Updated January 1st, 2024 at 19:52 IST

Do you know which vehicles don't pay tolls? Discover the 5 exempt categories

NHAI exempts emergency, defense, VIP, public transport, and two-wheelers from tolls. Bonus: civilian cars wait over 100m queue, pass free.

Reported by: Garvit Parashar
5 Vehicle Categories Exempt from Toll Payments | Image:ANI

The National Highway Authority of India has done many things which are slowly and steadily bringing smoothness in the traffic flow at the toll plazas in the past few years. Still after the efforts of NHAI we still see the jams and the reason is that some motorists feel they can pass the toll for free. Sometimes these motorists have reasons which they give to get the liberty.

However, it is crucial to note that NHAI guidelines explicitly outline only five categories of vehicles exempt from toll payment, with no additional exceptions.


The exempt vehicle categories include:

  • Emergency Services
  • Defence Services
  • VIP Vehicles
  • Public Transport
  • Two-wheelers

According to NHAI guidelines, ambulances, fire brigades, and police vehicles engaged in emergency services are exempt from toll charges. Similarly, active-duty defence vehicles belonging to the Army, Navy, or Air Force qualify for toll exemption. VIP vehicles transporting dignitaries such as the President, Prime Minister, and High Court Judges on foreign visits are also excluded. Public transport vehicles operated by the state and two-wheelers, with some exceptions at specific national highway plazas, are not required to pay toll.

Knowledge Box: While civilian cars are not exempt from toll charges, NHAI guidelines mandate that vehicles should not queue up for more than 100 metres at toll plazas. Toll operators must ensure a service time of no more than 10 seconds per vehicle. If these conditions are not met, and the queue exceeds 100 metres, toll staff are obligated to allow cars to pass without payment until the queue falls within the specified range. Toll lanes are marked with a yellow line to visually identify the 100-metre threshold, promoting accountability among toll plaza operators.


Published January 1st, 2024 at 19:52 IST