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Auto-estrada is the Portuguese word for motorways/freeways. Portugal has over 2600 km of motorways/freeways crossing all the coast and connecting the main inland cities and towns. Several auto-estradas are linked with the Spanish motorway system and, through Spain, to the rest of Europe.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, Portugal was the country with the greatest development in the motorway network in the European Union. It had 316 km of motorways in 1990 and the number increased to 1242 km by 1999 and 2100 by the end of 2007.[1]

Portuguese motorways/freeways:

Tolls and taxation

Toll payment in Portugal uses a pioneer electronic payment system, Via Verde. The driver installs a small device on the front windshield that communicates electronically with Brisa (the company responsible for managing most of the motorways in Portugal). Since the payment is done electronically, it's quick to enter or leave the motorway, avoiding payment lines (which are still available for drivers who haven't adhered to Via Verde). This system has won several prizes for its innovative form of paying for services.


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