How does a speeding ticket affect your car insurance?

Getting a speeding ticket can be expensive, and not just because of the fine: It can also make the cost of your insurance go up, potentially costing you more than the ticket itself.

We look at how much you can expect your auto insurance rates to increase after getting a speeding ticket and how long the increase is likely to last, both of which depend on a wide variety of factors.

How a speeding ticket impacts your insurance premiums

A speeding ticket indicates to your insurer that you may be a riskier driver, and therefore more likely to get into a crash or file an insurance claim. Insurers charge riskier drivers higher rates to offset the higher financial risk of insuring them.

A 2021 study by found that, on average, drivers could expect to see their insurance rates go up 20-22% for a “minor” speeding ticket (29 mph above the speed limit or less) and by 30% for a “major” speeding ticket (30 mph above the limit or more). A similar 2022 study by NerdWallet found an average increase of 25%. These are averages of many different insurers in many different states—you may see a much larger or smaller increase depending on where you live, your insurer, and the circumstances of the citation.

In general, rates are the highest during the first year after getting a speeding ticket. Insurers may also take into consideration if the violation was a first, second, or subsequent offense, as well as how fast you were driving and how much time has passed since you were pulled over. The more aggravating factors there are, the higher you can likely expect your premiums to be.

If you have a very good driving history, it's possible—albeit unlikely—that your rates may not increase. If you’re currently receiving a “good driver” discount, you may lose it even if your rates don’t go up.

How long will a speeding ticket affect your insurance?

Your state driving record is where your insurer will check to see if you have any tickets and if so, when they were incurred. In most states, a speeding ticket will stay on your state driving record for 3-5 years, though the duration varies by state, and some states keep violations on your record permanently.

When determining the premiums for an auto policy, insurance companies look at what’s called the "experience period." Insurers have different experience periods, but a typical one would be the 36 months prior to the date of review. The insurer reviews your driving record and any losses over that period, determines if they can offer you a policy and, if so, how much it will cost. (Insurers often have longer experience periods for serious offenses like DUI and reckless driving.)

When will my rates go up after a ticket?

A speeding ticket will most likely affect your insurance if it falls within the experience period when you get your next policy, and will probably continue to affect your rates until it is far enough in the past that it’s outside the experience period. In practice, that usually means the ticket will affect your rates for the length of the experience period starting with your next renewal. 

If a speeding ticket raises your insurance rates, the timing of the ticket compared to the timing of your renewal determines when that happens. That’s because most insurance companies won’t raise your rates until you renew your policy. For example, if your policy renews in January of each year, and you get a speeding ticket in February, it won’t affect your current rates until the following January.

How long the points from a ticket stay on your license 

Most states will also put demerit points on your license after you get a ticket for speeding or another moving violation. If you get too many points over a certain period (such as from multiple speeding tickets in the same year) your license may be suspended. While every state has its own rules, demerit points from a ticket generally come off your record sooner than the ticket itself.

Demerit points do not directly affect your insurance; they are only used by states to determine whether to suspend or revoke your license. But having a license suspension on your record can make getting insurance much harder and more expensive.

Some states, such as Hawai‘i and Mississippi, don’t have a points system but still suspend driver’s licenses for violations they deem excessive.

How to save money on auto insurance after a speeding ticket

A moving violation can significantly increase your rates, and could even make coverage unaffordable.

Learn and practice exemplary driving behavior

Take the initiative to attend a safe driving course and practice good driving behavior on the road. This can show insurers that you're serious about being a safer driver, and some insurers offer discounts for doing so.

Obey the speed limit, yield to drivers and pedestrians who have the right of way, don't run stop signs or red lights, and use your turn signals when changing lanes or making a turn. It's also important to keep your car in good working order by regularly maintaining it and fixing any problems that could potentially cause an accident.

Look into public transportation and carpooling options

If you can’t lower your car insurance rates enough after getting a speeding ticket, look into alternative methods of transportation. Taking the bus, using a ride-hailing service like Uber, or carpooling can help offset higher insurance premiums by reducing the covered mileage on your insurance policy as well as saving money on gas.

People also ask (FAQ)

How do I get a speeding ticket off of my driving record?

If you think you received a citation in error, different states handle contesting a ticket either through the court system or with additional fees. Depending on your state, driving classes may also be available to remove a speeding ticket from your driving record, but this may require a traffic court judge.

What other tickets can affect my car insurance rates?

Other moving violations like failure to yield, running a red light, and reckless or intoxicated driving, as well as failure to appear in court for a traffic ticket, can also raise your car insurance rates.

What are high-risk drivers? Does getting a speeding ticket make me one?

A high-risk driver is typically defined as someone who has been convicted of a serious moving violation, such as DUI or reckless driving. Getting a speeding ticket alone generally will not make you a high-risk driver, but if you have multiple offenses on your record, it could result in you being classified as such.

Can I contest a speeding ticket?

Some states allow you to pay an administrative fee to have the citation removed from your record while others require that you appear in traffic court to dispute the ticket.

If you must appear in court, you will need to do so on the date specified on the citation. At the hearing, the officer who issued the ticket will testify as to why they believe you were speeding. You will also have an opportunity to present your side of the story and any evidence you have that supports your innocence, with or without the help of a lawyer.

The judge will then decide whether you are guilty of speeding. If you are found guilty, you will have to pay the fine associated with the speeding ticket, and it will remain on your driving record.

Looking for a driver improvement course?

AAA traffic school and driver improvement courses are available online and in person in select areas, including some that qualify for ticket dismissal or demerit point reduction.

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