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Italy traffic tickets - how do I get the 30% discount

My story began last November as I picked up my rental in Genoa with the intention to drive to Venice. Perhaps I was lulled into a false sense of traffic awareness during my first 24 hours as I sped west and back through the Italian Riviera along SS1. I felt I could drive as fast as traffic would permit in the left lane with my 4 cylinder until I got flashed by the vehicle behind me (usually of German make) then I moved to the left lane. I felt like Mario Andretti when I'd hit 120-130 kph, turns out thats a mere 75-80 mph which is quite common back home here in Southern California. Unbeknownst to me, my problems began as I drove to Venice from Cinque Terre through Pisa/Bologna.

My first email from RENT_HERTZTHRIFTY@SAFOSISTEMI.IT arrived 30 days after returning home for a ZTL violation in Pisa. I did wonder why I was able to find parking so near to the leaning tower, now I know why.

This past week I received 4 more emails from Hertz, two on Wednesday then two more yesterday - I was still reeling from the first two when salt was rubbed into my wound from the next two. The official notices are in Italian, as far as I can glean they are all camera speed trap violations. My desire at this time is to minimize damage control, namely the fines.

So my main question is - how do I take advantage of the 30% fine discount offer as referenced in the notices from the Italian authorities? When does the 5 day window start, is it when I receive an official notice in the mail?

My second question - Hertz wants to charge an administration fee for these tickets, so far I've been charged 30.5 Euro for the Pisa ticket, will I get charged 4 more times? I certainly hope not.

Posted by
3248 posts

Mario, expect a Hertz admin charge for each of these tickets. And continue to hope you’re not receiving even more in the mail during the next months!

Posted by
5690 posts

will I get charged 4 more times?

Will the sun rise in the east?

It would be STUNNING if they did not charge. for each and every query they get from a police agency.

From reading accounts of others, you could could be getting notices from Hertz for another 10 months.
Sadly, you are only at the start of what could be an ongoing, unhappy reminder of your trip.

Hopefully Roberto or Dario or one of the other Italian experts will see this and provide the nuts and bolts of how to make payment in a timely manner to minimize the hurt.

Posted by
688 posts

I have Italian relatives who laughed at me when I drove into their driveway and being very upset with Italian drivers. That was 17 months ago. So far no ticket email.

Posted by
4629 posts

". . . Hertz wants to charge an administration fee for these tickets, . . . " Its in the fine print in the agreement you signed. And the one every other renter signed. And every other rental agency.

Posted by
2516 posts

When I received three violations in Germany, I received three administrative charges from Avis, even though the one parking ticket was paid the day I received it. Never did hear from the one town. When I got a speed camera (not a speed trap) ticket for going 6kph over the limit in Spain, I heard nothing from Avis, but did receive a ticket from the town. That’s why I stay at or below the limit on my trips now, no matter how fast the other cars are traveling. I made it through Sicily, and all other countries, violation free. Expect the worst and hope for the best. If there is a website on the violation, there’s probably a link for English for non Italians. At least the Spanish site did.

Posted by
16123 posts

If you end up with fines that don't have an easy online way to make the payment, it may help you to know that several people on this forum have reported using TransferWise.com to make such payments. Its fees are reportedly quite reasonable. (You don't want to think about what your bank might charge you for each transfer.)

Posted by
1678 posts

When does the 5 day window start, is it when I receive an official notice in the mail?

Yes, that's how it works.

In Italy it would be 5 days from the moment you sign the registered letter, but I don't know if US postmen work the same way.

I'd hit 120-130 kph

The speed limit on the straight sections of the Aurelia is 110 kph. I hope you were not caught by the speed traps that monitor the sections where it's 90 kph.

I certainly hope not.

They receive 4 different requests, they'll have to search their archives and reply 4 times, I'm afraid you'll have to pay 4 fees. It's the amount of the single fee that's extortionate, but being paid for one's work is normal.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for your replies so far, I appreciate it.

So let me test my understanding of the ticket, feel free to clarify or correct if needed.

  1. Receive an email notice from Hertz. This is basically a heads up to me, letting me know they've been contacted by some Italian municipality that a traffic violation has occurred with one of their vehicles. This notice (in Italian) is an attachment in the email from Hertz, it is requesting the name and address of the driver. No action is required of the driver at this time.

  2. Hertz will supply the Italian municipality with the driver information and charge the driver with an administration fee. The Italian municipality then will prepare and mail to the driver the official ticket. No action is required of the driver at this time.

  3. The driver receives the official ticket at their home residence, the date and time of delivered is somehow documented. It is at this moment the clock starts running for fine payment - the driver can take advantage of the 30% fine discount within the first 5 days of the official ticket delivery or otherwise pay the full amount within 60 days.

Anything you can add to this would be helpful!

Posted by
2516 posts

You do need to pay the administrative fee even if you never receive a actual notification, but otherwise, correct. Maybe you will get lucky and the municipality won’t send you the actual ticket. When I received my Germany and Spain notifications, they came in the regular mail and I signed nothing. I did pay them right away.