Spanish highways will be more expensive in 2023: how much?

In Spain, using a toll road in 2023 will be more expensive: how much? This is one of the big questions drivers ask themselves. The concessionaires of the Spanish highways have reminded the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda that tolls must rise according to the CPI. The Government, however, intends to limit this increase: how much are we talking about and how do they intend to achieve it?

On January 1, 2023, Spanish motorway tolls should rise by 8.4%. When the companies signed the contracts with the Government of the day, it was stipulated that, each year, the rates would be reviewed based on the evolution of prices. The reference used for this is the CPI for the last twelve months at the end of November. In this way, economic damage to the concessionaires is avoided.

A damaging increase

The companies have already transferred the facts to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, but The Government has confirmed that they are studying “different options” to reduce this increase, taking into account “the complicated international moment of high energy prices, which mainly affect mobility, and the vocation to face the inflationary spiral”, according to EFE.

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The dealerships know that an increase of 8.4% can be a double-edged sword: it would translate into an increase in future revenue, but it can also generate a drop in traffic that, after the pandemic, has not been able to recover. The price of fuel, discounts on public transport and teleworking are some of the reasons why it remains below pre-2020 levels.

For this reason, the companies that own the Spanish motorways are open to listening to the Government’s proposal: they know that if they limit this 8.4% rise, they will have to compensate them somehow.

The three government options

On the table of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda there are three options to avoid the increase and its consequences in the pocket of drivers. The first one goes through extend the concession period. The second would consist of not increase the price of tolls and compensate to the company with the equivalent amount, which would have to be extracted from the public budget. and the third would be divide the increment in different exercises.

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Taking into account that, since 2018, the current Government has not renewed the concessions that have expired, the first possibility would be ruled out. The bets suggest that the Ministry would opt for a formula that combines the other two options, like other countries are doing.

4% and compensation?

As reported The Economistthe idea of ​​the Government would go through raise tolls by 4% and offer concessionaires compensation: If they accept this proposal, the remuneration allocated to the companies that own the highways would be 22.1 million.

The negotiations would be focused, according to the aforementioned media, on defining that percentage and the formula used to restore the income that they would not obtain. The choice of that increment would not have been made at random: in the last 17 years, the rise has been, on average, 2.1% and the highest took place in 2007 with 4.5%.

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