Whether captivated by oceanside views or distracted by buzzing city life, it’s all too easy to lose track of your speedometer while cruising around California. However, the price of a momentary lapse in caution can prove steep. The consequences of a speeding ticket in the Golden State extend far beyond the initial base fine. Along with sneaky surcharges, there’s also the hidden expense of escalated car insurance premiums after receiving a speeding ticket in California. If you find yourself grappling with a rate raise, Bankrate can help you by offering some strategies that may help bring your premium back down.

How much is a speeding ticket in California?

Trying to make sense of California’s penalty schedule for traffic violations can feel like reading computer code from a tech company in Silicon Valley. Fortunately, we were able to decipher it for you. Here are the ‘base fines’ you may pay for a speeding ticket in CA:

  • 1-15 mph over limit: $35
  • 16-25 mph over limit: $70
  • 26+ mph over limit: $100
  • Over 100 mph: $200

However, these ‘base fines’ are likely the least of your worries. After penalty assessments and surcharges, the total cost of your California speeding ticket could be close to five times the base fine. And, unfortunately, the financial consequences don’t usually stop there.

According to Quadrant Information Services, as of May 2024, California drivers with clean driving records pay an average $2,633 per year for full coverage car insurance and $645 for minimum coverage. After receiving one speeding ticket, California drivers may see their average annual costs rise to $3,625 for full coverage and $881 for minimum coverage, respectively representing a 38 and 37 percent increase. This is well above the national average increase of 21 percent.

When all is said and done, a speeding ticket in California can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. In addition, most minor California speeding ticket violations will result in one point against your driving record. Your license may be suspended if you accumulate four points within one year (six points in two years or eight points in three years also count). There are enhanced consequences for tickets issued for speeds that exceed 100 mph.

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The cheapest car insurance for California drivers with a speeding ticket

Car insurance companies typically profile speeders as high-risk drivers who are more likely to file an accident claim. Because of this, rates are typically raised to offset the assumed risk. In fact, some companies may raise premiums so much that drivers with speeding tickets on their records are priced out.

Even a minor speeding ticket in California can stay on your record for three years, so you may want to consider switching to a provider specializing in high-risk insurance in the meantime. To help you get started, we compiled a list of California insurance providers that are generally more lenient towards speeders, according to average rate data we analyzed.

Company Avg. before speeding ticket in CA* Avg. after speeding ticket in CA* % diff. from state average after speeding ticket
Mercury $2,050 $2,910 -20%
Progressive $2,199 $2,993 -17%
Travelers $2,313 $3,051 -16%
Geico $2,206 $3,070 -15%
21st Century $2,348 $3,178 -12%

*All rates are average annual full coverage rates.

What to do after a speeding ticket in California

You always have the option to just pay your speeding ticket, deal with the insurance rate hike and move on with your life. While this is technically the easiest option, it can prove to be costly. But if you’re willing to put in a little effort, following these tips could help you lower your auto insurance premium while you have a speeding ticket on your record.

Go to court

The cumulative costs of even a minor speeding ticket can end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in California. So, if you believe your speeding ticket was unjust, consulting legal counsel to explore potential avenues for your case to be reduced or dismissed in court could be worthwhile.

By appearing in court, the judge may also deem you eligible for traffic school. You’ll likely still have to pay your fine, but by completing the training, you may be able to clean your record of the speeding ticket and avoid a rate hike entirely.

Commit to safe driving

Instead of waiting three years for your speeding ticket to fall off your driving record, you can take action into your own hands by signing up for a telematics program. These programs use GPS devices that track your driving and communicate the data back to your provider. If you consistently display good driving habits, you may earn a discount that could offset the premium hike from your ticket.

Adjust your insurance policy

Comparing quotes from different auto insurers could help you find a lower rate. But if you’d prefer to stick with your current insurer, there are often ways to manufacture some savings by making some adjustments to your policy. You can reduce your premium payment by raising your deductible or dropping optional coverage. However, these strategies can increase your financial responsibility in the event of an accident, so you’ll need to assess this trade-off based on your personal situation. Speak with your agent to determine what’s right for you.

Frequently asked questions

  • In California, the average auto insurance premium increase is roughly 36 percent after a speeding ticket. Your premium adjustment after a ticket could be higher or lower, depending on your personal rating factors.
  • Based on our analysis, Mercury and Progressive are two of the best car insurance companies for California drivers who have received speeding tickets. Both insurers’ average rates (as of May 2024) for Californians who’ve received speeding tickets are well below the state’s average rates for the same driver profile.
  • A speeding ticket in California can stay on your driving record for three to seven years, depending on the severity of the speeding ticket and your driving history.


Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze May 2024 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a single, 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2022 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base) and single speeding ticket.