Chile’s mountains are very high, and so are their road tolls fees, specially in Santiago although the quality of the roads and their maintenance are excellent for their nearly 1 billion yearly vehicle pass-through. Santiago’s highway system offers great safety conditions for drivers and total realtime monitoring with high range digital cameras (Costanera Norte Highway alone has 187 cameras).
In Chile There are 2 types of road tolls, the Manual one and the Electronic aka TAG similar to USA’s Florida Sunpass or New Jersey EZPass, etc, but with only 1 device being able to cover about 1/3 of Chile’s entire road toll system. This means that a Tag for Santiago’s highway won’t work in Puerto Montt where only cash is accepted, also Santiago’s Highways only work with Electronic Payment so you must have it, else you will be getting a fine plus interest.
For Santiago’s Electric Tag you have two options 1- Temporary use or 2 – Subscription, if you are temporarily utilizing Santiago tolls for example if you are just crossing the nation or temporarily in Chile you can buy a temporary pass for 10 dollars and have 24 hours unlimited use of the highway. (Only 10 temporary passes per year.).
For Subscription, you can just register at any of the highways official website and buy it, you can have it get mailed in right to your Chilean address.
Well for the rest of the country you have only one way to pay and this is CASH. Just hand out your money to the cashier and wait until the green light says OK to go. If you need to calculate road tolls in Chile you can use this app which contains all road tolls in Chile and very easy to use.
The majority of Chilean roads are very good shape, except in some places which got damaged since the 2010 8.8 Earthquake. Rule of thumb, if you are paying for a toll then you will get a well-maintained road.
For Santiago, Roads are very well kept with modern lighting, great signalization, well painted division lines and emergency exits. Costanera Norte has complete Emergency Team that can assist you securely and free of charge with ambulances, vehicular rescue, Tow truck, Guards, Paramedics in Motorcyles and coordination with Ambulances, Police and Health Services in realtime.
This highway also has 263 emergency exits in addition 5 kilogram dry smoke fire extinguisher and fire hose located every 50 meters or 54 yards.