If you commit a minor traffic offence in Spain, you will most likely receive a fine, some incur the loss of points, and in most cases the actual amount you pay can be reduced by 50% if you admit the offence and pay promptly, for the majority of fines.
The ability to receive a 50% discount was introduced in 2009, so long as you pay the fine within 20 days. You do however lose that ability in the event that you oppose or appeal. As the DGT explains, if you agree with the sanction, pay it as soon as possible and benefit from a 50% discount. If you do not agree or there is an error, you can appeal or claim a refund of the payment. Remember, if you do, you lose the right to the 50% reduction.
In the case of a fine from the DGT, you have the possibility to pay it in the voluntary period. Said period includes the first 20 calendar days from when the complaint was notified to you and, in most cases, implies a 50% reduction in the amount of the fine.
Once these 20 days of the voluntary period have passed, the ordinary period begins.
In this ordinary period, which extends up to 45 days after receiving the notification, you can make the payment of the fine at any time. In this case you must pay 100% of the amount of the same.
Once the ordinary term has elapsed, the sanction will pass to the State Tax Administration Agency, which will be in charge of collecting it with a 20% surcharge.
Because at the same time that a reduction in the amount of the fine was offered, the offender was forced, in the same article of the reform of the law, to renounce other rights. In other words, if you wanted to save 50 percent of the amount of the fine, you should say goodbye to other alternatives that you could legally have to defend your actions.
This is seen as a beneficial system for both sides, the offender saves money by admitting guilt and paying promptly, and the DGT saves on the cost of filing the case further through the judicial process.
In 2021, the DGT broke all records for collection of fines, reaching 444 million euro in revenue. A figure that surely would not have been achieved with the previous system of sanctions. Of course, that figure also implies that there were a record number of people caught committing an offence.
It should also be noted however that if you are caught with a radar detector, or radar jammer in your vehicle, which are now illegal to own, whereas they were previously only illegal to use, the discount is not applied.