There are not enough arguments for how bad of an idea it was for the government to put tolls on the A22 “Via do Infante” motorway in the Algarve (besides the fact that the motorway was already paid and that most of the money came from the European Union), but now that the bad has been done, im going to try to give a perspective on how it works and how you can still have a great time moving around the Algarve.
So if you have a rental car, its best to see what is your contract with the rental company, some will have it included in the prices other wont.
The system itself to pay is a bit confusing, so here is a small explanation as best as i can, also be sure that they are still trying to tweak this, so they might change somethings in the future, but overall this is what you should expect, you have to pay before taking the trip or afterwards.
To pay before you will have to buy or rent an electronic device, these are available alongside the highways, in the highway service areas and on the Portuguese post-office, after you get the device and install it on the car its pretty simple, if you buy its just gonna charge the amount on your bank/credit card/whatever payment you choose, if you rented it, it will take the money from your pre-paid amount.
Also if you have the “via-verde” device, you don’t need to buy a new device, since it will work just as well on these new tolls.
Without a electronic device, you can buy beforehand a 3 day pre-paid ticket (but this is only available for foreign license plates), you can get a prepaid ticket for the trip (the toll system will take a photograph of your license plate and compare with the records if you had a prepaid ticket then you are fine) and finally you can pay after circulating, for all of these you have to go to a payshop (any kind of newsagent that has a “payshop” sign) or the post-office, also the prepaid ticket and paying after circulating is only for Portuguese license plates.
Yeah i know, confusing much, i would say if you trip in the Algarve is short don’t take the highway its too expensive and you spend more gas, better to use local roads like the A125, however if you are going across the Algarve its still better to use the highway even if you are paying a bit more, its unfortunate but its still the best way to move fast, especially now since the local roads are more busy since most people avoid the highway.
Any questions or problems, just make a comment, have a awesome time in Praia da Luz!