Slovenia’s vignette wants you

Photo by Hudin

Have you ever been really wanted as in desired or prized or coveted? If not, then travel by car through Slovenia. There, upon entering the highways, you’ll have to purchase the “vignette” which is a little sticker you put in the window of your car to blaze through toll centers and just pay once. It’s a horribly primitive punch card affair which makes it feel as if you’ve suddenly entered the 19th century and are taking the train to Vienna to visit the current Emperor. But, it loves the bejesus out of tourists, if for no other reason than getting to screw them while milking them like a cow.

You see, the these little passes come in three flavors: weekly, six month, and yearly. The cost is 15€, 30€, and 95€ respectively. If you’re doing a lot of driving around Slovenia, it’s a good deal. If you’re not and are just passing through, given that it sits between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia, it’s bullshit. You see, the one week pass isn’t one week, it’s six days and spare hour change. If you’re taking a full seven day trip to Croatia like we recently did, you’ll have to buy two of these passes or a monthly one, which is essentially the same cost. And let’s emphasize that driving more than two hours in Slovenia is difficult given how small it is, so given the distances being traveled, the cost is prohibitive.

The Slovenes love it because it’s cheap for them when spread out over a year. The EU however, is not enchanted and even warned Slovenia that they needed to reform it to not discriminate against those from outside Slovenia due to all countries needing to be treated equal in the EU, unless of course you’re Germany, in which case you run the EU.

Thankfully, there are some solutions. Friends of ours who are Istrians and have an apartment to rent wrote up how to fully avoid the Slovenia tolls when going from Italy to Croatia. You can also view the route on Google Maps. Sure, it takes a few minutes longer, but it sure beats blowing 30€ for the “favor” of passing through Slovenia.