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traffic ticket scams

Long Island, NewYork
8 posts
1 review
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traffic ticket scams

Last year I rented a car thru Auto Europe for Florence, Italy. A full year after this rental I was charged $166 on my Am Ex credit card for an alleged traffic violation. At no time did I receive a ticket while in Italy. When I contacted Auto Europe they simply threw up their hands and provided no assistance in contesting this charge. They confirmed that a ticket could be issued without being affixed to your car and could take a year to process. In other words a ticket could be issued - not provided to the driver -- and when you are back in the US and unable to challenge the violation they can charge the fine against your credit card which incidentally included late penalties and a 20% VAT. I contested the charge with Am Ex but their investigation simply produced a copy of the car rental agreement and a copy of my so called ticket which stated that I was driving in the limited zone of Florence (which was where my hotel was and as such would have been a defense). I frankly think we tourists are easy targets for scams of this type so beware! Maybe you should find a different way to rent so they can't pull this stuff!!!

United States
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9,727 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: traffic ticket scams

I don't think it is a SCAM. My guide book to Florence specifically mentions driving in restricted areas and hefty fines that you will get at a later date.

DId you ask your hotel about reporting your car use? They will report your license to the police so that you won't get fined. There is a camera system in the restricted areas that takes photos of all cars driving into the restricted areas. I'm sure that processing the photos takes time so that is why you can get a ticket or charge up to a year later.

Any non-resident of Florence would be subject to the same fines.

TAB

Montreal
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17,790 posts
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2. Re: traffic ticket scams

For heaven's sake, it is NOT a scam!

You admit that you were in a ZTL (zona traffico limitato). That your hotel was there is *not* a defense; *only* if your hotel

registered your license plate number with the authorities before you entered the ZTL would it be a defense.

It would help to know the traffic rules of the country before blasting off such unfounded remarks.

Also, the ticket would have been charged to you the same way if you had rented from any other broker or agency.

Linz
Level Contributor
2,894 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: traffic ticket scams

I don't know how it works in the US, but in Europe it's usual to get a ticket by post months after the violation. The ticket is sent to the car holder... in this case this is the car rental company.

Every car rental contract clearly says that the renter is liable for all fines and that all fines are charged to his credit card.

I don't know why you call it a scam... the limited traffic zones (Zona Traffico Limitato) are clearly marked. If they would not enforce it, everybody would enter... and Florence (and allmost all european cities) is definately not made for individual traffic. You should have just told your hotel the numer of the plate...

Long Island, NewYork
8 posts
1 review
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4. Re: traffic ticket scams

The point that was apparently missed is that because of the year long delay I was denied an opportunity to prove that I was permitted to be in this area. There is a concept called due process which provides for fair notice and an opportunity to be heard!! I have been to Florence multiple times and was under the impression that if my hotel was in the restricted area I could drive to it. I was unaware that I needed to also "list" with my hotel (they did know of my usage since they arranged for my parking at a nearby garage). Had i received timely notice from the authorities I could have at least presented my defense before I was hit with penalties. Moreover even though I am travelling there this October I am advised that it is too late to contest the ticket -- so much for the rule of law -- which to my mind is a terrible scam and an injustice!!

Long Island, NewYork
8 posts
1 review
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5. Re: traffic ticket scams

As an addendum thank you for your responses -- I now know to insure my car is listed and so do others.

6. Re: traffic ticket scams

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Removed on: 12 June 2008, 23:18
Level Contributor
21,537 posts
44 reviews
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7. Re: traffic ticket scams

I agree with Zerlina. The law is very clear on this matter. The fact that your hotel is in the ZTL is not a defence, nor would it have been had you known of the fine soon after it having been applied. It's not a scam, since you yourself admit that you breached the law. Which is why on this forum we all advise not to take the car into Florence but just to rent it upon leaving it, or on a daytrip.

8. Re: traffic ticket scams

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Removed on: 31 October 2007, 14:01
portland, Ore
Level Contributor
255 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: traffic ticket scams

Bobini,

AutoEurope is a consolidator/broker. Usually the ticket info would go to the actual auto rental agency, (Hertz, Europcar, etc) and each one has different policies about how they handle these types of things

Which agency did you rent from? Some agencys will be glad to see if they can help you out; others; i.e."H@#&z" , are notorius for also adding their own charges to whatever fine you may incur.

wilmington
Level Contributor
113 posts
1 review
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10. Re: traffic ticket scams

Oh Boy......

I dont think that is what bobini was implying at all, from what I understood, she was simply trying to inform others and maybe "scam" was a strong word to use but non the less got my attention and yours also, she, in no way, was attacking Florence or any foreign laws

btw thank you i had never heard of restricted zones before and now I know and I am def. not going to rent a car