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Motoring & parking fines and how to pay them

- Updated: 22/03/2014
Motoring & parking fines and how to pay them

If you are the owner of a spanish registered road vehicle, you may already know from personal experiences just how erratic the system of being awarded, and receiving fines for motoring offences can be here in Spain.

Such fines are usually given for speeding or parking offences, but can extend to other infractions such as not wearing your seatbelt, not having your lights switched on where necessary or having defective equipment or travelling with an unsafe load.

It is not unusual for the owner of a vehicle to receive notification of such a fine (known in spain as 'multas') being issued through the post many months after the event. In these circumstances the owner can often have no memory of such an offence being committed - or even if they were driving the vehicle themselves.

It is also possible that your vehicle may have been cloned, and that it is the 'impostor' that has occurred the fine - in most cases miles away from where you and your vehicle are based and in a place where you have never even been to.

There have also been cases where notifications were sent out in the post, but never received by the owner and it can be many months later - usually upon selling the vehicle - that the owner is made aware that there are outstanding fines to be paid, often with penalties for overdue payment of a fine that you never knew you had !

Even the process of buying a second hand vehicle can be a tricky : as spanish law dictates that any such fine is attached to the vehicle itself, any new owner can find themselves liable for a number of outstanding fines which can make a seemingly good bargain become an expensive nightmare.

By who and how are fines these administered ?

First of all, it needs to be said that because the bureaucracy and administration surrounding such fines is so erratic, there is no definitive answer - and as such this article is intended as a generic guide only.

Moving on, because different police forces take responsibility for different infractions and resulting fines, it also means that different multas need to be checked with different agencies. the various 'multas' have been split into parking fines (generally administered by the Policia Local and collected by the appropriate Ayuntamiento) and speeding & motoring offences (generally administered by the Guardia Civil, and collected by the Dirección General de Tráfico). Note the use of the word 'generally'.

Parking offences

If you wish to find out about any existing fines that may have been administered against any vehicle you may own (or may be about to purchase) you can do this by clicking here.

you will need to enter the NIE number of the registered owner and the registration number of the vehicle itself and the website will search official journals to check your details for outstanding fines.

If your check returns notification of an outstanding fine you can contact the relevant ayuntamiento directly to arrange payment, or appeal against the decision. it is not unheard of to receive notification of a parking offence from a town that you have never heard of. Sometimes this is simply a typing or handwriting area, more rarely from a cloned vehicle. If you do contest the fine make sure you write asking for a copy of the original ticket, keep a copy of all correspondence and send your letter by certified mail.


# This is not an official government website and is owned and operated by a third party who scan official newsletters & bulletins

# You can choose to enter your mobile phone or e mail address to receive notification if and when your details appear on such bulletins

# It also covers any fines when the owner could not be immediately contacted (ie speed cameras)

# The small print of the website notes that the service only covers outstanding fines where the owner had not already been notified by post (ie if the notification had been posted but not received it may not appear here.

Speeding & motoring offences

Generally you will already know if you have received such a fine as they are issued to you personally (unless in the case of being caught by speed camera, in which case see above) and as such the process of how to pay the fine (or appeal against it) will appear on the back of the ticket itself.

As of may 2010, it has been possible to pay such a fine online by credit or debit card simply by clicking on the dgt website here and entering your document number. If you chose, you can also pay by going into any branch of the banco santander or post office. If payment is made within 20 calendar days the fine will be reduced by 50 %.

The fine can be appealed by writing to the tráfico (in any language) stating reasons for the appeal together with the document/ fine reference, however, any appeal must be made within 15 days and if your appeal should not be upheld you will not be eligible for the 50% reduction for prompt payment of the fine.

Must Read :

* 20 New Spanish Road Traffic Regulations Scheduled For Approval June 2014

Comment on this Article

Lota : Who issued you with the fine ? The Town Hall or a private company ? There may be details of how to appeal on the back of the ticket, or a link to a website which may give you further details.
Tumbit - Admin - Sat 10th May 2014
I was parked on a piece of wasteland but got a parking fine : can I appeal ?
Lota Baxter - Fri 9th May 2014
PLEASE can you tell me why the Brits in spain are being victimised by the police. Freinds and family are constantly recieving fines for what the spanish get a caution for. The fines they have recieved are unfair. What can be done to help the Brits they are being targets to boost the economy it has to stop.
Gloria Em Shayler - Fri 22th Feb 2013
Thanks Rob. I have already advised the car hire, and kept their acknowledgement email, and will be sure to keep for future reference as I reckon I will be stopped at passport control one day over this.
Sharon - Wed 17th Oct 2012

In my experience you will NOT get a written notification in the post - the fine is added to the vehicle registration number and the owner only usually finds out about this when he either comes to sell the car, or pay his yearly road tax. In your case - and with this being a hire car - I would imagine that this would mean that you would hear nothing until such a time that the hire company found out, at which point they would send you a solicitors letter demanding full repayment plus costs.

Might be a good idea to e mail the hire company a scanned copy asking them to take care of this for you (which is in their best interests) and offering to pay the 50% discounted fine - I would put this in writing so they can not deny your offer at a later date.

Robster - Wed 17th Oct 2012
No details on the back, the ticket I am looking at is the pink carbon copy that was left on the car. Is there a formal notifictation that will follow. The link takes me to a website that is all in Spanish, so I can understand or make out a word of it, and cannot see an option for it to be looked at in English !
Sharon - Wed 17th Oct 2012
Any luck clicking the DGT link above ? Failing that there should be details on how to pay online on the back of the ticket (assuming you still have it) - if not, you may need to speak to the Car Hire company.
Mr Grumpy - Mon 15th Oct 2012
I have had a parking ticket and am not disputing it : It was in a hire car, but I had to return to UK same day. What happens next ? The fine was for 200euro, but states 50% discount if paid in 20 days. How do I pay ? do I wait for formal notification from somewher, and is that when the 20 day starts. I cannot get any sense from anyone. Can I send them a cheque from my Spanish account.
Sharon - Mon 15th Oct 2012
I thought it was probably too good to be true :-( Thanks!
Conor - Tue 2th Oct 2012
I would be highly doubtful, and not willing to put this to the test. Like most fines in Spain, probably better just to take it on the chin and pay up.
Robster - Tue 2th Oct 2012
I received notification this morning (Oct 02) of a €100 fine for a speeding offence in Catalunya on 30 Sept via an unmanned radar trap. It is now 67 days since the event took place and I read on another website that if over 60 working days elapse between an offence and your receiving official notification of it, the fine is invalid. Can anyone confirm if this is the case and how I would go about resolving this issue?
Conor - Tue 2th Oct 2012
I received a parking ticket yesterday and tried to pay it online. To pay online you must have a 'record no'. The parking ticket has no record number that was recognized by the system. So I went to the Ayuntamiento in Marbella to pay it. They said it is not possible to pay in the Ayuntamiento. So finally I went to the tax office downtown Marbella, waited 1/2 hour for my turn. The clerk 1st produced a long, computerized document with a record number, then sent me to a specific bank to pay it. Hours wasted ! So if you don't have a record number, don't bother to try to pay online !
Icaru - Thu 2th Feb 2012
Got you ! - Still seems a little steep though (Were you on UK Plates, or a UK Licence ?)
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 7th Apr 2011
Perhaps I did not expalin myself properly, It was a 10 Euro fine for not carrying it, because I did not present it they fined me an additional 240 which would have raised to 500 if I had not paid it when I did. They do not have Logic, basically if you do not have a licence at all you can drive around and then pay the fine and they dont care.
Giles - Thu 7th Apr 2011
I have myself received a 50% 'discount' for prompt payment of a 90€ fine, but I hav enever heard of a 240€ discount for prompt payment of a 250€ fine before ! - and then escalating to 500€ ! I can't see their logic there.
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 6th Apr 2011
OK I got to the bottom of this, when I got the 10€ fine it was for not carrying my licence with me. Apparently (I do not remember) they then gave me 2 weeks to present it to the local Guardia Civil, I did not and got the 250€ fine, if I had not paid it when I did it would have gone to 500€!, because I paid it the matter is closed, they obviously dont care if you have a licence or not, they just fine you.
Giles - Wed 6th Apr 2011
I will indeed, "funny" thing is I got a speeding ticket at the same time for 100 and paid it 30 seconds earlier with no problem. Will let you know how you get on as the sub department of fines (not speeding or parking) is only open from 0900-1400, I wish I was still a functionario!
Giles - Wed 23rd Mar 2011
A Good point there Giles ! - Please let us know if you manage to get away with paying a lesser amount by doing it in person !
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 23rd Mar 2011
I just went online to pay a 10€ fine for not having my licence with me and they hit me for 250€ I am now trying to fix it, do not do this online! At least in the bank you have a chance to walk away and check it first.
Giles - Wed 23rd Mar 2011