One thing you notice driving on the highways in Slovenia is that they have great roads – on a par with the best in Europe in terms of width, smoothness, etc.
How does a country of 2 million people maintain such a great road network? We wondered this as we drove from Italy to Slovenia’s capital Lubiana recently without having to pay any tolls.
We discovered they do, in fact, have a toll system but one that differs from the usual take a ticket and pay system that operates in Italy and France. They run a Vignette system. You purchase a windscreen sticker which covers a period of time – 7 days up to 12 months. Get caught driving without a valid sticker on your windscreen and a fine follows.
You would think with such a system the Slovenian authorities would publicise it widely for visitors – billboards, notices at hotels and the like. Well, not really. We found out once we’d arrived in Lubiana only because Gill and Andre who had preceded us, passed on the tip.
Apparently if you don’t find out and try to leave the country without a sticker on your windscreen the police at the border will impose a fine of between 300 and 800 Euro.
We know this is true because as we went through the border with our 7 day 15 Euro sticker a gaggle of Slovenian policemen complete with little paddles to flag cars down were scrutinising every car that went through.
There are huge signs on motorway border crossings and before them in Italy, too. If you entered the country through regular roads however, there are just regular signs right after crossing the border and at every motorway entrance as well, which you might overlook if you don’t pay attention.
Admittedly, if you don’t know what “vignette” means and you don’t enter the country via any of the motorway border crossings, where the signs actually explain it, you probably won’t make much of it, however such a system also exists in a number of European countries (Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, etc.).
We came into Slovenia on the A1 but we must have missed the signage – probably because we were trying to take everything in.
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