Driving in Europe: the single offence that could see you fined £5,250

Driving in Europe: the single offence that could see you fined £5,250
Driving in Europe: the single offence that could see you fined £5,250

With the summer holiday approaching many families will be planning trips to the continent but British drivers looking to avoid speeding fines could land themselves in even more trouble.

While the UK and Europe share many similar driving laws the punishments vary greatly and there are certain rules in the EU that could see motorists hit with crippling fines of up to €6,000 (£5,260).

Harsh fines

Chief among these are the way European police deal with speed camera detectors and jammers. While detectors are permitted in the UK many European countries outlaw any device – including sat nav – that pinpoints and warns about the location of speed cameras, with fines of up to €200.

However, even more serious are punishments for using radar or laser jammers. In the UK you can be taken to court for using such a device but in Europe they are happy to hit you with a holiday-ruining fine. Penalties for using any camera blocking device range from €1,500 in France to a massive €6,000 in Spain.

Read more: People are using laser jammers to foil traffic cameras. Does it work, and is it legal?

Spot fines

As well as harsh punishments for camera blocking systems, British drivers should be aware that police in most European countries have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for driving offences such as using a mobile phone, speeding, or failing to wear a seatbelt. These can range from as little as €35 in Germany to a wallet-busting €750 in France.

Even if you’re not stopped at the roadside, it’s no longer the case that once back in Britain you’re safe from charges. Since last year, European authorities have been able to request registered keeper details from the DVLA, meaning they can pursue you for any offences committed in your vehicle while abroad.

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