It’s another day at work and you’re hauling a load down the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Traffic is moving at a steady pace, you’re listening to your favorite trucking podcast and basking in the warm sunlight that’s hitting your windshield. Suddenly, there’s flashing sign, “35 mph. Slow down. TOLL PLAZA AHEAD.” A maze of brake lights flickers in the distance. Expensive toll roads can really ruin the moment, can’t they?
You think to yourself, “Again?! I just paid a toll 15 minutes ago!”
Highway tolls are an expensive nuisance for any owner-operator or truck driver in the United States. But, like fuel, taxes and tires, highway tolls are another unavoidable cost of trucking. Toll charges average around $2500 per year for truckers. Different states have drastically different tolls which may make hauling a load even more expensive for you (or not). It could come in very beneficial for freighting and businesses that require travel to look at business mileage tracker software solutions.
It’s important to have all the toll road information available before you start driving, so you won’t face any unpleasant surprises at toll crossings. Be aware of the costly routes and calculate them into your cost per mile before you hit the road.
Which toll roads can truckers expect to hit their wallet the hardest?
The 11 Most Expensive Toll Roads in America by the Mile
- Chesapeake Expressway (Virginia): $1.05
- 17-Mile Drive (California): 54.4 cents
- Ford Bend Parkway (Houston, Texas): 53.3 cents
- Chicago Skyway: 51.2 cents
- Delaware Turnpike: 36 cents
- E-470 (Denver, Colorado): 33 cents
- SR-73 (Orange County, California): 25 cents
- Texas State Highway 130: 14.6 cents
- Triangle Expressway (Raleigh, North Carolina): 14.5 cents
- Florida State Road 417: 14.3 cents
- New Jersey Turnpike: 11.4 cents
Can expensive toll roads be avoided? Not always. As a small business owner, you may have to bite the bullet and use the expensive highway routes. Sometimes there is no sensible alternative. Toll costs aren’t the only expense to consider. Forget about the short-term financial gain and think about your operating costs in the long run. When factoring in fuel for alternative routes, truck and tire deteriorations, delays and extra time, sticking with pricey tolls on highways and turnpikes may be the better option.
Your shipping routes may not align with the most expensive highway tolls listed above, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. While certain state highway tolls are more expensive per mile, other states hit you with more toll road mileage overall, making it even more expensive for truckers to haul and deliver loads. You’re now aware of expensive tolls in the United States, but what states have the most miles of toll roads? If you’re a long-haul trucker, this list will not surprise you.
The 11 States with the Most Toll Road Mileage
- Florida: 657 miles
- Oklahoma: 596.7 miles
- New York: 574.6 miles
- Pennsylvania: 508.2 miles
- Ohio: 392.2 miles
- New Jersey: 356 miles
- Illinois: 282.1 miles
- Kentucky: 248.5 miles
- Kansas: 236.1 miles
- Indiana: 156.8 miles
- Texas: 145.6 miles
Truckers passing through these 11 states are out of luck. The bad luck doubles in states such as Florida and Texas, who made our list for the most toll mileage AND house the most expensive toll roads. With so much road wrapped up in tolls, it’s tough to find a reasonable workaround. Then again, do you really want to drive down 1-95 in Miami during rush hour when you could just stick to the turnpike?
Thankfully, not every state charges insane highway tolls. As a matter of fact, almost half of U.S. states don’t include any toll roads in their infrastructure.
States Without Toll Roads
- District of Columbia
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
If toll-free driving sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Although these states don’t have any toll roads, roughly half still operate toll bridges, toll tunnels and toll ferries. You may never fully avoid paying highway tolls in America, but we hope our US highway toll overview map helps guide your route planning.
And if you’re not already enrolled in a toll program, Florida’s SunPass or East Coast’s E-Z Pass, you should get on that.
Expensive toll roads, vehicle maintenance, fuel and tire costs are all part of what makes being a trucker a pricey profession. Fortunately, freight factoring helps truckers get paid sooner – within 24 hours of delivery. What’s even better? Factoring companies provide fuel advances (up to 50% of the load amount) to help cover costs before delivery like fuel and road tolls. Factoring helps you get right back on the road, whether it be the most expensive or cheapest one out there.