Traffic fines in Spain

1. General information

Because of the high incidence of road accidents, fines for traffic offences are strictly enforced in Spain. It is compulsory for non-residents to pay the traffic fines on the spot. The traffic ticket issued on imposing the traffic fine shall contain the following items:

  • Description of the vehicle’s offender (plate number…).
  • Details of the offender.
  • Description of the offence.
  • The police agent identification number.
  • The term for appealing.

Speed limits in Spain are as follows: 20 kph in residential areas, 50 kph in built-up areas, 90 kph in country roads, 100 kph in dual carriageways, 120 kph on motorways, 80 kph for cars towing a trailer on divided highways and 70 kph on other roads.

2. Fines for offences that the Spanish traffic law provides

Traffic fines in Spain are calculated on the severity of the offence. Often, the speeder doesn’t know he has passed a radar or photo checkpoint until he gets his printed notice in the mail.

The traffic fines range up to € 1,500 . The offenders may also face suspension of their driving licenses for a period of up to 3 months.

· The highest fines, which range from € 301 to € 1,500 are imposed for committing the most serious traffic infractions that the Traffic Spanish law provides. In this case the offender may also face suspension of his driving license for a period of up to 3 months. Some of these infractions are the following:

  • Exceeding maximum lawful speeds; at least 30 kph over the speed limits.
  • Driving a motor vehicle in Spain under the influence of drugs, or under the influence of alcohol, when exceeding the alcohol limit.
  • Refusal to cooperate to take a breathlizer test to analyse the amount of alcohol or other drugs in the blood. o Rash driving endangering other people.
  • Exceeding the number of persons permitted to ride in a vehicle. These shall not exceed 50% the maximum approved for the specific vehicle..
  • If offenders commit serious traffic infractions such as driving in a negligent manner, speeding, driving without lights, parking in dangerous places… may face suspension of their driving license for a period of up to 1 month, and fines that range from € 91 to € 300.
  • If you commit a minor traffic offence, such as using your mobile phone while you are driving (unless your vehicles is provided with a hands free system), riding minors under 12 years of age in the front seat of your vehicle (unless it is provided with homologated safety protection), riding minors under 7 years of age in a motorcycle, stopping at a zebra crossing during more than 2 minutes, you may be imposed a fine of up to € 90.

It is mandatory for Spanish cars to be fitted with seat-belts. It is required for all occupants, whether in the front or back seat of a car using the vehicle safety belt. You can be fined for not fastening it.

The offender may get up to a 30% fine reduction if he pays within the legal term, before the Traffic administrative authorities have passed a definite resolution about the traffic infraction.

A driver who is fined three times in Spain for committing any of the most serious infractions within a period of 2 years, may have his driver’s license definitively revoked

3. If you are charged with a traffic offence in Spain

3.1. General information

Police are empowered to collect fines of up to 300.51 euros on the spot. Normally commission of traffic offences are notified on the spot, however, in some justified reasons, these may be notified afterwards. e.g. the fine may be imposed when the vehicle was parked.

Foreigners non-resident must pay on the spot unless they can present a Spanish bail bond or an address in Spain or company who will guarantee payment of the fine. If the fine cannot be paid or guaranteed, the vehicle will be impounded. Normally there is a discount of 30 percent for immediate settlement. You should pay the fine first, it is necessary for the policeman to permit you to continue your trip.

Provided that you are Spanish resident, if you do not receive written notice from the Spanish Traffic authorities within 3 months from commission of a minor offence, or 1 year since commission of a serious or most serious traffic infraction, the traffic fine, which should have been imposed, will be then extinguished.


There is a system of points loss (a driver starts up with a total of 12 points, 8 points for new drivers-up to three years) to punish traffic infractions, which applies along with the monetary fines. Once a driver has lost all of his points, his driving licence is revoked. The way to get a driving licence back is attending a traffic sensibilization and reeducation course.

For instance, driving while drunk may imply a loss of up to 6 points, as well as driving 50% faster than the speed limit. Driving along roads with a prohibited vehicles for that road may imply a loss of 4 points, as well as driving without the relevant permit. Using a mobile or hearphones while driving may imply a loss of 3 points, etc.

3.2. Liabilities

Who is responsible for committing the traffic offence?

  • The vehicle’s owner is responsible for those infractions referring to the vehicle’s documentation, the vehicle’s safety conditions and non-fulfilment of the mandatory vehicle inspection (ITV).
  • The driver is always responsible for the traffic violation, regardless he is the owner of the vehicle or not. If the report of the police stating the traffic violation is notified to the vehicle’s owner without regard to the offender, the owner shall inform the police about the name of the offender, whether he or a third person has committed the traffic infraction.
  • If the offender is under 18 years of age, either his parents, tutors, or those persons in charge of the minor guardianship, will be jointly responsible for the economic fine he is been imposed.

3.3. How can you protest the fine to the traffic authorities?

If you want to dispute the charge you have been imposed with, you have 15 working days to file a written dispute before the traffic authorities, you can write your argument in English. You should have previously facilitated an address in Spain for this purpose.

Spanish traffic authorities may not accept your protest, their resolution may be appealed (recurso de alzada) within one month. You may also appeal against the second resolution of Spanish traffic authorities before going to Spanish courts. You will do well to have a Spanish Lawyer handle your appeals.

These are only general guidelines and not definitive statements of the law, all questions about the law’s applications to individual cases shall be directed to a Spanish lawyer. 4. Driving related crimes in Spain

Traffic infractions may entail the commission of a crime, the offender then shall pay an indemnity for the damages or injuries he had caused, regardless of the legal punishment he may be charged with.

  • Driving a motor vehicle in Spain under the influence of drugs or alcohol is penalized either with 8 to 12 weekends of arrest or similar fine instead, and deprivation of the driving licence for a period from 1 to 4 years.
  • If the driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol is involved in a car accident, may also be charged with other crimes such as homicide by misadventure (homicidio involuntario) and therefore should pay and indemnity to the prejudiced perso
  • Refusal to cooperate to take a breathlizer test to analyse the amount of alcohol in their blood will be treated as disobedience, punishable by a term of imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year and deprivation of the driving license.
  • Rash driving endangering other people may be punishable by a term of imprisonment of 6 months to 4 years and deprivation of driving licence for a term of 1 to 10 years.

In general terms, when a person operates a motor vehicle carelessly or without exercising due care for the safety of others may be punishable either by a term of imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years or fines ranging from 3 to 8 months. 5. Seizure of your vehicle in Spain

Spanish police may seize your vehicle in any of the following circumstances:

  • In the event of an accident, when the vehicle cannot go on moving.
  • If the vehicle is believed to be abandoned.
  • If the vehicle is illegally parked.
  • If the foreigner non-resident refuses to pay the fine he is being imposed.

The car may be released after paying the corresponding fees. The owner is entitled to request the fees paid to the responsible for the car accident.