How to Use Waze to Avoid Paying Tolls on Road Trips

On the weekend when I moved to San Francisco, I decided to celebrate by finally moving all my belongings by taking a last minute trip to Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa. The brewery makes one of my favorite IPAs, which is hard to find outside of the brewery, and so I wanted to go get some provisions for my new home. It was a great idea. This continued until I approached the toll collection point and realized that I had no money and I needed to turn around.

Toll roads suck. When you live where they are, you can usually buy a pass that allows you to pay digitally. However, when you travel out of state, you again need to have some cash on hand (and be prepared to wait in traffic).

If you hate toll roads, Waze has a setting (just like Google Maps) that automatically avoids toll roads. You can make it the default setting in Waze so you never get sent on a toll road. If you customize it, chances are good that you will take routes that are longer than they would have been if you charged the toll, but if you are not used to taking toll roads (I was not) then it will help you avoid the unexpected. surprise on the trip.

To get there, open Waze on your phone and swipe right from the left side of the page. This should bring up your profile page. From there. click the gear icon to open the settings menu. Scroll down to Navigation under Advanced Settings and then select Avoid Toll Roads from the options available. From there, you can also do things like avoid freeways and ferries, or reduce the number of difficult junctions. Once set up, every time you ask for directions in the app, it avoids tolls by default.

This is probably not a setting that you want to keep leaving, but it can definitely come in handy if you are away from home and want to avoid any surprises.


Leave a Reply