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Speeding ticket received from Spanish authorities
Ryu
post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 10:26
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Hello,
My query is similar to other post but not quite the same.

I'm a Spanish citizen living and working in the UK over the last 15 years. I do not hold any bank accounts in Spain.
I have just received a letter notification (not signed or recorded delivery) for an speeding offense allegedly committed when returning a rental car at Bilbao airport.
Apparently Europcar has facilitated my contact details to the local spanish authorities and have charged my credit card £36 without any reason, communication or authorisation.

The penalty is for 100€.

Would you recommend paying the penalty or not? Would I be able to recover the £36 charged by Europcar?
If I didn't pay, could Europcar or other companies deny future car rentals?
If I didn't pay, would they prosecute me here or there?

Any advice is welcome.

Regards
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post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 10:26
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666
post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 10:37
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It is standard practice for hire companies to levy an "administration charge" for passing your details to the authorities. I would be amazed if Europcar's Ts and Cs (which you must have signed) did not give them that right. This is entirely separate and in addition to the 100 euro penalty.
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Ryu
post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 10:47
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QUOTE (666 @ Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 11:37) *
It is standard practice for hire companies to levy an "administration charge" for passing your details to the authorities. I would be amazed if Europcar's Ts and Cs (which you must have signed) did not give them that right. This is entirely separate and in addition to the 100 euro penalty.


Thanks. As you say, I'm sure it's part of their Ts and Cs. I'm just considering my options.

Would it be a good idea to ask my bank to deny the transaction? Would that cause me troubles in the future with Europcar or other car rental companies?
Cheers
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Logician
post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 10:58
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QUOTE (Ryu @ Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 10:47) *
QUOTE (666 @ Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 11:37) *
It is standard practice for hire companies to levy an "administration charge" for passing your details to the authorities. I would be amazed if Europcar's Ts and Cs (which you must have signed) did not give them that right. This is entirely separate and in addition to the 100 euro penalty.
Thanks. As you say, I'm sure it's part of their Ts and Cs. I'm just considering my options. Would it be a good idea to ask my bank to deny the transaction? Would that cause me troubles in the future with Europcar or other car rental companies? Cheers


I doubt whether your bank would agree to do that, and it would undoubtedly cause you trouble with Europcar, no idea about other hire companies but it would be no surprise if they do have a joint black list of defaulting hirers.

If you do try it, which I do not recommend, do please let us know the outcome as others find themselves in the same position.





This post has been edited by Logician: Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 11:04


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Ryu
post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 11:06
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QUOTE (Logician @ Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 11:58) *
QUOTE (Ryu @ Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 10:47) *
QUOTE (666 @ Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 11:37) *
It is standard practice for hire companies to levy an "administration charge" for passing your details to the authorities. I would be amazed if Europcar's Ts and Cs (which you must have signed) did not give them that right. This is entirely separate and in addition to the 100 euro penalty.
Thanks. As you say, I'm sure it's part of their Ts and Cs. I'm just considering my options. Would it be a good idea to ask my bank to deny the transaction? Would that cause me troubles in the future with Europcar or other car rental companies? Cheers


I doubt whether your bank would agree to do that, and it would undoubtedly cause you trouble with Europcar, no idea about other hire companies but it would be no surprise if they do have a joint black list of defaulting hirers.

If you do try it, which I do not recommend, do please let us know the outcome as others find themselves in the same position.


Thanks for the reply. Point taken.

Any suggestions on my other questions?
Would you recommend paying the penalty or not?
If I didn't pay, would they prosecute me here or there?

Thanks again.
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Logician
post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 11:18
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You cannot be prosecuted here for a driving offence in Spain, there are some arrangements for collecting in the UK fines levied elsewhere, but these seem to be somewhat haphazard. If you are driving here on a Spanish licence whether anything can be done on your licence I do not know. Presumably you will be visiting Spain in the future, and I would be wary of incurring unpaid fines there, but I do not know what could actually happen.


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Churchmouse
post Sat, 8 Jun 2019 - 09:49
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Europcar will have washed its hands with the Spanish authorities once they provided the hirer's details to the police. It would be highly unlikely, in my view, that Europcar would subsequently be required to pay the fine on your behalf. Accordingly, there should be no further Europcar charges.

Was the letter you (allegedly) received from the Spanish authorities, or from a collection agency? Debt collectors have no powers in the UK; they cannot seize property or take you to court. There is a theoretical possibility that the Spanish authorities could pursue you/the driver (whoever it was?) in the UK Magistrates' Court, but this is exceedingly rare.

--Churchmouse
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Ryu
post Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 12:38
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QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Sat, 8 Jun 2019 - 10:49) *
Europcar will have washed its hands with the Spanish authorities once they provided the hirer's details to the police. It would be highly unlikely, in my view, that Europcar would subsequently be required to pay the fine on your behalf. Accordingly, there should be no further Europcar charges.

Was the letter you (allegedly) received from the Spanish authorities, or from a collection agency? Debt collectors have no powers in the UK; they cannot seize property or take you to court. There is a theoretical possibility that the Spanish authorities could pursue you/the driver (whoever it was?) in the UK Magistrates' Court, but this is exceedingly rare.

--Churchmouse


Thanks for the reply..
The letter comes from the Vasque Goverment, which I found has the traffic related competencies transferred to them from the central government.
I guess my biggest worry is with me being an Spanish citizen, registered as living abroad..., if they can call me or not to a court hearing in Spain. I cannot imagine the costs and the stress of that.


Regards
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andy_foster
post Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 13:36
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Rather general advice is that if you are not planning to return to the country in question you can probably safely ignore it, but if you are planning to return, ignoring could end up quite badly.
As you are Spanish, it seems likely that you would fall into the second camp.

Other than our general advice, it is your decision.


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"Whatever the intention of Parliament was, or was not, the law is quite clear." - The Rookie
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Ryu
post Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 15:18
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QUOTE (andy_foster @ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 14:36) *
Rather general advice is that if you are not planning to return to the country in question you can probably safely ignore it, but if you are planning to return, ignoring could end up quite badly.
As you are Spanish, it seems likely that you would fall into the second camp.

Other than our general advice, it is your decision.



I guess, I'll end up paying the fine to avoid any future problems.

Many thanks all.

This post has been edited by Ryu: Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 15:18
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Logician
post Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 18:06
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QUOTE (Ryu @ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 15:18) *
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 14:36) *
Rather general advice is that if you are not planning to return to the country in question you can probably safely ignore it, but if you are planning to return, ignoring could end up quite badly. As you are Spanish, it seems likely that you would fall into the second camp. Other than our general advice, it is your decision.
I guess, I'll end up paying the fine to avoid any future problems. Many thanks all.


I think that is wise, it was reported today that there has been a surge in motorist pursued in the UK for offences on the Continent, in 2014 there were 138 requests for details of UK motorists, in 2017 1903 such requests, even though the UK signed agreements to make that easier only in mid-2017.



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Churchmouse
post Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 12:36
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QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 19:06) *
I think that is wise, it was reported today that there has been a surge in motorist pursued in the UK for offences on the Continent, in 2014 there were 138 requests for details of UK motorists, in 2017 1903 such requests, even though the UK signed agreements to make that easier only in mid-2017.

However, requesting information from the DVLA is only the first step, and could simply be the beginning of a red-ink letter campaign. Actually prosecuting such persons in the UK courts--once the RK (and only the RK) has been identified--is quite another.

--Churchmouse
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Logician
post Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 13:34
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They would not indeed be prosecuted in the UK courts, but in the overseas court, and the function of the UK courts would be to collect any fine levied. It may not be followed through much yet, but this is the way the wind is blowing.


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grumpyboy
post Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 15:29
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The offence may be recorded onto the immigration database and you get flagged next time you enter Spain. Maybe not likely but possible
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baroudeur
post Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 15:33
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QUOTE (grumpyboy @ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 - 15:29) *
The offence may be recorded onto the immigration database and you get flagged next time you enter Spain. Maybe not likely but possible



It's more likely, and definitely the case for France, that a ghost licence would be set up and any penalties recorded. Being stopped on a further visit could reveal the outstanding penalty and seizure of the car until it is clarified and/or paid.

The international agreement refers only to the exchange of the registered keeper's details for eight specific offences and there is no reference to recovery of any penalty. It also requires a penalty notice, served by post, to be in the language of the country of registration.

France is now sending an English language version of the penalty notice which very clearly defines the actions that are possible. Appealing or challenging the penalty requires a deposit of the standard penalty to be included with the challenge. The case will then be decided by a judge.

Edit: France and Germany have a central office which handles all motoring offences so keeping a register (ghost licence) is relatively easy compared to countries where penalties are handles within the local area where the offence is committed.

This post has been edited by baroudeur: Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 15:39
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cp8759
post Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 14:07
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QUOTE (baroudeur @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 16:33) *
The international agreement refers only to the exchange of the registered keeper's details for eight specific offences and there is no reference to recovery of any penalty. It also requires a penalty notice, served by post, to be in the language of the country of registration.

There's another agreement for the recovery of penalties, but the local court gets to keep the money so many authorities don't bother.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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baroudeur
post Tue, 18 Jun 2019 - 15:09
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 14:07) *
QUOTE (baroudeur @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 16:33) *
The international agreement refers only to the exchange of the registered keeper's details for eight specific offences and there is no reference to recovery of any penalty. It also requires a penalty notice, served by post, to be in the language of the country of registration.

There's another agreement for the recovery of penalties, but the local court gets to keep the money so many authorities don't bother.


Often quoted but never defined. It appears to be for civil debts where a successful claimant gets the money. Chasing motoring penalties via the magistrates' courts system, if that is possible, has a very small return that would deter any attempt to do so.

It's possible that France, having a huge problem of foreign drivers exceeding the speed limit which it intends to curb, could initiate a system to catch drivers who return. The recent introduction of English language penalty notices seems to indicate a change of direction. Under French legislation the person to whom the vehicle is registered is responsible for the penalty should another driver not be named as there is no "failure to furnish" offence in France.
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cp8759
post Thu, 20 Jun 2019 - 20:57
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QUOTE (baroudeur @ Tue, 18 Jun 2019 - 16:09) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 17 Jun 2019 - 14:07) *
QUOTE (baroudeur @ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 - 16:33) *
The international agreement refers only to the exchange of the registered keeper's details for eight specific offences and there is no reference to recovery of any penalty. It also requires a penalty notice, served by post, to be in the language of the country of registration.

There's another agreement for the recovery of penalties, but the local court gets to keep the money so many authorities don't bother.


Often quoted but never defined.

This seems to be the one: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/...GISSUM%3Al16003

Implemented in England & Wales by CrimPr Part 30 here https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure...015-part-30.pdf see rule 30.10, "Financial penalties imposed in other European Union member States".


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Ryu
post Fri, 21 Jun 2019 - 12:35
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QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 19:06) *
QUOTE (Ryu @ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 15:18) *
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 - 14:36) *
Rather general advice is that if you are not planning to return to the country in question you can probably safely ignore it, but if you are planning to return, ignoring could end up quite badly. As you are Spanish, it seems likely that you would fall into the second camp. Other than our general advice, it is your decision.
I guess, I'll end up paying the fine to avoid any future problems. Many thanks all.


I think that is wise, it was reported today that there has been a surge in motorist pursued in the UK for offences on the Continent, in 2014 there were 138 requests for details of UK motorists, in 2017 1903 such requests, even though the UK signed agreements to make that easier only in mid-2017.


Fine paid online. All I've got is the bank's receipt.
Let's hope this is the end of the story.

Thank you all again.
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