The city has said that it does not want to bear the financial responsibility if car gets damaged

Bulgarian city will not put car clamps on expensive cars

Bulgarian city will not put car clamps on expensive cars

Kardzhali’s paid public parking zone launches today, however, not all sanctions will be applied equally

Today, a ‘Blue’ parking zone comes into effect in the centre of the city of Kardzhali in Bulgaria. The Blue Zone is essentially a municipal paid public parking system. The practice has been a staple in larger Bulgarian cities since 2007 and is aimed at curbing the growing number of cars and discouraging personal vehicle travel in certain areas.

Violating drivers are usually served a light fine, while their vehicle is held in place by a car clamp. However, according to a statement by the municipality, the more restrictive car clamps will not be used on expensive cars. Instead, traffic police will have to track down the identity of the owner, slowing the process significantly. This preferential treatment would offer owners of more expensive cars significant wiggle room when dealing with parking in the Blue Zone.

Curiously enough, though, the city’s statement does not specify what qualifies as an expensive car, making the enforcement of the measure bizarrely arbitrary.  

How will the Blue Zone in Kardzhali work?

The city has designated around 500 parking spaces in the Blue Zone, mostly around the centre of the city, including administrative buildings. The parking fee for the spaces is set at 50 euro cents per hour and vehicles can use the spaces for up to three hours.

The zone will be active from 8:00 to 18:00 hours on weekdays and from 8:00 to 13:00 on Saturday, meaning that at any other time, parking there has no hourly limit and will be free.

On the other hand, fines for violating vehicles are generally not that high, at around 10 to 25 euros. Traffic authorities attach a car clamp on violating cars, which is removed when the fine is paid.

This measure is in place to inconvenience drivers and put a strain on their time, rather than on their finances.

When it comes to more expensive vehicles, however, the city has said that it will not use the car clamps, as authorities do not want to bear the financial responsibility if the car is damaged. Instead, when there is a violation, the local traffic police will try and determine the identity of the car owner and issue the fine directly to him.

This approach raises a few concerns though, as there is no clear definition of what an expensive car is. At the same time, critics have pointed out that this could lead to an arbitrary application of traffic laws.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU