Many visitors who drive to Spain in their cars or mobile homes are often unaware of the laws and procedures associated with driving and parking. As in most countries today the driver is a prime target for money making schemes and Spain capitalises very well from such ventures.
There are three levels of punishment for illegal parking, either overstaying your allotted time in a car park or parking in the street outside of designated areas.
Parking indicators in Catalunya are colour coded; white for free parking, blue and yellow for paid and permit (resident/business) respectively. Yellow lines are generally bad news and will lead to a parking ticket, as will using a blue or yellow spot without paying or having a permit.
The first level of fine is around 25-30 euros and can be paid at the local Mossos or Policia station. For most foreign drivers you can escape this by not paying as they will not send the paperwork to your home country but don’t make a habit of that as they will chase you eventually and make life harder the next time you visit too.
The next level of fine rises to 75 euros + and if you do not pay in Spain will be sent to authorities in your home country.
The final and most severe of punitive measures is towing. Your vehicle will be taken away on the back of a flat-bed truck, stored in a Mossos or Policia yard until the levy is paid and the only indicator that your vehicle has been taken is a yellow, triangular sticker with contact details, time of towing and vehicle details.
Fines start at 150 euros so be prepared to pay heavily as there may be additional charges as well.
The simplest thing is to park legally. It may be difficult to find a good spot in the summer but patience is a lot cheaper than parking fines.
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