As southern Ontario drivers are likely already aware, many parts of New York are moving away from toll booths and towards "tolls by mail." In other words, there is often no longer an option of paying tolls with cash as you go. Rather, the driver has the choice between paying online, via snail mail, or through a transponder.

Here are some key points to remember if you are considering a transponder:

1) EZ Pass and SunPass don't require monthly fees -- Unlike some Canadian transponders that require drivers to pay a monthly "activation" amount, the major interstate transponders only charge you for the trips taken.

2) You can purchase transponders at places other than a toll booth -- In fact, you're more likely to be able to purchase a transponder at a regional chain, like Wegmans or Publix. Toll booths never seem to have them in stock, so it's worth checking out where else the one you are looking for can be purchased.

3) Some transponders are designed to move between vehicles -- Both EZ Pass and SunPass have models that allow drivers to switch the car associated with the transponder without calling or going online. As long as the transponder is tied to a valid credit card (and is the correct type) you can move it between rentals and your own vehicle without any hassle.

4) Your transponder will override any transponder in a rental -- if you have moved a valid SunPass to your rental, you can drive through the SunPass only lanes without worrying that you are going to be charged twice - once on your transponder and once on the rental companies. Since the moveable transponders are set up for exactly this scenario the scanner finds and charges them, which can save you a bundle.

5) Transponder tolls are often less than cash rates -- Although it's not a huge difference, you will normally save around 10-20 cents per toll by having a transponder. When you combine the savings with the convenience of driving through the transponder only lanes it is a pretty compelling reason to invest in transponders for the routes you take most often.

6) Many transponders work in multiple states -- The EZ Pass transponder network works in the majority of the Eastern States, from New York to Florida. While the SunPass is still dominant in Florida, the EZ Pass network is expanding and it's worth checking online as they are adding new routes all the time.

Hopefully these tips help you and yours gear up for epic summer road trips!