Speeding Fines In The EU - How Much Will It Cost If You Go 13 Mph Above

Policeman in Vienna, Austria 5 photos
Photo: Wikipedia user KF
Stationary speed camera in Florence, ItalySpeed camera warning on bridgeHandcuffsGraph of corresponding fines in some European countries for going 20km/h over the limit
The European Union has 28 member states until the United Kingdom leaves through the Brexit procedure. Each of these countries features a dedicated legislation and applies different guidelines when it comes to penalties and fines.
Some of the countries in the EU add points to someone’s driving license, while others subtract them from a set number awarded when the license is issued. Both systems have a typical result if a driver is uncivilized — the right to drive is suspended until the penalty is paid off, and until other sanctions are lifted.

This story is not about how Europeans get their license back after it gets taken away for too many offenses. Instead, it is a comparison between multiple countries in Europe and how they treat people that exceed the speed limit by a reasonable margin.

Before we get into that, we will divert your focus on an original ticketing system, which is based on something called “Day Fine.” This is a just solution that makes it tough for rich people to ignore traffic laws because they could easily afford to pay the penalty.

Before we get into details, we feel that it would be best if we described the concept. Instead of getting a fixed punishment for a particular driving mistake, like not using your indicators, some countries have legislation that takes a percentage of the person’s monthly income as a measurement unit for “disposable income,” which is then multiplied by a fixed coefficient depending on the severity of the crime.

Imagine you earn a fixed sallary each month. In the case of Finland, the fine is calculated after removing social security payments, taxes, and a “basic living allowance” of €255 per month from the total salary.

The remaining sum is split into 60, and the resulting amount is considered a “day fine,” which cannot amount to less than six euros and is multiplied by the severity of the offense. Having a person in your care deducts €3 per day, per person, from the daily fine.

There is a minimum fine in Finland for each offense, and police officers also consider the severity of the action when delivering a financial penalty, which can lead to "expensive situations" if someone does something irresponsible. The “Day Fines” only apply to some offenses, while others are taxed under a standard system.

The best example for Finland is exceeding the speed limit. If you go 20 km/h over the posted limit, you get a regular fine. Once the speed trap gets a vehicle at a velocity that exceeds the maximum allowed on the segment by 21 km/h, the “Day Fine” system is applied.

This leads to terrible differences for just 1 km/h (0,62 miles), but most people forget to consider that we are talking about the difference between 20 (12.4 miles) and 21 km/h (13 miles) on top of the speed limit. It might seem unfair, but it brings revenue to the government, keeps speeders in check, and the roads safer.

Finland is not the only country that does this, so keep that in mind before pressing the gas too much while you are on vacation. We did not use a higher speeding offense because of this system that is applied in Finland, which would turn things into a massive equation.

To keep everything manageable, we are going to talk about fines regarding the speed limit in the biggest countries in Europe. From there, we are separating the countries with lax fines from those with extreme penalties. The offense we are focusing in this article is going 20 km/h over the listed speed limit.

Small fines

Stationary speed camera in Florence, Italy
Photo: Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, and Austria are among the countries that have relatively small fines for drivers that exceed the posted speed limit by 20 km/h. In the case of Greece, the penalty is close to 50 euros no matter where it happens.

Drivers pay a flat rate for exceeding the limit with 20 km/h in German motorways or country roads, but they pay slightly more when it happens in the city.

Those that drive in Austria will get a fine of 50 euros if they exceed the speed limit on country roads by 20 km/h, a smaller fine if it happens on the motorway, and an even smaller one if it goes on in the city. Countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, and Turkey also have legislation that keeps the sentence for this action at around 50 euros.

Moderate fines

Speed camera warning on bridge
Photo: Pixabay user Janitors
Belgium, France, Finland, Italy, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom are on the list of countries that have what we would call “moderate” financial penalties for drivers caught over the posted limit by 20 km/h, but nothing more. We used the term moderate because that is the European average when fines for this mistake are concerned.

In the United Kingdom, the penalty is consistent no matter if it happens in the city or the motorway, and it is just under 100 euros. Ireland has a smaller penalty, but not close enough to enter the “small” category.

In The Netherlands, the amount of the speeding penalty varies if it happened in the city, country road, or on the motorway, and they range from just over 100 euros to 150 euros.

Belgium is stricter than its counterparts from this category, as its standard fines for this action range at about 150 euros no matter where the offense took place. Finland is surprisingly lax, with a fine of 130 euros, without separating city or motorway offenders.

France comes just between Finland and Belgium, but its worst offenders can also get a jail sentence. Meanwhile, Spain is placed between Ireland and Finland from this point of view. Italy sits just below strict Belgium when considering the penalty, with a cap of 150 euros for speeding at 20 km/h above the limit.

Biggest fines

Photo: Pixabay user jhusemannde
Driving at 20 km/h over the limit in Denmark can become extremely expensive, especially in the city, where this will land a 400 euro ticket. Doing the same on the motorway is slightly cheaper, at about 325 euros, while country roads have the smallest punishment for this offense, which is set at 200 euros.

Portugal has similar legislation, with a 300 euro fine for driving 20 km/h over the limit in the city. Doing the same on country roads or the motorway lands a 200 euro fine.

Switzerland also punishes town speeders with higher amounts, which can reach about €330 for the same speed offense. Driving faster on Swiss country roads will land a 200 euro fine, while doing the same on motorways only costs 150 euros. How affordable, right?

The time has come to tell you which is the country where you should never drive faster than the speed limit. Well, do not go 20 km/h over the limit in Norway, or you will get a 500 euro fine if it happened in the city. The offenses that take place on motorways and country roads are situated under 450 euros, but slot at about 430 euros.

By the way, driving significantly above the limit in Norway, Spain, and Monaco (conditionally) will land you a jail sentence. These tend to start at about 36 km/h over the limit, but some countries allow even more before locking up a driver. Do not be that person, drive safe.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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