Last updated on 10. August 2023

If you want to travel with your personal car that is up to 3.5 tons in Bulgaria, you are required to buy the so-called “electronic vignette (e-vignette)”. In this article, we will explain to you how to do it.

Different types of distance-based toll fees need to be paid for vehicles that weigh over 3.5 tons (trucks that carry goods, buses, large vans etc.), but this article focuses only on cars.

What is an e-vignette and when do I need it?

The vignette is an obligatory fee which you need to pay if you plan to use the paid road network in Bulgaria with a light vehicle with a Bulgarian or foreign registration number that weighs up to 3.5 tons. The e-vignette itself is an electronic document that certifies the payment. The vignette is mandatory not only on highways but also on most lower-class roads. This, for example, means that you will need an e-vignette:

  • upon your first entry in Bulgaria, if you are coming from abroad and you need to reach your destination, or you are using Bulgaria to cross to another country;
  • when you need to travel between cities and villages in Bulgaria.

The list of roads with a mandatory vignette is available only in Bulgarian at dv.parliament.bg.

The requirement for vignettes on the road is marked with this road sign below, after which you need to have a valid vignette:

มองโกเลีย๔๔ • CC BY-SA 4.0.png

Vehicles that are exempted from vignette fees are:

  • vehicles with less than 4 wheels (motorcycles, tricycles, motorcycles with a sidecar, etc.)
  • agricultural machinery.

A vignette enables you to use the paid road network for a specific period (a weekend, a week, a month etc). The electronic vignette is attached to the vehicle, not the driver or the owner, so even if the ownership of that vehicle changes, the vignette is valid until its original validity expires.

How to buy a vignette?

You can buy a vignette in the following ways:

In this way you can avoid being overcharged due to possible corruption and fraud of staff at the selling points, as well as:

  • At self-service terminals which you can find along the road network and inside the country’s regional cities (in shopping centres and in the offices of the Road Infrastructure Agency) – by card payment, including by fuel card;
Source - personal Magdalena

Be mindful of the illegal practice at cash desks of charging foreigners more than the actual cost of the vignette.

To buy a vignette, you need to enter the plate number of the car, the category of the vehicle (light vehicle or trailer/caravan), and choose the period of validity of the vignette (week, month, year etc.).

Important! Double-check the information you have entered before purchasing the vignette because if it is incorrect, you cannot get a refund.

How much does it cost?

The price of the vignette depends only on the period of time you want to use it. You can choose from:

  • annual vignette – it costs 87 leva/45 euro;
  • quarterly vignette (valid for three months) – 48 leva/25 euro;
  • monthly vignette – 27 leva/14 euro;
  • weekly vignette – 13 leva/7 euro; and
  • weekend vignette (valid from Friday 12:00 to Sunday 23:59) – 9 leva/5 euro.

Your vignette will be valid from the day and time of purchase. You can also choose a different starting date of the validity of your vignette but it cannot be for more than 30 days after you have bought it.

You can check here or here the validity period of your electronic vignette by entering the vehicle license plate number.

What happens if I drive without a vignette?

If you have not paid for a vignette, you will be sanctioned. The fine is 300 leva/150 euros.

If you are stopped and checked by the authorities while driving without a vignette, you can pay a lower, compensatory fee – 70 leva/36 euros. If you pay this compensatory fee, you will not be required to pay the full fine. However, by paying it you lose the right to appeal your fine in court if you want to do so.

You can check if you have any existing fines on this link.

Can Ukrainian vehicles travel in Bulgaria without a vignette?

Only types of vehicles with Ukrainian registration numbers which:

  • travel for the purpose of providing humanitarian aid; or
  • constitute convoys intended for humanitarian or medical assistance

are exempt from paying tolls (including vignette fees) when using the paid road network in Bulgaria.

In order to be exempt from paying the fee, you would need to carry with you documents proving the existence of humanitarian or medical purposes (for example а document from the Red Cross proving that the vehicle carries out humanitarian or medical aid, etc).