Four DGT fines for running out of fuel on the road

Road traffic accident in Almeria province leaves two dead after a vehicle left the road

Image of a Guardia Civil Traffic Officer. Credit: Guardia Civil

Four DGT fines for running out of fuel on the road

Running out of fuel whilst driving in Spain could be a very costly affair if a traffic police patrol happens to come along at that unfortunate moment in time. The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has a selection of four different fines that the officers can apply in situations like these. We should know, there is no actual fine for running out of fuel, only for the consequences.

All vehicles have a reserve in their fuel tanks, with a light illuminating on the dashboard, and a warning sound emitted, to indicate that you are running low on fuel. Unless you have driven with this light on, most of us will not know exactly how far we can keep driving until the tank actually runs dry. This distance of course will depend on a variety of factors; your speed, the model of vehicle, laden or unladen, etc.

Either way, the easiest solution is to not reach that stage and to always stop and fill the tank with plenty of notice. Driving a vehicle until it reaches the very end of its fuel supply can be harmful to the engine if sediment or impurities that normally collect at the bottom of the tank should be sucked into the fuel system.

Let’s look at what might happen if you do run out of fuel. 

It is possible that your vehicle could run dry and end up stranded in the carriageway. This of course is highly dangerous on a busy road. If your vehicle starts stuttering, the sign it is running out of fuel, you might panic and pull the vehicle up somehow facing in the wrong direction. This would be the first €200 fine.

Once a vehicle runs dry, the power steering normally stops working, which means you might have to get out and start pushing your vehicle out of the road. This is another €200.

From the moment you step out of your vehicle on a road, by law you are required to warn other roads users. You must wear a reflective vest, as must all passengers who exit the vehicle. A new V-16 warning beacon must be placed on top of the vehicle, or, failing this, the old-type warning triangles. Any failure in these aspects can incur a fine of €80.

Usually, once parked up, the instinct is to call for the tow truck. It is always advisable to check this in your insurance policy, and know where to find the number quickly.

Should you decide to make your way on foot to the next service station, this is when you could receive the biggest fine. It is essential that any container you transport fuel back to your car with, is approved. The transportation of dangerous goods – which petrol or diesel are classed as – is regulated by law. Any container, regardless of capacity, that is not approved, can land you with a hefty fine of up to €3,000, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at