What to Do if You Get a Traffic Fine in Your Rental Car

11th November, 2021, in Car Hire Help

It can be all too easy to break traffic rules when you’re driving abroad, with unfamiliar parking signs and traffic laws you weren’t previously aware of. When you sign an agreement to rent a car, you also agree to pay for any traffic fines that might occur whilst the vehicle is in your possession. So, it’s best to know exactly what the process is if you get a traffic fine when you rent a car. Our below guide has everything you need to know so you’ll be prepared.

What to Do if You Get a Traffic Fine Directly

Sometimes you might get served a fine or ticket whilst you’re driving. It might be that you get a parking ticket on your car for parking in the wrong place, or it might be that you get stopped when driving because you’re over the speed limit. In this instance, you’ll likely be able to pay the fine directly without involving the car rental company. Sometimes you can pay the fine online or via a bank transfer.

If you get given a parking fine directly, it’s best to pay it as soon as possible. In some countries, the fine will increase if you don’t pay it within a certain timeframe. You might think that you can ignore the fine, as you’re only in the country temporarily so the authorities won’t be able to chase it. But you should always pay it quickly, as the authorities will end up contacting the hire company to have the fine paid. If this happens, you’ll likely be charged for the fine plus extra admin fees by the hire company, for their time dealing with it on your behalf.

What to Do if a Traffic Fine Will Be Sent Later

If you get caught by a speeding camera or red-light camera, you won’t get served the violation notice straight away. In this situation, the fine will go to the registered owner of the vehicle, which will be the hire company. The process for dealing with a fine that gets sent to the rental company can be quite lengthy, with some countries taking months to submit the fine to the vehicle owner. You’ll also likely get charged admin fees that you won’t be able to avoid.

The process will begin with the authorities sending the fine to the rental company. The rental company will then check who was driving at the time and will pass on your details to the authorities. You’ll then be able to pay the authorities directly.

Alternatively, the hire company may pay the fine and then charge your credit card with the details you gave them when you hired the car initially. You might not receive any notification in this instance – you might just see the charge on your statement after it’s been taken.

In both instances, you’ll probably be charged an admin fee by the hire company for their time in dealing with the fine. You might not always receive a notification that this fee will be charged, but some companies may send a letter or email to let you know the fee will be taken. Admin fees can range anywhere from £15 to £55. If you receive a charge from the hire company some time after you’ve hired the car, you can contact the company for more information and to send you a copy of the violation notice.

What to Do When You Want to Dispute a Traffic Fine

You’ll have to contact the authorities in the country that issued the fine if you want to dispute it. When you’re dealing with the authorities directly and disputing whether you violated any traffic laws, the hire company won’t be able to assist you with working it out.

However, if you weren’t driving the car at the time the violation happened, you’ll have to speak with the hire company. Your rental contract should have the dates that you hired the car, so it should be fairly simple to rectify the issue. Once it’s settled, the hire company will refund you any admin fees and also the fine, if they had already paid it on your behalf. Should you need contact details of car hire companies or perhaps the airport where you collected your car, you can find them for many of the most visited countries within our directory.


At Direct Car Hire Excess, we can help you avoid paying extra when you rent a car, with our excess car insurance abroad. From just £0.12 / €0.14 / $0.16 per day we can make sure you’re protected against paying substantial excess fees on your hire car insurance in the event of an accident. Get a quote today or contact us for more information.

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