How to Avoid Tolls on Google Maps to Save Money and Time

keyKey Takeaways:
  • To avoid tolls on Google Maps, simply enter your destination, select “Directions,” tap the settings menu, choose “Options,” and enable “Avoid tolls.
  • To set your route preferences to avoid tolls permanently, go to Settings > Navigation settings > Route preferences and toggle on ‘Avoid tolls.’
  • Be aware that avoiding tolls may result in a longer trip time. You’ll have to decide if saving on tolls is worth a potentially slower route.

Nothing kills your driving vibe faster than getting stuck on a toll road.

Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or a savvy business owner aiming to cut transportation expenses, toll roads pose a common challenge. They not only add to the overall cost of your journey but also introduce delays and frustration along the way.

According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), trucks alone pay a whopping $4.2 billion in tolls every year!

But there’s good news. 

You can take control and steer clear of toll roads with Google Maps. The handy navigation app makes it simple to find toll-free routes to your destination with just a few taps.

This guide will walk you through how to avoid tolls in Google Maps for both mobile and desktop. 

So, let’s hit the road and start saving!

How to Use Google Maps Mobile App to Avoid Tolls (Android and iOS)

Toll roads are a huge hassle, but avoiding them on your mobile device is a breeze with Google Maps. The mobile app makes it simple to route around tolls with just a few taps.

Ready to save some cash?

Here’s how to avoid tolls on the Google Maps app for both iPhone and Android devices:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your phone.
  2. Type in your desired destination in the search bar, and tap on it once it appears.
  3. Tap on the “Directions” button located at the bottom-left corner of your screen. This brings up the route from your current location.
  4. Select your preferred mode of transportation (car, walking, biking, or public transit).
  5. Choose your starting location by either typing it in or allowing the app to use your current location.
  6. Now, look for the three stacked dots located at the top-right corner of the screen next to your starting location.
  7. Tap on the dots to reveal a menu, then select “Options.”
  8. In the “Trip options” menu, you’ll find a toggle switch labeled “Avoid tolls.” Toggle it on to instruct Google Maps to find a toll-free route.
  9. Once you’ve adjusted your settings, tap on the arrow icon to return to the main map screen. Then, tap the blue “Start” button at the bottom-right corner to start navigating.

And that’s it! 

Google Maps will now always give you directions that avoid any toll roads or toll plazas along the way. You’re all set to navigate without handing over your hard-earned cash at a single toll booth.

How to Avoid Tolls on Google Maps Desktop Version

Avoiding toll roads is just as easy on the desktop version of Google Maps. With a computer and internet access, you can conveniently route around tolls with a few simple clicks.

Follow these steps to avoid tolls when planning routes on Google Maps from your Mac or PC:

  1. Go to google.com/maps  in your web browser to access Google Maps on your desktop.
  2. Use the search bar to enter your destination. Click on the name when you see it appear in the dropdown menu.
  3. Click the “Directions” button in the top left of the screen.
  4. Add your starting point by typing it in and selecting the correct location when it pops up.
  5. Below the suggested Google Maps route, on the left sidebar, click on “Options.”
  6. In the “Route options” section, you’ll see a checkbox labeled “Tolls.” Check this box to instruct Google Maps to avoid toll roads.
  7. Once you’ve selected the toll-free option, click “Close” to save your settings.
  8. Google Maps will now display a toll-free new route for your journey.

It’s that easy to avoid handing over cash at toll plazas!

With just a few clicks, you can conveniently plan your road trip without tolls right from your desktop computer.

How Can You Always Avoid Tolls on Google Maps?

If you want to avoid tolls every time you use the Google Maps mobile app, you can always set your preferences to avoid tolls so toll-free routes are always selected automatically. It is a convenient way to ensure that you never accidentally end up on a toll road.

Here’s how to configure Google Maps to default to avoid toll roads:

  1. Open the Google Maps app and tap your profile icon in the top left corner.
  2. Select “Settings” from the menu.
  3. Tap on “Navigation Settings.”
  4. Scroll down and tap “Route Options.”
  5. Toggle the switch next to “Avoid Tolls” to the on position.

Now Google Maps will always give you toll-free route options whenever you search for directions!

5 Downsides of Avoiding Tolls

While avoiding tolls can save money, there are also some downsides to consider:

1. Longer travel times

Toll roads are often designed to offer faster and more direct routes, bypassing traffic congestion and urban areas. By opting for toll-free routes, you may encounter slower speeds, additional stops, or winding roads, resulting in longer travel times.

2. Potential for increased fuel costs

Toll roads often offer more direct routes with smoother traffic flow. On the other hand, toll-free routes may involve more frequent stops, intersections, or steep inclines, which can lead to increased fuel consumption. 

Over longer distances, the additional fuel costs associated with navigating toll-free routes can offset any savings gained from avoiding tolls.

3. Potential for road hazards

Toll-free routes may take you through less-traveled roads or rural areas that could pose safety risks. 

These roads may have narrower lanes, poorer signage, or inadequate lighting, increasing the likelihood of encountering road hazards such as potholes, wildlife crossings, or adverse weather conditions.

4. Limited navigation options

In some regions, particularly rural areas or less-developed countries, the availability of toll-free routes on navigation apps like Google Maps may be limited. 

As a result, you may have fewer alternative roads to choose from, making it challenging to avoid toll roads completely.

5. Inconvenience and complexity

Opting to avoid tolls may introduce additional complexity and inconvenience to your journey.

Navigating through densely populated areas or navigating around toll plazas may require more frequent lane changes, turns, or detours, increasing the likelihood of encountering traffic congestion or road closures.

When deciding whether or not to avoid tolls, consider factors like:

  • How much time you have for your trip
  • If you’ll be driving at high-traffic times
  • The cost of tolls versus gas for a longer route
  • How convenient is the toll-free route?
  • Your safety and comfort level

Even with some disadvantages, avoiding tolls is the best option for many drivers. Just weigh the benefits against the drawbacks, depending on your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

To view toll roads on Google Maps, simply enter your destination and select the “Directions” option. Google Maps will automatically display the recommended route, including any toll roads along the way. Toll roads are typically indicated by a small toll booth icon or by the word “toll” next to the corresponding segments of the route.

Unfortunately, Google Maps currently doesn’t allow you to avoid specific toll roads. You can only choose to either avoid all tolls on a given route or include them.

Yes, Google Maps utilizes GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to provide real-time location tracking and navigation services. GPS enables Google Maps to determine your precise location and plot routes based on your current position.

To ensure you’re always getting the most efficient routes while avoiding tolls, regularly update your Google Maps app and utilize features like real-time traffic data and alternative route suggestions. Additionally, consider adjusting other route preferences, such as avoiding highways, to optimize your journey further.

To avoid highways on Google Maps, follow these steps:

  • Enter your destination in the search bar and select the “Directions” option.
  • Enter your starting point.
  • Tap on the three dots (menu icon) in the top right corner of the screen.
  • Select “Options.”
  • Toggle the switch labeled “Avoid highways” to the ON position.
  • Google Maps will then recalculate the route to avoid highways and provide an alternative route that meets your preference.

Yes, Google Maps can help you avoid traffic congestion by providing real-time traffic updates and suggesting alternative routes. When planning your journey, Google Maps analyzes current traffic conditions and considers factors such as road closures, accidents, and traffic volume.

Yes, Google Maps now displays toll prices for routes in the U.S., India, Japan, and Indonesia on both iOS and Android devices. To view toll amounts:

  • Open Google Maps and enter your destination.
  • Select a route.
  • Tap the menu icon, then go to Settings > Navigation > See Toll Prices.
  • Toll amounts for roads and bridges along your route will be displayed, helping you make more informed travel decisions.

The Road Beyond Google Maps

As we’ve seen, avoiding tolls in Google Maps is simple with just a few taps or clicks. But it’s good only for basic route planning. For power users, Google Maps has some clear limitations.

Routes are restricted to just 10 stops – not ideal for larger delivery operations. And there’s no optimizing based on priority stops or time windows. You’re stuck with Google’s fixed sequence.

This is where software like Upper comes in. 

With Upper, you can:

Whether you’re an individual driver or a delivery manager, Upper gives you the advanced route customization that Google Maps lacks. It lets you tailor toll-free routes focused on what matters most – saving you time and money.

So, take control of your toll-free routing with today.

Author Bio
Manas Ronghe
Manas Ronghe

Manas Ronghe is a Customer Success Director at Upper. With over 15 years of sales experience, he has worked with a number of businesses worldwide, from restaurant owners to investment bankers. When he is not on sales calls and meetings, you will find him playing Lego with his adorable son. Read more.

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