E-ZPass Vs I-Pass: Which One Is Right for You?

E-ZPass and I-Pass serve as a better way to pay for your toll. You can skip the cash or mail payment; payment is made automatically. 

However, you may be stuck with choosing between E-ZPass and I-Pass toll tag, or you are just wondering what’s the difference. 

This article will examine the meaning, differences, and other factors before choosing between E-ZPass and I-Pass.

What is an E-Z Pass?

The E-ZPass is how people living in the United States can pay tolls. It is actively used in about 17 states across the USA. 

It works with the help of a transponder mounted on a vehicle’s windshield. When traveling on any toll road, bridge, tunnel, or thruway, the transponder automatically charges your E-ZPass account. 

You do not necessarily need an E-ZPass to travel around the USA. Others can be charged in other ways than being sent to you. For instance, some electronic tolls will detect vehicles without a valid tag. The invoice will be mailed to the owner’s car without an invalid tag and may cost more. 

There are three major types of E-ZPass, and they include the following. 

1. E-ZPass Basic

The basic plan comes with a free transponder and does not require any minimum. However, the basic plan requires a minimum prepaid balance in your account. 

The good part about the basic part is that passenger and commercial vehicles get a 5% discount for E-ZPassNY on the Thruway. 

2. E-ZPass Flex 

The flex plan lets users indicate they have enough passengers in their vehicle. It qualifies the car for free travel on Express lanes. However, the express lanes need to be covered by E-ZPass. 

3. E-ZPass Plus 

This plan offers users to use E-ZPass to park at airport garages in New York and New Jersey. 

What is I-Pass?

I-Pass, stands for Illinois toll pass. Like the E-ZPass, it is a means of payment for tolls, but it is used on Illinois toll roads and bridges. It is an electronic tag that will be installed on the windshield. 

Another good thing about I-Pass is that you can use it on all toll roads that accept E-ZPass.

I-Pass can be used in 17 states in the US and 29 tolling agencies. Additional states include those that accept E-ZPass. 

Is E-ZPass better than I-Pass?

If you are looking to choose the best electric toll tag for your vehicle, there are many things you need to consider. Factors like location, price, discount, and installation play a vital role in choosing the right subscription. 

Considering these factors, we can compare the E-ZPass and I-Pass, and you can see which best suits your travel needs. 

1. Price 

The price is essential when choosing the best electronic toll tag for your vehicle. 

Firstly, we will be looking at the cost of getting an E-ZPass. It will not cost you anything to get an E-ZPass, as the transponder is free. However, you are required to pay a $10 refundable deposit.

Also, you are required to maintain an initial prepaid balance. It will cost you between $20-$35. It will be charged to your card as the balance exceeds a certain amount. 

Now we move to the I-Pass electronic tag. The cost of getting an I-Pass is $30. You will also have to pay a $10 refundable deposit. You will then have to further deposit $20 for prepaid tools. 

In addition, you need a minimum balance of $20; once it hits that, your account will auto-replenish 10% of your average usage. The good thing is that you are not charged an annual fee. 

2. State Used 

It is essential to consider where you stay before buying an E-ZPass or I-Pass. They do not function in all states in the US. 

E-ZPass only functions in 17 states in the US 

  1. Delaware
  2. Indiana
  3. Maine
  4. New Hampshire,
  5. Ohio
  6. Virginia
  7. Florida (only in Orlando region)
  8. Kentucky
  9. Maryland
  10. New Jersey
  11. Pennsylvania
  12. West Virginia
  13. Illinois
  14. Massachusetts
  15. North Carolina
  16. New York
  17. Rhode Island

E-ZPass does not function everywhere in Florida, only in the Orlando region. You can also use E-ZPass in some parts of Canada, like peace bridge, Rainbow Bridge, and more. 

On the other hand, I-Pass also functions in only 17 states in the US and 29 tolling agencies in the US. It works in all the states where E-ZPass is accepted, including additional parts of Florida. 

3. Discount 

Another factor you should consider when choosing between E-ZPass and I-Pass is their discount. 

Firstly, E-ZPass offers discounts on toll charges depending on which state it was issued and the toll facility you use. 

For instance, if you use an E-ZPass NY on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, you save $3.38. The price is compared to playing by E-ZPass, with no cash payment. 

The discount offered by E-ZPass also varies with time, but you can be sure it is cheaper than paying by mail or cash. 

I-Pass offers up to 50% discount if used on Illinois state toll roads. Vehicles without the I-Pass transponder must pay cash at the toll gate. 

4. Installation 

The E-ZPass and I-PAss are pretty easy to install, depending on their tag type. 

E-ZPass comes with two types of tags, which are external and internal. The internal tag is mounted on the windshield within the vehicle. All you need to do is properly clean the area with alcohol and press firmly on the area. 

In addition, you will have to find a flat surface in front of the bumper for the external tag. It could be where the license plate is located. Position it well and screw it in place. 

Final Thoughts!

A toll tag will help you save time and money compared to mail or cash payment. Payment is charged to your account and replenished via your card when it exceeds a certain amount. 

Choosing the best tool tag could be tricky; however, knowing their services will help you make a better decision. 

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  • Edmond Davis

    I'm Edmond Davis, an automotive expert with years of experience in vehicle repair, performance, and safety. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Automotive Engineering and have worked with major companies like Ford, GM, and Chrysler. I'm a trusted source of information for anyone looking to learn more about cars or improve their driving experience.

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