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There are some fines that might seem a little excessive or unnecessary in traffic law, but they are all based on making the roads safer.

If you don’t keep your car clean you could face a fine of 80 or 200 euro fine, depending on the surface of the car that is covered. The most punished element is the number plate, which must be kept clear, and the sanction could reach a whopping 6,000 euro, plus the loss of 6 points.

But we have to abide by the rules when cleaning the car too. Specifically, you are not allowed to wash your car on a public road. According to article 4.2 of the General Circulation Regulations, “it is prohibited to throw, deposit or abandon objects or materials on the road that may hinder free movement, stopping or parking, make them dangerous or damage the road or its facilities”.

Interpreting the law, when washing the car liquids and other substances are deposited that alter the road. For example, they make the road more slippery, which could prove hazardous to other road users. This, in the opinion of the DGT, justifies the consequent fine. How much would it be? It depends on the municipality where you live, and can start from 30 to 3,000 euro. Of course, following this law, it is also not permitted to repair or carry out maintenance work on the vehicle, such as changing the oil, on public roads.

There are also environmental laws which you could fall foul of. When we take our vehicle to a car wash, the water is recycled, and they have environmental policies to ensure that no damage is inflicted on the delicate local ecosystems. Introducing pollutants such as soap into the local environment can be damaging, and therefore is also, theoretically, sanctionable.

So, however we look at it, it is far better to take our car to an authorised car wash, and on a regular basis in order to keep it clean.

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