The holiday season is approaching and many of our travelers are getting ready for their journey by car. In addition to advising you to check the technical validity of your vehicle before the trip, we also recommend that you take some roadside assistance to travel more carefree.

Frequent breaks and rest from driving are also very important for a worry-free journey. Additionally, please be mindful of traffic regulations and parking in Greece to avoid fines and extra costs.

Traffic regulations in Greece and on the way to Greece

In this text, we will provide information on the traffic regulations in Greece. Furthermore, you will find out about the amount of traffic fines in Greece and the cost of certain traffic violations in North Macedonia and Bulgaria since our tourists most commonly travel to Greece through one of these two countries.

You will also read about the experiences of some of our travelers with traffic fines in Greece, and if you’re not already following, we invite you to join our Facebook group, Live from Greece, where you can ask questions and hear the opinions and experiences of other travelers.

We will also answer common questions regarding traffic fines in Greece, such as:

  • Do I need to pay the traffic fines I receive in Greece?
  • Will the fine be sent to my home address?
  • Will I have to pay the fine for a traffic violation in Greece at the border when exiting or re-entering?
  • Can the fine for a violation in Greece be charged to me in another EU country?

There is much to be said about traffic regulations and fines in Greece, as well as in North Macedonia and Bulgaria, which can be useful to you when traveling to Greece, so let’s proceed.

Since 2018, a new law in road traffic has been in effect in Greece.
Significantly stricter fines have been imposed, so we advise all drivers to respect the rules and restrictions.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in traffic police in Greece, and they are quite prompt in issuing fines.

More speed cameras have been installed than usual, and one is located shortly after the Evzoni border crossing, before the exit to Thessaloniki. Previously, there was a benefit of reducing the fine by half if paid within ten days, but this benefit has been abolished.

One more note before everything: Make sure you have no unpaid traffic fines in Serbia, as this can also lead to being turned away at the border.

How much are traffic fines in Greece, North Macedonia, and Bulgaria?

These are the prices for certain traffic violations in North Macedonia if you choose to travel to Greece through this country:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: €250-€400
  • Exceeding the speed limit in a residential area up to 20 km/h: €45
  • Fine for running a red light: €300
  • Not wearing a seatbelt: €20
  • Parking violation: €45
  • Using a mobile phone while driving: €45
  • Failure to use headlights during the day: €35

These are the prices for traffic fines in Bulgaria if you decide to take that route:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: €255-€510
  • Exceeding the speed limit up to 20 km/h: €10-€180
  • Running a red light: €25
  • Not wearing a seatbelt: €25
  • Parking violation: up to €102
  • Using a mobile phone while driving: €25
  • In case of a breakdown, mandatory reflective vest when leaving the vehicle, failure to wear it results in a fine of €25
  • Failure to use headlights during the day: €25

Traffic fines in Greece:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: €78-€1,200
  • Exceeding the speed limit in a residential area up to 20 km/h: €100
  • Fine for running a red light or overtaking over a solid line: €700
  • Not wearing a seatbelt: €350
  • Parking violation: €40-€80
  • Using a mobile phone while driving: €100
  • Daytime running lights are only mandatory in tunnels with low visibility
  • Smoking in a vehicle with a child under 12 years old results in a fine of €1,500 and license suspension.

Experiences of some of our travelers with traffic fines in Greece

What we must note is that you should be careful and avoid committing traffic offenses, as the fines are much higher than before, and there are more police officers and frequent checks. Some of the fines can be quite unpleasant and can complicate your vacation and return, as besides the monetary amount, your license plates may also be confiscated, thus preventing you from returning to Serbia with your own vehicle. Often, an agreement can be reached with the police, and with a paid fine and a written request, the license plates can be returned. However, there have been cases when it was not possible.

For years, I have been vacationing in Nikiti and whenever I pass by the Lidl, I cross the solid line. Even the Greeks used to tell me that it’s not such a big deal and they would laugh at how it’s always crowded, until I got burned last summer. I turned over the solid line out of habit and while I was turning, I saw a police patrol. I didn’t expect them to charge me a fine, I was expecting a warning. They ruined my vacation when I had to pay a fine of 700€ for crossing the solid line.”

“A few years ago, instead of the allowed speed limit of 100km/h, I was driving at 130km/h and they fined me 175€ and suspended my driver’s license for 2 months. Luckily, I didn’t try to negotiate because I heard about the experience of another traveler who tried to bribe them and it went really bad, so I decided to admit my guilt and pay.”

I accelerated to make it through the traffic light and it turned red as I was passing through. That was the most expensive moment in my life, but luckily, I didn’t pay with my life, but with 700€. In addition to that, they confiscated my driver’s license and license plates for 2 months. I was lucky, I didn’t argue, and they told me that with a written request and after paying the fine, they can return my license plates, and that’s what happened, although in the end, my husband had to drive back.”

“At first, after the offense, I tried to explain to them that I didn’t see the traffic light because I was making a right turn and I thought I had the right of way, I didn’t see that it was red. Then they angered me when they wrote me a fine of 700€. I tried to negotiate with them because it seemed crazy to pay, and I didn’t have that money. In the end, they also confiscated my license plates for two months. I heard from some people that they had a similar experience and they paid the fine and wrote a request to have their license plates returned, but I definitely didn’t have the money for the fine, I had to wait for the payment from Serbia. Maybe because of my impulsiveness and approach, they didn’t return my license plates after I paid the fine. I had to come back to Greece again after 2 months to get my car. They complicated my life and vacation, it left a sour taste even though I’m mostly to blame, and I’m still quite angry.”

These are some examples, so be vigilant when it comes to traffic regulations, respect them, be cautious, and yet, if you happen to commit an offense, be aware of your mistake and hope that there won’t be any serious consequences, as the monetary fine, no matter how much it is, is still less than a life.

RADARS that measure speed on the way out. On certain parts of the highways, there are radars and speed control notifications, and people often slow down in front of them and then accelerate once they pass, but some of these radars measure the speed of cars on the way out, not on the way in.

What if my traffic fine is not collected upon exiting Greece?

If the fine for a traffic offense has not been recorded yet and the information about it has not been sent to the border crossings, it is possible to leave the country without paying the fine. Many people rejoice that they don’t have to pay, but there can be several scenarios.

The Greeks cannot send you the fine to your home address, but the next time you enter Greece, if the fine is not expired, it still remains in the system and they will not forgive it, so you will have to pay it. In addition, within the European Union, there is a register of traffic offenses, and there is a high probability that the fine will be collected as soon as you enter the EU, no matter where the offense was committed within the EU.

Because of the complications in collecting fines from foreigners, many have found ways to deliver the fines to the offenders at their home addresses. Traffic fine collection is often delegated to private law firms, which then pursue payment from the person who committed the traffic offense.

They will always find a way to collect the issued fine, so respect the regulations and be careful not to commit a traffic offense. If, however, you do commit one, our advice is to pay the fine in order to avoid additional costs.

You can find information related to traffic regulations and fines for traffic offenses in all European countries at this link.

If you are traveling with children, make sure their safety is a priority and provide appropriate seats and accessories.

You can check the official website of the Traffic Law and mandatory equipment in cars in Greece here.

Have a safe trip and we hope you bring back only beautiful souvenirs and Greek products, not fines.

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