If you travel along any of our fine expressways (Star Tollway, SLEX, NLEX, SCTEX, or TPLEX), you are probably familiar with vehicle classifications and their corresponding fees. Keen eyes will also notice a height measurement at every toll booth that reads 7ft6in. Here are the classification guidelines as they stand today.
Class 1 vehicles are cars, taxis, jeepneys, vans, SUVs, and pickups—below 7ft. Motorcycles above 400cc are also included here.
Class 2 vehicles are light trucks and buses with two axles, and exceed the 7ft6in height limit. A modified SUV or pickup that that is taller than the limit is considered a Class 2 vehicle.
Class 3 vehicles are trucks and lorries that exceed the 7ft6in limit—and have more than two axles.
Some folks still think that if the luggage you carry on your roof exceeds the 7ft6in marker, your vehicle will be classified differently. The good news is that even if your Class 1 vehicle has bicycles mounted on a roof rack, the classification doesn’t change. There are some exceptions, though.
The question is: Can my vehicle’s classification change based on what I have done to it? The short answer is yes, but some explanation is necessary. So, during a recent trip to Baguio City, we pulled over after a toll-booth exit to chat with a supervisor. Angelica Pulido was happy to answer our questions. We also called the NLEX hotline and the person on the line verified our list below.
Here are some scenarios that might leave motorists sweating as they reach for their wallets at the toll booth.
1. If your Class 1 vehicle is towing a trailer, you will be charged as a Class 2 vehicle.
2. A pickup or SUV that has been modified into a 6x6 will be charged as a Class 3 vehicle—if it exceeds 7ft6in. If it is below 7ft, it is still Class 2 vehicle.
3. If your Class 1 vehicle has bicycles on the roof, or bags, and hits the 7ft6in limit, it will still retain its original Class 1 classification. This was a point of contention in the past, but the policy had already been changed.
4. However, if a Class 1 vehicle’s roof cargo is for commercial or business purposes—like brooms, vegetables, cabinets, foam beds, or funeral caskets—then it will be classified as a Class 2 vehicle.
5. Pickups with big motorcycles transported on the bed are still Class 1 vehicles.
We hope this clears things up. Safe travels, everyone!