Google Maps gets a useful money-saving upgrade

The new function works across 2,000 roads in the US and beyond

Google Maps
(Image credit: Getty)

Google has added a new feature to its Maps app for helping with road toll charges.

When searching for a journey in Google Maps, the app now estimates how much you’ll have to pay in toll road charges to reach your destination.

This estimate takes into account whether or not you have a toll pass in your vehicle. The app also cleverly works out approximately when you will be using each toll road, and then adjusts the estimated price accordingly. This is particularly useful for roads where the toll amount varies depending on the time of day or day of the week.

The feature was first announced by Google in April, and is starting to roll out now. However, it isn’t available globally at launch. Instead, toll road charge estimates are available for about 2,000 miles of roads in the US, India, Japan and Indonesia.

Until now, Google Maps would indicate if your route included toll roads, but didn’t show the price. It was also, and still is, possible to have the app create routes that avoid using toll roads.

Google Maps road tolls

(Image credit: Google)

As well as showing an estimate for what the tolls will cost, Google Maps also now shows an alternative route that avoids tolls altogether. In some cases, this will show how a route that’s only slightly slower will cost less, or nothing at all. Similarly, the app shows how much time you can expect to save by paying for the tolls.

Google said when announcing the feature in April: “We look at factors like the cost of using a toll pass or other payment methods, what day of the week it is, along with how much the toll is expected to cost at the specific time you’ll be crossing it.”

Google says the feature will come to Maps users in other countries soon. So if you have a French road trip planned this summer, hopefully, it’ll be available by then.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.