been the increases in recent years, with 1.97% in 2022, 0.11% in 2021, 0.84% ​​in 2020 or 1.2% in 2019.


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