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Traffic ticket notification, how to pay?

I received a traffic speeding ticket the other day in the mail from Spain. We rented a car from Hertz at the airport in Madrid, terrible customer service by the way. I received an emailed from Hertz Spain about two weeks after we returned back to the states, stating they received a traffic notification and that my credit was going to be charged 40 Euro for the ticket. Then about a month and half later I received the ticket from Spain. I called Hertz Spain and the lady said the ticket was paid, so I asked for a copy of the invoice. The invoice clearly stated, The charges on this invoice cover the costs incurred in providing the driver or renter name and address to the relevant authority in Spain. I think this is corrupt, in the US the rental company pays the fine and then charges the renter. Now I have a ticket in Spain that I am unable to pay and I tried multiple avenues. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to solve this issue? This has really deterred me from traveling to Spain or even recommending anyone to travel there. I am really considering not paying it. Any help would be appreciated.

Christopher

Posted by
5654 posts

in the US the rental company pays the fine and then charges the renter.

You are experiencing a cultural experience. Span is not the US. This is a forum FAQ. Rental charge is an administrative charge that you agreed to in your contract for Hertz to send the law enforcement authorities your contact information.

Two forum examples of many:
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/spain/speeding-ticket-in-spain-48d3ac85-c905-4c59-b3d9-872381996a5f

There were a few threads on this topic that are several years old, so
I thought I'd start a new one to see if there is any new information.
We were surprised to get a 100 Euro fine for driving 8 km (88) over
the 80 km speed limit, which sounds really steep to me. LOL -
especially when we were one of the slower cars on the highway...plus
the 40 Euro "administrative fee" from Hertz to provide information to
help the authorities hunt us down. The rental car agencies in Spain
should really warn drivers about the steep speeding fines which feel
like a scam to me. Really? 100 Euros for going 5 miles over the speed
limit???

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/spain/traffic-violation-in-spain-to-pay-or-not-to-pay

...e-mail notice from Europcar informing me that they were charging my
credit card an administrative fee of ‎€ 40.37 for a traffic fine
assessed to the vehicle I had rented from them during a recent trip to
Spain.

Posted by
2916 posts

This is a forum FAQ.

Not really. This question is specifically about Spain. If it was about France I could help (as could several others). Maybe someone here with familiarity with Spain can help.

Posted by
2928 posts

This is NOT a corrupt practice by the rental agency, but is common practice in many , if not most, European countries. It is a pity that your pre trip research was insufficient to warn you of this in advance. But that information is readily available on many travel sites.
Unfortunately this website sees a fair number of first time posters exactly like yourself who don't understand the usual practices and claim it must be a scam. It is not. It is just different from what you are accustomed to at home. You've been given the information on how to pay your ticket, so please do, and don't let this relatively minor incident deter you from visiting Spain or anywhere else in the future.

Posted by
3465 posts

The fee charged by the rental car company is spelled out in the rental agreement you signed when you got the vehicle. I'm sure that when a rental company here in the US pays the ticket, they also tack on a what can be considered overinflated service charge as well. For European countries, the actual ticket will arrive directly from the government agency responsible for collecting the ticket. Depending on the specific jurisdiction, they may or may not feel it is worth while to pursue foreign offenders. This means you may never see the ticket which then means you are not required to pay it. Some have reported it takes up to a year for the ticket to show up. Be patient.

It is nice to see that someone is actually wanting to pay for their infraction as many complaints are posted here about how unfair the fine is because it was from a speed camera and not from an officer who pulled them over.

Posted by
3209 posts

There should be a website on the actual infraction; https://sede.dgt.gob.es. (The full link to the payment form is in a previous response). The page should translate to English. Go down to where it says Paga tu multa/pay it. From the next page, click on sin certificate/without certificate. That should bring up the form you need to fill in to pay the fine. From the website, “ If you have a Traffic Ticket, you can pay the ticket within a voluntary period of 20 calendar days from the day after the ticket was notified. In this way, the amount of the fine is reduced by 50%. To make the payment you need a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard or Maestro) or cash, depending on the means you use for payment. In addition, it is essential to know the file number of the fine.” The file number is on the actual violation.

After paying, ensure you keep a copy of the receipt. I can’t remember if it came in an email or if I took a screen shot. I got lucky in 2017 and wasn’t charged an administrative fee by Avis, but years ago I was when I received a couple violations in Germany.

Posted by
2133 posts

I wish that all USA citizens would read this. The common "I'm going to Europe for the first time, and we love to drive" stuff is amazing to me. European approaches to driving, speeding, and parking are different than the USA. Everytime I drive, I get a ticket. I have trouble parking. So, I don't drive now. We take trains or buses. And the mythical "I love to drive because I like to stop impulsively" is a reason, but it's minor compared to the aggravation, additional expense, and concerns involved with car rental.

As to "considering not paying", this is not a good move. In some cases, the tickets are turned over to collection agencies. The ticket will follow you and should you decide to return you Europe, may result in problems. In addition, the ticket charges increase over time.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks everyone for your replies. I am not a newbie to traveling or driving in other countries. I do not have a problem paying the ticket. That is not the issue. The issue I have is that every time I have tried to pay it using the mentioned website, it says that there is an error with the notification date. I am asking if anyone knows how to go about paying the ticket or getting the website to work.

Christopher

Posted by
919 posts

Bummer! I can't specifically address how it works in Spain; however, earlier this year I had the same problem in France. My credit card company notified me they added a charge for providing my address to the police for an electronic speeding ticket I received (25 euro). About 6 weeks later I received a ticket in the mail from France (75 euro). After reading the ticket and doing a little internet research, I was able to pay the ticket online. I paid the ticket because I didn't want to worry about possible problems (long-shot I know) the next time I try to clear passport control after arriving in France. The most frustrating part: I was aware of electronic tickets so purposely didn't speed - and my rental car would actually alert me if I went over the speed limit. Go figure.

Posted by
3209 posts

When I used the site I had no problem. I’m not certain which date you tried to use. Since the violation number is tied to a date, try using the date of the violation since it’s the only date on the violation. On mine (from a speed camera), the date [dd/mm/yyyy], time, and file number, are number 1, Fecha de Denuncia, Hora, N Expediente.
Number two is the code you violated, number 3 is where you received the violation, and number 4 is what you did wrong. Mine had the kilometer marker, so I went onto Google maps and actually looked up the camera itself.

Posted by
1249 posts

Do you get an error message something like "revise la fecha notificación e introduzca un valor correcto"? If so, a fix I've seen on another website is that this is due to the "computer time" of where you are (don't ask me what that means!), and mainly seems to affect people in another time zone which is many hours ahead or behind (e.g. USA). The apparent fix is to temporarily change your computer’s time zone to GMT or BST, then try again. I've no idea why this works since Spain isn't on GMT/BST, but apparently it does.

Posted by
25742 posts

error with the notification date.

Remember that month and day are reversed in Europe and most of the rest of the world from the way they are in the US and Canada.

1/5 is the fifth of January in North America but the first of May over here.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you everyone, it was the date on the computer/mobile that needed to be changed to the time zone in Spain. Once I changed my time/date on my phone, the website allowed me to go to the next page.
Christopher

Posted by
5654 posts

Very smart. How did you figure out needing to change time zones?

Posted by
4 posts

Edgar,
Nick replied in the post above on April 23 suggesting that it is a timezone issue with the computer/mobile device and the country where the ticket was issued. I gave it a try using my smartphone and then I entered the information. When I clicked on the continue it went to the next page. The only issue I ran into next was that the system was unavailable at the moment. Again thanks to everyone for your help.
Christopher

Posted by
4871 posts

I lived in Germany for four years (87-91) and had a USAREUR license from the US Army. I drove in Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands. Never got a ticket, except one in Germany (from a traffic camera).

I was always careful to not speed, unless on the Autobahn, Autostrata or whatever it is called in each country. I usually went with the flow of traffic, which was speeding.

From what friends tell me from renting cars in Italy these days and what I read on this blog, I would never drive in Italy again. One person on this blog received an expensive ticket for going 2 KPH over the speed limit.

I have rented cars in the UK twice and did reasonably well, except for one ticket going 35 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. Ticket cost was 40 GBP or 51 dollars. Rental company notified me of ticket and I seem to remember paying them.

Regarding the Spanish ticket. If the ticket is not paid, does the rental company have to pay it and then charge the driver? If not, how would the Spanish authorities ever collect on the ticket?

Thanks everyone for your replies. I am not a newbie to traveling or driving in other countries. I do not have a problem paying the ticket. That is not the issue. The issue I have is that every time I have tried to pay it using the mentioned website, it says that there is an error with the notification date. I am asking if anyone knows how to go about paying the ticket or getting the website to work.

Thomas

Posted by
3209 posts

Worst case scenario if you can’t get the site to work, is to send the municipality a check. When I did that a number of years ago, for a German ticket I received, I calculated a favorable exchange rate and made the check out for that amount. It was cashed. If it’s been a while since you received the infraction, it will be full price. Again, I had no problem using the Spanish website as written on the infraction when I got my ticket in 2017.

Posted by
18889 posts

I've never driven in Europe, thus there have been no traffic tickets to pay. However, I've occasionally had a problem with US websites when I tried to buy something. Those issues were sometimes resolved by using a different browser (Internet Explorer / Chrome / Firefox) or a different type of computer (desktop / laptop / tablet / smartphone). I'd suggest switching things up a bit, because you may have run into a technical issue that affects only one or a few platforms.

In cases when there is a smartphone/tablet app available--and I realize this probably isn't one of them--the app sometimes works better than the entity's website.

Posted by
2 posts

We received a speeding ticket mid-March(after a six week trip Jan- Feb.) and could not figure out how to pay online (the information in this thread would have been helpful to us).

We ended up calling the number on the ticket. We were told that the online site would not accept charge cards from USA, only from Europe. We were instructed to wire the money to pay the fine. I am not sure whether these instructions were specific to closures/reduced staff during covid 19 closures there, or are the general procedure, but it apparently worked for us.