South Africa Traffic Fine

Discussion in 'Car Hire, Taxis and Limos' started by N860CR, Jul 10, 2018.

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  1. N860CR

    N860CR Established Member

    Nov 30, 2004
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    It seems I've managed to get pinged for speeding in the Western Cape.

    About 2 months after renting a car with Avis, I noticed a charge on my Amex for 325 rand. I emailed Avis to query what it was, and got a once sentence reply that just said "it's the admin fee for the traffic fine on the rental". I got onto them to ask for more details (ie: where, when, show me the fine etc), however they never responded.

    I chased up on Facebook and, surprise surprise, they got back to me with some "details". I haven't seen the fine, but they provided a "fine number" and the claimed location (which I believe I was in, so I will assume I did actually do it). They say the admin fee is for passing on my details to the relevant local authorities, which is fine by me. I did a bit of backwards and forwards emailing, and they still haven't sent me a copy of the fine. The SA gov has a website where you can lookup and pay traffic fines, however the number they gave me comes back as "invalid".

    The person at Avis then told me "you don't have to pay the fine as you're not a SA citizen, and you will not get into trouble. You just pay us the admin fee for passing on your details". This seems a tad questionable, as I assume they've handed over my passport number (which could cause an issue on reentry - I am in SA about 3 times a year). I asked Avis to advise exactly what information was handed over, however they've now gone silent.

    I can only assume that the fine is genuine, but Avis aren't doing a good job of convincing me. I will note that I've never had a single traffic fine in nearly 20 years of driving and usually can pickup a fixed camera pretty early.

    Has anyone dealt with traffic offenses in SA hire cars before?
     

  2. opusman

    opusman Established Member

    Jun 27, 2006
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    Generally for traffic offences overseas the car hire companies don't send you the fine, they just pass your details onto the authorities and charge you for the trouble. It's then up to the traffic authorities to send you the fine. In my experience (twice that I know of) they don't seem to bother if you're overseas.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. vetrade

    vetrade Established Member

    Nov 1, 2011
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    More than likely a copy of the fine itself wouldn't be sent to Avis - they are likely just given a reference number and details of the car, date etc. and asked to supply details of the driver who rented the car at the time. It's common practice for rental companies to charge the driver a fee for this "service".

    The authorities might then cancel the fine once they see your address is not in SA, which would explain why the number came up as invalid. I guess you need to decide if it's worth any more of your time to chase the 32 bucks.
     
  4. N860CR

    N860CR Established Member

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    No concern at all about the $32 from Avis, my concern is the fine just floating around until it flags when I arrive back in the country as unpaid
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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    Some countries do chase (NZ for example)
    And will follow up with phone calls if you don't pay.
     
  6. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I was sent a fine ~10 years ago from New Zealand. Avis didn't charge me any extra. A friend was the one driving and he gave me the money and we paid the government department direct.

    Interesting they now charge a fee to pass on details.
     
  7. blackcat20

    blackcat20 Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2011
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    Italy definitely sends the fine.....
     
  8. GSP

    GSP Member

    Jun 17, 2016
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    I got a fine (parking, not speeding) once in the Canary Islands (Spain) from AVIS. It was all in Spanish. I had somebody translate it for me and it was clear the time/place was correct but I was questioning the validity of the fine. I ignored it and never heard anything again - I haven't been back to Spain since though.
     
  9. RooFlyer

    RooFlyer Enthusiast

    Nov 12, 2012
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    I got a cc charge for traffic fine admin fee from Avis after I got back from a trip to Spain. Went to refuse it with cc company as I had no knowledge of any infringement but cc company said I had to challenge it with Avis first. I did so, asking what incident it was for etc and got no answer, so the cc company then took it off my statement.

    Two days later, the paperwork for the traffic infringement arrived from Spain in the post, and I remembered sneaking up the bus-lane in Seville …

    Sorry to N860CR for the thread diversion, but with a topic like this ...
     
  10. Duffa

    Duffa Established Member

    Aug 18, 2011
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    Hertz charged my £72 or so for going down a bus street in Bath - 32 for the fine and 40 for passing on my details!
    They paid both for me - so kind
     
  11. juddles

    juddles Established Member

    Aug 2, 2011
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    I am on the other side - I do not have an aussie drivers licence - does Australia chase you up?
     
  12. jellybelly

    jellybelly Junior Member

    Apr 20, 2014
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    We also were charged a parking ticket fine in South Africa, we were only advised of the date and location which matched when we were there, but we are still unsure what we did wrong but it was a small amount so we didnt dispute it
     
  13. Moody

    Moody Active Member

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    I did 5000+km through Spain and Portugal in May, for most of which I was under the mistaken impression that speed limits on the freeways were optional. They are not. Whilst I was still there I received a 25 Euro admin fee from Alamo, and sure enough - 2 weeks after returning home a letter in Spanish arrived which was clearly a speeding ticket even before I grabbed my phone to Google translate it.

    I paid up - partly because they offer a 50% reduction in the fine if you pay up within 21 days (100 Euro down to 50), but mostly because I want to return to Spain one day and don't want that hanging around in the age of big data.

    And of course I deserved it .....
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. N860CR

    N860CR Established Member

    Nov 30, 2004
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    Did you actually pay the fine? Or just the fee from the hire car company?
     
  15. RoMambai

    RoMambai Member

    Aug 31, 2006
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    #15 RoMambai, Jul 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
    I copped a parking in fine Nuku'alofa in 2006 in front of the Westpac there but I didn't pay and I never heard back. The CBD was burnt down a week later by a riotous mob so maybe the paperwork went with it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. vetrade

    vetrade Established Member

    Nov 1, 2011
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    Inciting people to burn the CBD is a pretty extreme way of dodging a parking fine..............;)
     
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  17. JohnM

    JohnM Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    I’ve copped the admin fee from rental car companies in various places for passing on my name and address for parking infringements. There’s no evidence that they pass on your passport details. These requests are almost certainly a PITA for the rental companies and my guess is they do the bare minimum to comply in just informing who the driver of the car was.

    I’ve always ignored them with no consequences.

    Unbelievably, some Italian parking people sent by snail mail a parking fine. Ignored it. They sent another by snail mail. Ignored it. They stopped. It would have cost them more in paperwork than the petty parking fine was worth. The mindlessness of petty bureaucrats.

    Just ignore it is my advice. I think you are reading far more into it than is justified. You won’t be frog-marched into incarceration when next you go to S Africa - I think... :eek::D:D:p:p.
     
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  18. opusman

    opusman Established Member

    Jun 27, 2006
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    That's one of the two I never got sent.
     
  19. RoMambai

    RoMambai Member

    Aug 31, 2006
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    I was only there for three days and had left the country by the time the riot took place so I can't claim any credit.

    But I can see why locals were up in arms. The traffic cops were dynamite!
     
  20. N860CR

    N860CR Established Member

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    Probably very true... but I am in the process of applying for Visas for the country and the last thing I need is (another) hurdle!
     
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