Spain traffic tickets

Old Dec 12th, 2014, 01:25 PM
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Spain traffic tickets

got a notice from Hertz for 40 euros for a traffic violation on a date when we were driving in Spain (notice unclear as to exact city (we were in 2 that day) or specific violation)
I am assuming there are cameras in old cities like Granada where it is impossible for tourists to avoid disobeying traffic laws due to serpentine maze of alleys and streets
called Hertz they were helpful - paid the 40 euros which is only the fee to Hertz for the difficult admin task of giving my address to the policia.
I am thinking it was for driving on a 1 way, or parking in a restricted area....hoping its not too high of a fine.
I paid the Hertz part because I use them a lot in the US...wondering if i should pay the spanish govt fine when i comes in or what happens if I ignore from the US..I don't like to have outstanding debts but this borders on entrapment, any opinions?
jp4120 is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2014, 01:32 PM
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Much has been written and discussed on these boards over the last several months about this topic in a number of European countries.

Bottom Line
Each car rental company charges an admin fee for a pending fine regardless of the disposition.

If you plan on visiting Spain again and are going to rent a car pay it.

It is very difficult to fight from this side of the Atlantic.
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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There have been quite a few stories about payment and how the total cost is often triple the original fine, what with the rental agencies fee, late fees for not paying the ticket on time and currency exchange fees and wiring fees. These latter fees can be minimized by using Transferwise. I am currently using it to transfer money from a French bank account to the U.S., and it is much cheaper than using a bank or even an exchange service such as xe.com. I have not used it to go from dollars to euros, but the company advertises that it will accept your dollar payment from a credit card and it will deposit the euros into a specified account which in this case would be the agency levying the fine. You may want to check into this way of paying your fine.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 02:26 PM
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The only real question is did you 'do the crime'. If you did, then pay the fine.

As for, " it is impossible for tourists to avoid disobeying traffic laws due to serpentine maze of alleys and streets", nice try but that dog won't hunt. Thousands of tourists drive everywhere in Spain every year without breaking a traffic law.

" this borders on entrapment". Another dog that won't hunt. You are free to dispute the fine in court just as you are at home. It would only border on entrapment if you were in fact prepared to dispute the infraction but aren't doing so because of the inconvenience and you believed they issued tickets to tourists on purpose knowing they won't fly back to dispute them. I don't think you are really trying to imply they do that are you jp4120.

Bottom line, you did the crime now pay the dime and don't look for sympathy about how you couldn't avoid it or they are taking advantage of you. Be a big boy.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 02:32 PM
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Why do so many Americans think the traffic fines they incur in Europe are entrapment or aimed at US tourists?
Cameras can't tell who you are, or where you are from, but they can, and do record traffic infringements, speeding usually, but jumping red lights, driving in restricted zones etc.
The fines are not at the whim of some vindictive law enforcement official.

If you get the actual fine, which you may or may not, it will tell you what you did wrong, where and at what time.
If you were there then you have a choice. You could ignore it, since they are unlikely to pursue it (but if they do the fine will be considerably higher), or you can be a good upstanding citizen, with a good moral compass, and pay the fine.

The choice is yours. If you intend to ever visit Spain again then you have to pay.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 04:02 PM
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Sorry - we have done close to 20 road trips in europe and have never gotten a traffic ticket. We have found if you start out with a decent map, pay attention to the signs and follow them you wil not have a problem.

And yes, most countries are putting in cameras in areas with frequent infractions (for locals as well as tourists). If you don;t want to get a decent map and check rules in advance suggest you travel by train.
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Old Dec 12th, 2014, 08:30 PM
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I have done so many things wrong driving in Spain, fortunately none of them have ever been caught on camera.

As you can see JP, Fodors attracts people who have never cheated on their taxes, stolen office supplies, or challenged a ticket or false charge. It is truly stunning how the people here have led a perfect life and are in a position to be judgmental and so unforgiving.

I think that is the way most of them travel as well.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 12:25 AM
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ImDone, I have had speeding fines. I pay them.
When travelling I try to know the rules the road, and what signs mean, and I try to abide by them. If I get a fine from abroad I don't scream entrapment. I accept that I was caught and pay up.

What people should be complaining about is being charged €40 by a hire car company for what is 10 minutes work at most.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 01:27 AM
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You can't pay anything yet as you haven't had a ticket, although the likelihood is that you will get one. If and when it arrives, then decide if it was you in the place and time you get quoted. If it wasn't, challenge it. If it was, decide whether you want to pay it. Hertz won't care if you do or don't.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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IMDoneHere, nonsense.

If someone from Idaho gets told by Hertz they incurred a traffic fine in the car they rented in Florida, do they ask 'should I pay it' or suggest 'it is impossible for tourists to avoid disobeying traffic laws' and suggest it 'borders on entrapment'?

That this happened in Spain is no different whatsover.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 08:12 AM
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Don't know why you think you shouldn't know traffic laws and obey them if you are driving in any country. Should tourists in the US ignore US traffic laws and not pay their fines?

Car rental contracts in the US include the fee for turning your info to police also. People just don't bother to read the fine print of the contracts they sign.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 08:30 AM
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The typical traffic violation in Spain is for speeding. You will eventually receive the notice in the mail and can deal with it then. It should be coming from the Guardia Civil in the district where the infraction occurred.

Hertz, as with any rental car agency, does not keep records on traffic violations, they simply charge you an administration fee for giving your information to the police so that they can send you the ticket.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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If you go over to the New Zealand thread you will see Chinese tourists who seem to think driving on the wrong side of the road, not knowing how to drive despite having a license and speeding is acceptable and are surprised to end up in jail.

Know your laws when you take charge of potentially dangerous pieces of equipment and when you break the law, expect punishment.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 02:46 PM
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The story is similar for most tourist murderer/speeders, they do not even sure how and when they broke the law. For the most part, all these stories are accompanied by a quizzical aspect by the driver.

As noted earlier and in other postings, I am sure all of you are perfect specimens who have never contested a ticket. Or how many of you have driven up to a cop and said, "I just broke the law, please give me a ticket." Or in the case of many of these European stories drive up to a cop and say, "I think I just broke the law, so give me a ticket now to avoid the Hertz admin costs and the cost of wire transfer from dollars to Euros."

It is just the harsh aspect of guilty without other evidence, and this unforgiving attitude, that is curious. But I guess it is keeping with the punitive nature of America where we have the percentage of people in prison in the world and the highest rate of executions, only surpassed by dictatorships.

Let's execute tourists who speed!!!
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 02:54 PM
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For my trip this year, I paid my speeding ticket for The Netherlands, even though I was 3 kms over the limit. And it occurred on a day when it was raining and I was lost and I didn't even know I was speeding because of the circumstances.

I also sent cash to the most amiable innkeeper in Gent for a parking ticket because he paid it. And the town of Gent was negligent because the machine that gave the parking receipt was malfunctioning. By the way he owns Snooze B & B in Gent which is currently the number one place to stay on TA.

It is the harsh attitude here, that I find curious.

Those who will suffer if these stories will continue are the car rental companies. I for one, will consider other possibilities for transportation before I rent again in Europe. And no one likes to be charged $40 admin charge by the car rental companies, even if they are guilty.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 04:53 PM
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<i>Those who will suffer if these stories will continue are the car rental companies.</i>

The same thing occurs in the States, also for tolls on unattended bridges such as the Golden Gate Bridge. But try to use public transportation in the States for tourism. It can be done, but most of us are not used to it nor desire to do it.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 08:27 PM
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I had a similar experience with Hertz. We spent six months or so in Andalusia living in a relatives house and rented a car for several months from Hertz. Months after we returned to the UK I received emails from both Hertz requesting the admin fee and Th guardia requesting payment of the fine.

I managed to pay the Hertz fee fairly easily ( although my bank charged a significant amount for the privilege of the bank transfer!). I tried and tried to pay the fine itself but despite speaking ok Spanish, could work out how to do it online. In the end I gave up.

That was 2 years ago and we have returned several times since. I have rented cars from Hertz and others without incident and was not detained at the border so I presume I will be ok in future. i imagine that it is unlikely the immigration comp system is link with that administering traffic fines so I am assuming that it is unlikely it will ever be picked up.
I am all for "do the crime , pay the fine" but if they insist on making it so bloody complicated I am not going to waste my time trying to work out how to pay.
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Old Dec 15th, 2014, 02:43 AM
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IM, many of us aspire to a higher standard than you suggest here.

We do pay our income taxes, all of them; when we had a house cleaner, we paid her Social Security; and we pay tickets before they are due. We tell the wait person or store clerk if they have undercharged us. Perhaps that makes us suckers or fools. In that case, I am a happy fool.

We have successfully contested incorrect tickets, we point out overcharges and get them adjusted, and the only time our taxes have been audited, we got refunds back from all three states who thought we owed them money.

There is no peace without justice, whether in politics or in the mind.

End of la di da rant.
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Old Dec 15th, 2014, 09:00 AM
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To be fair to jp4120, I don't read in the OP that he is contesting the fine as legitimate or will not pay it if it is the wise thing to do.

My only objection to his OP are the comments about being, 'impossible for tourist to avoid' and 'bordering on entrapment'. Again being fair, I suspect jp4120 was just having a little bit of a rant and knows that neither of those comments are true.

It is interesting how this topic does garner quite polar opinions whenever it comes up though.

Michael, re your comments on GG Bridge toll, I am still waiting to hear from them after 2 years as well as from the non-manned toll road around Denver. I drove on both without paying in a Canadian registered car and so far, not a peep from either has arrived at the mailing address the car is registered to.

I wonder if they are quick enough to request the money from US registered cars but ignore Canadians?

Crellston, well you tried online but did you write to them? The wakeup may come if you are stopped for some reason and the police do a check on their computer. Your name MAY be in there somewhere even though they haven't chosen to chase you for the money.
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Old Dec 15th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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<i> I am still waiting to hear from them after 2 years </i>

I did not think that it's been two years since the toll booths were eliminated.
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