How to avoid lesser-known DGT fines while refuelling a vehicle at Spanish petrol stations

Image of a motorist putting fuel in a vehicle.

Image of a car being refuelled. Credit: bunyarit/

Even when refuelling their vehicle at Spanish petrol stations, motorists can get hit with fines from the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) for lesser-known offences.

While the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) continues to fight to improve road safety on Spanish roads and reduce the number of accidents on the roads there are still some lesser offences that motorists might not be aware of. These include fines that can be handed out while parked or refuelling a vehicle at a petrol station.

The law says that ignorance of the rules does not exempt anybody from compliance. There are a series of regulations that drivers must take into account if they do not want to get fined while putting petrol or diesel into their vehicle.

Although they are probably not well-known rules, they can be expensive. For some motorists, refuelling is a daily action. Although they may think that they do not pose any danger to other people, the truth, breaking certain laws while at a service station does pose a significant risk.

What can and cannot be done at a service station is regulated in the General Traffic Regulations. For example, motorists cannot use a mobile phone there. Contrary to common belief, this is not because it can cause a spark, but because it can possibly distract you during the filling tank.

This is specified in Article 115 of the regulations, which explains that this action could interfere with the refuelling of the vehicle.

“The owners of fuel distribution facilities or employees of the latter may not provide fuel for loading if the engine is not stopped and the vehicle lights, electrical systems such as the radio and electromagnetic radiation emitting devices such as mobile phones”, states the regulation.

The fine can amount to €100. Reiterating the article, you should not leave the engine, lights, or radio on either. These fails incur the same penalty as using a mobile phone.

Smoking is of course prohibited at any petrol station. It is again considered a method of distraction and that striking a match, using a lighter, or smoking next to fuel poses a high risk of fire. The fine for this can be up to €100.

The General Traffic Regulations also recommend other actions that motorists should take into account when going to a petrol station to refuel, as reported by

These include being careful not to make the mistake of filling the tank with the wrong types of fuel. Drivers must always ensure that the fuel does not spill on the forecourt. They should never run the risk of theft by leaving the keys in the ignition, and not forget to remove the hose from the tank and close the petrol cap.

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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