How to Avoid Toll Roads

Use Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze and cruise without worry

Paying tolls when driving can be a real bummer, especially on a daily commute or if you don't have an electronic toll collection device, such as an E-ZPass. Luckily, if you navigate with a GPS app, such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze, you'll get a heads up if tolls are on the planned route, and you can quickly plot out an alternative that avoids toll roads and bridges. The trip might take longer, but it could also save you from sitting in traffic, in addition to the cost of the toll. All of the apps also allow you to avoid highways, and some let you skip ferries if you're not the seafaring type.

How to Avoid Tolls on Google Maps

Whether you're planning a trip on your desktop or navigating on your iPhone or Android, Google Maps makes it simple to avoid tolls.

Android screenshots of the route options button on Google Maps and how to avoid tolls in the app
Avoid tolls by tapping on route options.

In the Google Maps app:

1.      Put in your destination.

2.      Tap Directions (be sure to select driving directions, not transit).

3.      Tap on the three-dot menu on the top right.

4.      Choose Route options from the drop-down menu.

5.      Tap the square next to Avoid tolls.

6.      You can also opt to avoid highways and ferries.

On a desktop browser, the process is a bit different. First, input your destination, click Directions > Options > and select the box next to Tolls, under the Avoid section.

On the mobile app, your toll preference will remain the default, but that preference will display above the map, so you can turn it off if you don't want to avoid tolls on a particular trip. On a desktop, that preference will reset once you exit navigation.

How to Avoid Tolls on Apple Maps

Apple Maps has two ways to avoid tolls in its iPhone app.

One way is to go to Settings > Maps > Driving & Navigation, and then, under Avoid, choose Tolls. You also have the option to avoid highways.

iPhone screenshots of the driving options link and how to avoid tolls on Apple Maps
Avoid tolls by tapping on driving options.

The other way is from inside the app.

  1. Input your destination.
  2. Tap Directions, and swipe up from the bottom of the screen then tap Driving Options.
  3. Under Avoid, toggle Tolls to the On position. There's also a toggle for avoiding highways.

These options will still be in effect the next time you use the app, but Apple will offer faster routes with tolls (if applicable), so you can make an informed decision.

On the Apple Maps desktop app, there's no option to avoid tolls. It will offer you multiple routes, though, and will indicate whether or not there are tolls along the way. You can also send navigation routes from your Mac to your iPhone, and then adjust toll settings once you're in the car.

How to Avoid Tolls on Waze

Android screenshots of Waze settings button and how to avoid tolls in the app
Tap the search icon, then settings to avoid tolls.

Finally, on Waze, tap the Search icon, then the Settings gear, and under Quick Settings, toggle Avoid toll roads to the On position. Scroll down under Advanced Settings > Navigation to avoid freeways, ferries, and add toll/HOV passes. These settings will remain the default until you change them, so it's a good idea to take a look before navigating.