You are cruising along, your arm wrapped around your favorite girl—or at least your favorite sandwich—the best driving song ever turned up to 11, the ride filled with aural bliss; you are young and on top of the world and literally nothing can ever slow you down. Then you hear the piercing shrill of a siren's song and peep those blue and red lights swirling in your rear-view mirror. Sh*t.
Speeding tickets are usually akin to fire ants: one is manageable, but when they start coming in bunches, you're going to get burned. Unfortunately some tickets are greater than others—and some are like, 100x greater than others (oh hey Switzerland). Listed below are the 10 most expensive speeding tickets ever recorded. Penny-pinching racers, Tokyo drift your eyeballs away from this list.
10. $3,000+ for many, many speedy Virginians
Virginia may be for lovers, but it's also for people who don't mind paying a second mortgage for speeding. In the mid-'00s, Virginia introduced the steepest speeding penalties (monetarily speaking) in the country. Plenty of people have been hit with $3k+ speeding tickets in Virginia, but these extraordinarily sharp fines and laws only apply to permanent residents—so drive through West Virginia instead (and pick up some moonshine while you're at it).
9. $4,643 for the Bimmer driver on his cell phone
This British businessman got himself into quite a speed-related pickle in 2007, tallying up a ginormous $4,643 after being caught on camera going 156 mph while on his mobile phone in the otherwise jolly UK. Ronald Klos, the businessperson in question, is described by the BBC as "an amateur race car driver." I'd say don't quit your day job, but hitting 156 mph while talking on the phone is kind of Jeff Gordon-esque. I'm not even mad, in fact I'm kind of impressed.
8. $12k for the Canadian motorcyclist who cut a deal
In 2010, a going-fast-on-a-motorcycle enthusiast forked over $12k to Canadian authorities after being clocked going 164 mph in a zone that most certainly did not have a 164 mph speed limit. In order to salvage his license, he agreed to pay the unusually high fee. As Wayne Gretzky once (kind of) said, "You pay for 100% of the speeding tickets you make, eh."
7. $58k for the Finn going 15 over
If you are wondering what this massive spike from Finland is all about, note the Finns (and several other EU countries, as you'll see) adjust speeding ticket fees based on the driver's annual income. So basically, sh*t can get very real very quickly for the wealthy. Take this guy, Reima Kuisla, for example. He was caught doing a measly 15 over in a 50 mph zone. No biggie, right? Too bad the dude makes about $7mil a year, bringing his ordinary speeding ticket close to $60K. Like any responsible adult, Kuisla turned to Facebook to vent, posting "Finland is impossible to live in for certain kinds of people who have high incomes and wealth," which led thousands of his friends to reply "Shut up, you impossible douche-nozzle."
6. $103k for a brick phone baron who got out of it anyway
Nokia phone director Anssi Vanjoki took his trusty Harley-Davidson for a leisurely ride in Helsinki, Finland and got tagged going 47 mph in a 31 mph zone, notching a ticket for €116k, or $103k at the time (back when the dollar was as strong as a Nokia phone). Of course the poor baby Vanjoki disputed the tab, saying he actually made a lot less than what he was credited for, so inversely, his fine should be lower (remember, the Finns base their fines on personal income). Of course he won, reducing his ticket 95%, while accelerating Nokia's eventual fall from grace, probably.
5. The $200k Lambo, belonging to the unluckiest millionaire ever
In a move straight out of Ferris Bueller, an unlucky Lambo owner from Australia saw his $200,000 Gallardo seized from his unsuspecting clutches after his mechanic took it out for a joyride, and got pulled over for going 99 mph in a 43 mph zone. The car was immediately impounded, in accordance with Australian law, even though the car was "borrowed" when it was pulled over. Though the owner eventually got his ride back, it's believed he did not recommend this sticky fingered mechanic to any of his friends and/or colleagues.
4. $217,000 for a sausage prince
In 2004, a year when Hoobastank inexplicably owned the music charts, 27-year-old Jussi Salonoja, the heir to his family's sausage business and one of the richest men in Finland, was making some noise of his own on his country's serene streets. He was slapped with a $217k ticket for going 50 mph in a 25 mph—though, with annual earnings of €7M a year, he had the meat money to cover his reckless record. If you are going to do the crime, you better have the sausage empire clout to back it up.
3. $290,000 for a millionaire speed addict
Apparently, a Swiss millionaire was caught red-handed in his red Ferrari, tearing through a nice little village in his home country at 85 mph, more than 35 mph above the speed limit. The fine hit such lofty heights due to the driver's income (an estimated $22.7m net worth) and because he was a repeat offender. "The accused ignored elementary traffic rules with a powerful vehicle out of a pure desire for speed," the court said in its judgement, according the BBC. Zoinks. The pure desire for speed claims another helpless victim.
2. Approximately $1M, the biggest (actual) speeding ticket EVER
This is the big one, and further proof the Swiss, though traditionally neutral, don't f*ck around with speed demons. A Swedish driver and apparent Vin Diesel enthusiast behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz SLR in Switzerland got caught hitting a relatively absurd 186 mph, and landed a fine of €650,000—which translates to just under a cool million in American dough, at the time (2010). That's as ice-cold as an Andre 3000-shaped popsicle. And almost certainly less satisfying.
1. The $2.4M Bugatti belonging to one very pissed off Dad.
Like the Lambo at #5, the ramification for this rowdy driver was not an actual ticket, but the impounding of a very pricey vehicle—in this case, the $2.4M Bugatti Veyron, the first ever imported to Holland. The car belonged to Michel Perridon, the director of Trust International BV, and was seized when his 20-year-old spawn and (probable little jerk) took the family ride out on the town and decided it was perfectly alright to do 100 mph in a Rotterdam 55 mph zone. Though local reports have yet to confirm, my sources tell me it was prime spanking season in Holland for the Perridon lad. Let's be honest, he deserved it.