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Exceeding the maximum number of people permitted in a vehicle is grounds for a sanction. If, for example, there are 6 people in a 5-seater vehicle, you risk a heavy fine and the loss of points from your driving licence. In addition, it is clear that you also put the safety of all the occupants of the car at risk.

The Reglamento General de Circulación, Spanish Traffic Law, in Article 9, says, “The number of people transported in a vehicle may not be greater than the number of places it has authorised (…) without, in any case, exceeding, between passengers and luggage, the maximum authorised mass for the vehicle”.

In addition, in the case of an excessive occupation of the vehicle that involves increasing the number of authorised places by 50%, without counting the driver, it is considered a very serious infraction. The vehicle will be immobilised immediately by law enforcement officers. In other words, if 6 people travel in a 5-seater car (4 without counting the driver), the fine will be tougher.

In the event that 50% of the maximum allowed is not exceeded, the infraction will be considered minor. The economic fine is 80 euros, to be paid by the driver. In addition, occupants who do not wear seat belts, which would include those who are exceeding the permitted number as there would not be a seat belt for them, are subject to a fine of 200 euro and the withdrawal of 4 points from their driving licence. If these are minors, the responsibility lies with the adult who is in charge of them at that time.

In the case of exceeding 50% of the maximum occupancy mentioned above, the infraction is very serious and implies a fine of 500 euro and the withdrawal of 4 points.

To find out the maximum number of people you can carry in a car, you have to consult the vehicle’s technical data sheet. The number of approved places appears there. In some cases, it is assumed that the car is approved for 5 people, 4 plus the driver, but in some cars it is only 4 people, including the driver.

As well as putting the occupants of the vehicle at risk, your insurance may also be invalidated if you suffer an incident.

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