The M4 toll road is a relatively new link connecting the N4 and N6 highways to the M4 motorway at Kilcock. It begins about 35 km west of Dublin on the road to Sligo and Galway and passes through counties Meath, Westmeath and Kildare. Tolls are levied at the toll station between junctions 8 and 10.
The M4 / M6 motorway is a public, private partnership (PPP) between Ireland’s National Road Authority (NRA) and Eurolink. This was the first toll road to be planned by the NRA, with preliminary considerations launching in 1999 and announced in 2000. The project cost around €322 from start to finish and was completed 10 months ahead of schedule (in 2006).
Along the way, contractors added 39 km worth of dual carriageway between Kilcock and Kinnegad, extending the existing N4 / N6 roadway. The toll road includes bypasses of the towns of Enfield, Moyvalley, Clonard and Kinnegad and is estimated to shave roughly 20 minutes off of the travel time between Dublin and either Galway, Mayo or Sligo. Tens of thousands of vehicles make use of the toll road on a daily basis.
Tolls collected along this stretch of the motorway ensure that it is well-maintained over the course of its concession. An automated toll system (eToll) is available to vehicles fitted with an electronic tag, but this is only practical for long-term visitors and residents. Tourists can pay by cash or credit card.
Toll schemes are overseen by the NRA and are currently (as of 2013) set at €1.50 for motorcycles over 50cc and €2.90 for standard automobiles. Tolls are higher for buses, coaches and other commercial vehicles. Tolls are subject to change over time, so check the NRA website for up-to-date toll rates. Customers who have a rental car Dublin or any other locations are responsible for paying their own tolls.
A motorist travelling westbound from Dublin who passes through the main toll plaza and then exits at Enfield can re-enter the toll road for free within a three-hour window. Taking advantage of this requires a bit of foresight. Upon initially entering the toll plaza, choose one of the manned toll booths and request a re-entry ticket from the operator. Upon re-entering at Enfield, it’s not necessary to choose a manned booth. Simply press the re-entry button and enter the code given on the ticket.
If travelling eastbound, all entry booths are automated. However, you can still request a re-entry ticket and re-enter within three hours at Enfield. Surrender the ticket to the cashier at the mainline toll plaza on the Dublin side.