Tollbooths are facilities based along roadways where road users are required to pay a fare in exchange for using a specific stretch of road or highway. Tollbooths can be found in various areas of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars; their functionality varies between games.
In GTA San Andreas, tollbooths can be be found in San Fierro at the entrance to Gant Bridge. Although cars stop at the tollbooth, it isn't functional for players (meaning no money is paid). NPC vehicles can be observed stopping at the tollbooths for several seconds, but the drivers cannot be seen paying anything. Modifications can be used to simulate the tollbooth functionality from GTA IV. Otherwise the tollbooth primarily serves as a road obstacle.
In GTA IV, tollbooths are fully functional and appear in Charge Island along the East Borough Bridge, on the Dukes Bay Bridge (Sing Sing Avenue bridge from Dukes to Bohan), and the long-term carpark in Francis International Airport. Players must stop and pay a toll of $5 to pass through; if the player breaks through the tollbooth gate without paying, the player will attract a wanted level of 1 star (although other drivers do not attract police attention if they break through the gate). If the player is driving an emergency or law enforcement vehicle, they will not be stopped or charged at tollbooths; if the player can drive around a tollbooth, they will not attract police attention or have to pay. Assignments during the game's version of the Taxi Driver sub-mission will often require the player to cross a toll bridge, potentially reducing the net profit from the mission unless the toll is avoided.
Tollbooths function the same way in GTA Chinatown Wars, attract the same toll ($5), and are in the same locations, with the exception of the Francis International Airport booth (now non-functional). The toll, however, must be actively paid—when stopping at or driving slowly past the toll booth, the screen will show an image of the trough used to collect coins. Pressing a button or touching the trough (touch screen devices) will throw the required amount, allowing the player to continue. There is no room to drive around these booths. However, to skip past the tollbooth, the player can simply approach the booth at speed when no vehicles are around, bail out of the vehicle, and the vehicle will roll past the booth. Then, simply walk through the booth and re-enter the vehicle.
- In GTA IV and GTA Chinatown Wars, the player can drive an emergency vehicle through tollbooths to avoid being charged. Another way to get through the tollbooth without paying is to bail out of the car while it's going through the booth, then simply walking to the car on the other side and driving off. Also, the tolls can be passed slightly faster with the cell phone out, allowing the player to slow down instead of stopping. On top of this, there is a gap between the two sides of the road which can be passed through by thin to average width cars and bikes, allowing you to pass through free of charge. However, there is no gap in GTA Chinatown Wars, meaning that you must bail out or use boats/emergency vehicles to pass through free of charge.
- Also, occasionally, if you drive very fast through the tollbooth when no cars are in front of you, you might get away without paying.
- When on a motorcycle, you can go through the narrow sides of the tollbooth at the edges of the road where no booth is.
- If another car is in front of you, you can smash the car through the barrier and drive through without getting police attention.
- Another way to avoid paying is to reverse your car/bike through the barrier.
- If the player has three wanted stars and smashes through the barrier, it will be reduced to one star. If the player has six stars and hits the barrier, it may reduce to four stars.
- Once you pay at a toll booth, your window will disappear in the same way it does when it is broken for a drive-by.
- If you break through a toll booth, the attendants will shout things like "Smile, you're on CCTV", "Come back and pay your toll!" or "Get back here, you son of a bitch!".
- If you drive fast enough and hit the booths, they will come out of place.
- Interestingly, when you're on a motorcycle and you decide to pay, the protagonist will sit as if in a car while paying, then resume the normal motorcycle driving position.