Top 5 Benefits of FASTag

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had recently announced the conversion of all lanes at toll plazas into FASTag lanes, with effect from February 16, 2021. As a result, FASTag has now been made mandatory for all M and N category vehicles passing the toll plaza.

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FASTag 2021

While M category vehicles include four-wheelers used for passengers, N category vehicles include 4-wheelers used for carrying goods. N category vehicles may, however, carry people too. What this means is that without a functional FASTag affixed onto your four-wheeler, you will have to shell out double the applicable fee at toll plazas. The government also plans to make FASTag mandatory for those wanting to buy or renew their third-party car insurance.

But what is FASTag?

FASTag is an electronic toll collection system that employs the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and is operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). This prepaid rechargeable tag is fastened onto the windscreen of your vehicle, enabling it to pass through toll plazas without having to stop. Toll charges are directly deducted from your FASTag’s prepaid wallet or the bank account linked to your FASTag.

Here are a few benefits of using a FASTag

  • Saves fuel and time: FASTag can help you save up on both – time and fuel. FASTag is scanned and read by the tag reader at toll plazas, and the toll amount is deducted from the bank account linked to your FASTag or your FASTag’s prepaid wallet. This enables you to skip queues and pass toll plazas without having to stop at all, allowing you to save on time. This also allows you to save up on fuel spent while waiting in serpentine queues to pay the toll fee.
  • Online recharge: What makes using FASTag even more hassle-free is its online recharge feature. You can recharge your FASTag online via debit cards, credit cards, NEFT transfer, RTGS transfer, or even internet banking. All you need is internet connectivity.
  • Cashless transactions: With FASTag, you can focus on driving without having to worry about tending exact change or cash at toll plazas.
  • Spend tracking: Every time you pass a toll plaza, and toll fee is deducted from your account or prepaid wallet, and an SMS and email alert is sent to your registered phone number and email ID, intimating you of the deduction. This can help you keep track of the money you have spent on toll plazas. Additionally, you can also check your FASTag statements on the FASTag portal.
  • Environment-friendly: FASTag avoids the use of paper considering there are no receipts exchanged at toll plazas. Additionally, since vehicles can pass these plazas without having to wait in a queue, vehicles end up burning relatively lesser fuel. This is better for our environment.

FASTag comes with a few more benefits too. For instance, the Government of India (GOI) has allowed cashback incentives on the usage of FASTag. The FASTag also has a long-term validity, i.e., 5 years from the date of issuance, thereby saving you the trouble of having to get yourself a new one every now and then.

Importance of Indian vehicle insurance for FASTag

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways recently proposed that a FASTag should be made mandatory when buying third-party insurance for the vehicle. The details of your FASTag would thereby be recorded in the vehicle insurance policy. While the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has published a draft notification recommending these changes, the rule that was to come in effect from April 1, 2021, is still pending confirmation.

But do not fret if you are yet to buy a car insurance policy or if your vehicle insurance policy has expired. You can simply buy an online car insurance policy or renew motor insurance online from TATA AIG.

The TATA AIG car insurance claims process is quick and completely hassle-free. So, if you own a car, a FASTag must feature on your list of vehicle accessories. After all, given the varied benefits that a FASTag brings along, it will only do you good. Plus, who does not want a road trip minus all the hassle?

A few commonly asked questions regarding FASTag

Does FASTag need a minimum balance?

Certain issuer banks earlier mandated maintaining a minimum amount value in the FASTag account or wallet. As a result, many vehicles were not allowed to pass through these toll plazas, causing avoidable delays. However, the NHAI recently decided to do away with this requirement of a mandatory threshold amount. This move was aimed at bringing about higher penetration of FASTag and reducing congestion at the toll plazas.

Where to buy FASTag?

You can buy your FASTag from banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank. You can also purchase them from payment banks like Paytm Payments Bank and Airtel Payments Bank. The e-commerce website Amazon also offers FASTags. However, each FASTag has its own sets of benefits. So, you must choose carefully.

Which FASTag gives more cashback?

Different banks give different benefits with their FASTags. While some give cashback, some offer discounts. A couple of them also charge a one-time fee only to issue the FASTag. These charges and discounts keep varying over time.

Is FASTag good or bad?

FASTag brings with it multiple benefits. It helps save time, is hassle-free and quick, and benefits the environment. All these benefits make it a worthy investment. While people have reported technical issues like a failure in scanning, incorrect deductions etc., the government is slowly but steadily working upon these, and the system has become more foolproof over time.

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