12 Lesser-Known Traffic Fines in Spain
We’ve been investigating some of the ways vehicle owners can be fined, even when not driving. Take a look at our list of lesser-known traffic fines in Spain, you might be surprised by some of them.
Spanish driving licences come with 12 points, however you may find out you have 15 points on yours. How? If during 3 years you don’t commit any offence you get an extra 2 points, after another 3 years without losing points you get an extra one.
1. Filling The Tank Incorrectly
Keeping the headlights on, the car running or using your mobile whilst filling up at the petrol station could mean a 200€ fine and 3 points off your licence.
But did you also know you can’t have your radio/CD/USB on? Remember to switch the music off when you stop the car.
2. Washing / Fixing Your Car In The Street
Fines ranging from 30€ to 3000€, depending where you live, is what you’ll have to pay if you wash your car in the street.
Although this prohibition does not apply to your private land (such as a driveway), if you are using the space as a “business” (fixing other people’s cars) you could be fined too.
3. No Insurance
Obvious right? If you have no car insurance and you’re caught not only will you be fined but your car will probably be impounded.
But you also need insurance even if you don’t use your car temporarily. This could be the case if you’ve decided to scrap or sell your car but still own it and, as you no longer use it, decide not to renew the policy. In this case the fine could be around 800€.
Tip: Vehicle insurance policies in Spain have a one-month grace period. If it runs out at the end of one month your vehicle is automatically covered until the end of the following month.
4. Dirty / Manipulated Number Plates
Get 80€ ready for the fine if your number plates are illegible, even if your car is parked.
And don’t even think about adding a sticker on a number plate, anything that interferes with the letters and numbers could result in a fine too.
5. Teaching Someone To Drive
Forget about giving your kids extra lessons to save on driving school fees, it’s not legal in Spain. If caught, the owner of the vehicle will be fined.
6. Not Notifying Your New Address To The DGT (Spanish Traffic Office)
This one is easy to avoid. If you change address just go along to your nearest DGT office (most have an online appointment system) with the following papers:
- Proof of address (padrón certificate from the Ayuntamiento).
- Driving Licence
- Vehicle “ficha técnica” (tech specs document)
7. Throwing Things Out Of The Window
It’s not just a question of litter, a cigarette stub thrown out of a car window means a 200€ fine and 4 points lost due to the high fire risk in most areas in Spain.
For other items, such as a can or plastic bottle, it’s an 80€ fine.
8. Parking On The Beach
Depending on the region, this prohibition may also include beach access areas with fines from 90€.
If you think it’s worth risking for 90€, think twice. In some areas of Almeria the fine is over 30,000€!
9. Eating / Drinking / Putting Make Up On / Reading
According to the law, whilst driving all these actions are considered to be a distraction and the driver can be fined up to 100€. This is also the case even if you’re just waiting for the traffic lights to turn green; a fine of 200€ and 2 points if you decide to take advantage of that “lost” minute or two at the lights.
10. Not Wearing A Hi-Vis Jacket
If your car is involved in an accident, or you have to stop due to a breakdown, any occupant must put on a hi-vis jacket BEFORE getting out of the car.
If it’s the driver who gets out without the hi-vis jacket on, he/she will not only be fined 200€ but will also get 3 points off their licence.
Additionally you can be fined 200€ if you don’t put out the mandatory reflective triangles.
11. Driving With Your Hand/Arm Out Of The Window
Not so common nowadays as most people have air con and don’t bother putting down the windows. Even so, drivers are supposed to maintain their arms in a correct position, otherwise there’s a 100€ fine.
There’s also a fine if you’re seen arguing whilst driving, biting your nails or kissing your passenger! The idea is that your eyes, and other senses, should be on the road at all times.
12. Having The Music Too Loud
Some areas are designated “quiet zones”, for example near a hospital. Having the music too loud in your car could mean a fine of between 80€-100€. And if you decide to annoy a neighbourhood with your music, the fine could be as high as 2400€.
Don’t forget to read our old post on Traffic Fines in Spain. Most fines will be reduced by 50% for prompt payment.
Watch out for traffic fines in the town where you live. In Spain over half of fines are given out by the local police and the money goes directly to the municipal coffers. We’re not implying that towns do this to have more cash available (wink, wink!), but it’s something to think about.