Budget Not Giving me Italian Traffic Fine Info

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Dec 10, 2018
4
0
1
74
#1
I rented a car from Budget in Siena, Italy for 10 days, returning the vehicle at Florence airport on May 17,2019. I've recently received correspondence from Avis/Budget indicating that I incurred a traffic fine during that trip in Lucca. I was aware of my violation (driving in a restricted area) and am willing to pay it. I was given a link by Avis/Budget to supposedly let me pay the fine. After trying numerous times to use it, I only received registration and reservation numbers, but nothing about the fine. For "processing" the fine I was charged $54. I tried an alternative method from the website of emailing them for information on my rental, twice, and never received a response within the 72-hour period promised. I would like to pay my fine, preferably online, but cannot get any information or even the amount of the fine. I'm left wondering why I was charged $54 for nothing more than a notice. Can you help me?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,308
17,762
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
You were charged a processing fee because there is a fee for processing the tickets. Budget has to wait until they get the ticketing information from the government which is notoriously slow and then had to develop a system for you to pay. That all costs money.

We have company contacts for Budget that you can write to about the problems paying and they may be able to help you.

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/avis-budget/

This is how to write:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 3, 2017
242
409
63
45
#3
Italy has about one year from the date they receive your contact information to send you the details of the fine. When you do receive it, you have just a few days (I think it is five days) in which to pay it before the fine increases.

I would not expect the car rental agency to provide you with details as that is not their role. They won't provide you with the amount or how to pay the fine - Just keep your eyes peeled for the actual fine.
 
Dec 10, 2018
4
0
1
74
#4
Thanks for explaining the charge for me, Neil, but my real concern is that the letter I was sent told me I could do things I wasn't able to do. The letter was sent 7/18 and I received it at the beginning of August. It specified waiting one day after the letter date to obtain the fine information. It also mentioned waiting 10 days in certain circumstances. Both those periods had elapsed. I kept going back many times to try again with no success. Also neither of the emails I sent (according to the instructions of the letter) was answered. Why should this be?
 
Feb 3, 2017
242
409
63
45
#6
Did you put that link you posted through google translate? It is only about the rental car invoice, not the fine by whichever comune you were in when incurring the fine.

The process for these fines is that the authorities search for the owner of the vehicle by checking the license plate (which has been photographed during the infraction), learns who the owner is (in this case, Budget), contact them for the driver's information who had the vehicle in their possession at the time.

The sole responsibility of the rental car agency has been to provide the renter's contact information to the authorities who then have a lengthy period of time in which to send the fine to the renter. Having rental car agencies are not responsible for collecting such fines for the many comunes in Italy.

I imagine you already have seen the charge that Budget charged your credit card for providing this info to the authorities, right?
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
5,018
6,854
113
49
#7
Thanks for the information, Lee, but I'm still confused about Budget's role, per the statement in the letter, "Your traffic fine/charge invoice will be online in 1 working day following the transaction at …. www.budgetautonoleggio.it/manage-booking/richiedi-fattura" which appears to be a Budget website. Can you explain this? Am I missing something? Thanks again.
That link you posted is for retrieving invoices or receipts (fattura) or reservation number. That does not pay the traffic fine.

Can you post a copy of the letter and black out al personal info.
 
Likes: VoR61
Dec 10, 2018
4
0
1
74
#9
Yes, I used Google translate and the charge from Budget is on my credit card. I guess I'll just wait for a notice from the Italian authorities, as you suggested (although I still think the letter I got was misleading). Thanks for your help.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,539
8,754
113
San Francisco
#12
Receiving a non-moving violation in Italy in a rental car is just about the most annoying thing ever, Nellie, and it's beyond expensive in my experience. To boil it down, Italy asks Budget for the renter's info, Budget charges you a fee to look it up. Then at their leisure, Italy sends you a ticket. It is accompanied by several pages in Italian. It's difficult to figure out the amount of the fine, never mind how to pay it.

As I recall, we were fined more than 350euro for not having a toll ticket on an autostrada exit to the Bologna Airport. We were unaware that we had entered a toll area. That was several years ago. Had the fine been reasonable, I would have figured out how to pay it. We decided not to drive in Italy again, but instead spend our time (and money) in other countries who aren't quite such money-grabbers.
 
Likes: VoR61
Feb 3, 2017
242
409
63
45
#14
Italy (probably other countries as well) has for the past few years engaged collection agencies to pursue unpaid fines in other countries. I spend a lot of time in Italy and know a few travelers who have not paid a fine and did have a collection agency pursue payment. The most common fine for a lot of travelers seems to be for driving into ZTLs (limited traffic zones) (instituted to preserve the historic centers of the towns and cities in Italy)

I've never heard of a fine as high as the 350 euros mentioned above - the ones for the ZTLs are not nearly that high but they increase over time if not paid.

It's a risk, as with any legitimate outstanding debt, as to how non-payment will impact one's credit rating. Each person decides this (obviously) for themselves but Italy is not ignoring non-payment of fines any longer - as in years past.

If the OP wants to see if Budget can provide some clarity about the letter received, then send a letter to Budget. But, rental car agencies provide no means for paying such fines for traffic violations in Italy (just as they don't anywhere, in my experience) but certainly no harm in sending off an email to inquire about it.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
5,018
6,854
113
49
#15
Italy (probably other countries as well) has for the past few years engaged collection agencies to pursue unpaid fines in other countries. I spend a lot of time in Italy and know a few travelers who have not paid a fine and did have a collection agency pursue payment. The most common fine for a lot of travelers seems to be for driving into ZTLs (limited traffic zones) (instituted to preserve the historic centers of the towns and cities in Italy)

I've never heard of a fine as high as the 350 euros mentioned above - the ones for the ZTLs are not nearly that high but they increase over time if not paid.

It's a risk, as with any legitimate outstanding debt, as to how non-payment will impact one's credit rating. Each person decides this (obviously) for themselves but Italy is not ignoring non-payment of fines any longer - as in years past.

If the OP wants to see if Budget can provide some clarity about the letter received, then send a letter to Budget. But, rental car agencies provide no means for paying such fines for traffic violations in Italy (just as they don't anywhere, in my experience) but certainly no harm in sending off an email to inquire about it.
I travel to Italy a lot and drive and am very conscientious about preplanning. Yet even I got hit with a ZTL fine — a traffic diversion by the police — so I was doomed either way. Yes I was playing with fire by just skirting the ZTL zone... But after driving in Italy for the past 15 years I am philosophical about it. If I got a parking ticket in Los Angeles or a toll fine in FL would I contact the rental company about the fine? No. I recently rented a car in NJ where there are toll roads and made sure my route did not

The car rental company will just refer to the municipality. It is not realistic to expect them to do that.

And this is not just an Italy problem— there are boothless toll roads and bridges in the US that get tourists the fines and fees.
 
Likes: VoR61