What you need to know about Speeding Fines in Europe

What should I do if I get a speeding ticket in Europe?

The best thing you can do if you get a speeding ticket while you’re abroad is to pay it as soon as you receive the fine rather than ignoring it. Fines can double if you choose to ignore them and a local debt collection agency may be used to recoup the money.

If you get a speeding fine in Europe, you usually have up to 60 days to appeal, if you feel there are grounds to why you shouldn’t have been fined.

In France, Spain, Italy and Germany, there is currently no system in place to implement points on a UK licence when found to be speeding. Also, if you receive a fine in any of these countries, you can choose to appeal the speeding ticket.

French speeding fines

  • French speed cameras only allow a tolerance of 5% over the speed limit, which is half of what the UK allows.
  • The standard speeding fine in France is 135 euros. However, if you pay this within 15 days it’s 90 euros. If you pay it after 45 days, it is 375 euros. If the offence warrants a trial, the maximum fine can be up to 750 euros.
  • If police stop you, you'll be required to pay the fine on the spot.

Spanish speeding fines

  • Spain has a graded system for speeding fines, which is measured by how much the limit has been exceeded by.
  • The entry-level penalty is 100 euros. However, the most serious offences can attract a fine of 600 euros.
  • If police stop you, you'll be required to pay the fine on the spot.

German speeding fines

  • Germany has some of the lowest fines in Europe for speeding starting from just 35 euros but rising to over 600 euros if you overly exceed the set speed limit.
  • Be aware that the tolerance for speed cameras is even lower than it is in France at just 3% over the speed limit.
  • The police in Germany is more concerned with drivers who are too close to the vehicle in front than speeding.

Italian speeding fines

  • If you have been caught speeding in Italy, it’s not unusual for it to be a year or more before you receive a ticket. If you receive a ticket after a year then legally you do not have to pay.
  • Fines range from 35 euros if you’re driving under 10kph over the limit to 357 euros if you’re driving more than 41kph over the limit.

Do I need to pay a fine if I was driving a rental car?

Yes – car hire companies will always insist that the driver is responsible for traffic fines and any related fees. When you sign the rental agreement, you're agreeing to pay any traffic fines, plus any administration costs that the car hire company charges to deal with. This may mean that the total amount to pay may be higher than if you were driving a private vehicle. Rental companies will also pass on the details of the speeding offence to the DVLA and the UK authorities.

Should you tell your insurer about any foreign driving offences?

Whether to tell your insurer depends on their specific policy. If, for instance, you’re applying for insurance online, selecting the code for an offence committed abroad may not even be an option on your insurer’s site.

It’s worth checking the small print of their policy to decipher what needs to be declared and what doesn’t.

If you’re still stuck, give your insurer a call.

If you’re going abroad, don’t forget to purchase car hire excess insurance along with your car hire cover to make sure you’re protected when abroad.

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