Foreigners owe millions in unpaid Copenhagen parking fines

11.5 million kroner in 22,500 unpaid parking fines amassed in two years

When drivers from abroad are fined for parking illegally in Copenhagen, a high proportion do not pay. In fact, only about 50 percent part with their money.

Figures from 2013-2014 show the Danish capital amassed 11.5 million kroner in 22,500 unpaid parking fines from foreign drivers. The city has been forced to hire two Swedish debt collector agencies that specialise in collecting debt from abroad.

“A soon as we get outside the national border, there are challenges because we can’t see who owns the car,” Charlotte Jakobsen, a spokesperson for the parking ticket department at Copenhagen Municipality, told Metroxpress newspaper.

“We do it out of a principle of justice and economy. But as long as there are not any other options to collect the money, we can’t do it any better.”

READ MORE: New system to eliminate parking tickets in Denmark

Similar issues in Aarhus
The most unpaid parking tickets by drivers from abroad from 2013-2014 hailed from Germany whose citizens failed to pay 5,237 tickets worth 2.7 million kroner.

The top five was rounded up by Sweden (1.7 million kroner from 3,303 tickets), France (1.2 million kroner from 2,355 tickets), Poland (755,000 kroner from 1,482 tickets) and Bulgaria (650,000 kroner from 1,272 tickets).

The issue has now landed on the political agenda list at Copenhagen City Hall in Copenhagen, where local politicians are looking into how to get foreign drivers to walk the line when it comes to paying fines.

Aarhus has experienced similar problems. In 2014, just one fourth of foreign drivers paid their parking tickets, although the total owed in Denmark’s second biggest city was ‘just’ 300,000 kroner.