What happens if you DON’T pay the M50 toll? Outcomes explained

Paying a toll might seem simple, but there are enormous consequences for those who don’t bother, so let us explain.

What happens if you don’t pay the M50 toll? Outcomes explained.

While many of us do our best to stay out of trouble, sometimes, we overlook things that can leave us in tricky situations.

For instance, not paying your M50 toll might seem easy to forget, especially if you travel frequently or are in a rush, but when we explain the worst outcomes of not paying the toll, you will never run the risk again.

So, if you ever wondered what’s the worst that could come of not paying, let us explain what happens if you don’t pay the dreaded M50 toll.

The M50 and its toll explained – essential info

The essential information about the M50, its tolls and the outcomes.
Credit: geograph.ie / David Dixon

Those living in or around County Dublin will be aware of the M50, which cannot be avoided if you want to get around the city the fastest way possible.

The C-shaped motorway is the busiest in Ireland, and anyone driving it, especially at rush hour, will know this.

The road features two barrier-free tolls, one between the N3 and N4 exits called the West-Link Toll, and the other is the Dublin Port Tunnel Toll.

There are plenty of ways to pay for your toll and discounts. Regular users may opt for an eTag from an authorised provider. If you don’t regularly use the M50, you can pay the toll online, by telephone (0818501050), or at Payzone retail outlets across the country.

Motorcyclists and disabled drivers with qualifying vehicles (and a DTES disc) can travel toll-free. Furthermore, Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, and fire brigade vehicles are exempt from paying the toll.

You must always pay a toll unless you fall into these categories. But what’s the worst that could happen if you don’t?

RELATED READ: Everything you need to know about driving in Ireland.

What happens if you don’t pay the M50 toll? – all outcomes explained

What happens if you don't pay the M50 toll? The outcomes explained.
Credit: Unsplash / Ibrahim Boran

Since the M50 motorway is barrier-free, many people might overlook the fact that this is a toll road despite the many signs along the way.

Tolls cannot be paid on the spot in cash; they can be paid online, by phone, at any Payzone outlet, or by utilising an eToll Tag.

On the other hand, several things will occur if you forget to pay your toll.

  • Firstly, if you don’t pay your toll by 8 pm the following day, you will be notified with a First Penalty Notice. This bill will include a penalty of €3.50 on top of the toll, and you will have 14 days to pay this. The total will be €7.
  • Secondly, if this new total of €7 is not paid within another 14 days, you will be sent an Unpaid Toll Notice letter. This bill will include a late payment of €46.50, brining your total to €53.50.
  • Finally, if you fail to pay the amount of €53.50 due within a further 56 days, an additional €116 penalty will apply. The total due after ten weeks, including fines and penalty charges, will be €169.50.

The good news and the bad news – things are getting serious

What happens if you don't pay the M50 toll? The outcomes explained.
Credit: Unsplash / Ibrahim Boran

If you have still not paid the tolls and penalties after ten weeks, legal proceedings will be initiated, and this is when things get serious. There is a possibility of a court fine of up to €5,000 for each missed payment.

You could even be imprisoned for six months, but the good news is that no one has been jailed for non-payment of a toll yet.

However, your vehicle could be seized if fines remain unpaid. Official figures show that the Dublin Sheriff seized 94 vehicles within the first ten months of 2021.

M50 toll horror stories – stories that made the headlines

M50 toll stories that made the headlines.
Credit: Pexels / Kindel Media

If you thought you could dodge the M50 toll and get away with it, think again. These headlines proved that huge fines exist for those using the road and never paying.

  • “Court issues fines totalling €417,000 to 28 M50 toll dodgers”. Full story here.
  • “Motorists who failed to pay M50 tolls ended up fined up to €15,000”. Full story here.
  • “Driver fined €25,000 for dodging M50 tolls”. Full story here.
  • “Judge fines motorists €215,000 for failing to pay M50 tolls”. Full story here.

So, if you thought dodging the toll wasn’t that risky, now you know better. It might be worth signing up for an eToll tag to prevent getting caught up in any potentially harrowing situations.

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