If you get a speeding ticket in California, you will need to pay more than just the fine alone. Car insurance companies in California generally consider drivers with a speeding ticket higher risk, and tend to raise their rates as a result. According to Bankrate’s analysis of premium data from Quadrant Information Services, the average cost of car insurance in California increases by 36 percent following a speeding ticket conviction, jumping from $2,697 to $3,660 per year for full coverage. If you find yourself grappling with a rate raise following a speeding ticket, Bankrate can help give you some strategies that may help bring your premium back down.

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How much is a speeding ticket in California?

The cost of a California speeding ticket can add up. Depending on the circumstances of your ticket, you can expect to be fined anywhere from $35 to $1,000.

Those fines do not include other surcharges, assessments and fees. Your auto insurance costs are likely to increase after a ticket, and you may have to pay to reinstate your license if it is suspended. Plus, if you are required to attend traffic school because of your infraction, you will generally need to pay a state-mandated administrative fee of $52 and the traffic school fee, which costs between $20 and $45.

How much does a speeding ticket increase your car insurance in California?

How much your insurance goes up after a speeding ticket in California will ultimately depend on your insurer. However, Bankrate looked at average rates from California insurers to provide a point of comparison. The actual amount could vary based on factors like how fast you were driving over the speed limit and the number of prior tickets on your record. The table below shows the average premium for a driver with a clean driving record in California versus how much their policy would increase after a ticket:

Average annual full coverage premium before speeding ticket Average annual full coverage premium after speeding ticket % increase
$2,697 $3,660 36%

The average increase in annual full coverage premium after a speeding ticket in California is 36 percent. This is higher than the national average of 21 percent. However, driving history is not the only factor that affects auto insurance premiums. Common car insurance rating factors may include:

  • Age
  • Type of vehicle
  • Carrier
  • Annual mileage
  • Chosen coverage and deductibles

In California, insurance companies are prohibited from using your ZIP code, gender or credit-based insurance score to calculate your car insurance premium. Your premium may be higher or lower than the premium rates quoted above depending on your individual rating factors.

How to lower your car insurance after a speeding ticket

Although auto insurance premiums typically increase after a speeding ticket, there are ways you can reduce the impact of the rate hike. Following these tips could help you lower your auto insurance premium if you have a speeding ticket on your record:

Get quotes from other car insurance companies

Each car insurance company uses its own method to determine premiums. Some carriers may charge more heavily for speeding tickets than others. If your premiums increase significantly after a speeding ticket, comparing quotes from different auto insurers could help you find a lower rate.

Car insurance company Avg. full coverage premium before speeding ticket Avg. full coverage premium after speeding ticket % increase
Geico $2,278 $3,169 39%
State Farm $2,354 $3,226 37%
Travelers $2,484 $3,285 32%
Wawanesa $2,424 $4,127 70%
Farmers $2,927 $3,771 29%

Premiums are average annual full coverage premiums for 40-year-olds

When considering changing your auto insurance company, you may want to research more than average premiums. Reviewing customer service scores, coverage offerings, available discounts and financial strength ratings may help you to choose the right company for you.

Increase your deductible

If it is within your financial ability, you could consider adjusting your deductible. In some cases, this could result in slight savings. However, be cautious when implementing this strategy. If you end up raising your deductible, ensure that it is still an amount you can comfortably pay out at a moment’s notice without busting your budget.

Reassess your annual mileage

The distance you drive every year is crucial to determining your car insurance rates. If you’ve recently switched jobs and have a closer commute or now work from home, consider reaching out to your insurance agent to see if your annual mileage has decreased from previous years. If your insurer offers a low-mileage insurance policy, you might want to consider it, as the rates could be significantly lower.

Other speeding ticket considerations

In addition to fees and an insurance premium increase, you may be facing additional penalties after a ticket. You have the option of appearing in court to contest your case, or you could plead guilty and pay a fine. In California, eligible drivers may also go to traffic school to remove the speeding ticket from their record, and also ask the court to reduce the cost if experiencing financial hardship.

Drivers who aren’t eligible for traffic school may see points added to their driver’s license record. You may even have your license suspended or revoked, depending on the severity of your infraction and your past driving history. You could also be required to make a court appearance or hire an attorney. Your ticket may even result in jail time.

Frequently asked questions

    • There are several top car insurance carriers based on average premiums, customer service scores, coverages, discounts and financial strength ratings, but the best auto insurer for you will depend on a number of individual rating factors and what’s best for you will vary from another driver. One way to determine what company might best fit your needs is to obtain quotes from multiple carriers and compare them.

      It is also helpful to consider how you want to manage your policy. If you’re someone who wants to chat with an insurance agent one-on-one, you might gravitate toward an insurer with offices in your area. Or, if you’d prefer to manage everything from your phone or computer, an insurer with robust digital tools might be more your speed.

    • After a speeding ticket, your auto insurance premium may increase between 29 percent to 70 percent on average depending on your age, prior driving record and insurance carrier. Your premium adjustment after a ticket could be higher or lower, depending on your personal rating factors. You may want to consider checking other insurance carriers or talking to your company representative or insurance agent about potential discounts to help offset the increase in your premium.
    • A speeding ticket in California can stay on your driving record for three to seven years. How long a ticket stays on your record depends on the severity of the speeding ticket and your driving history.
    • It is hard to say. Typically, a speeding ticket will equate to one point on your license. In that instance, Bankrate’s research found that average premiums in California increased by 36 percent. However, the reason for the license point may also influence your insurance increase. Running a stop sign, for example, may result in a different change to your total insurance costs.
    • Bankrate’s research compiled a list of the cheapest car insurance companies in California for different situations. Drivers with incidents on their records, such as a speeding ticket, may receive a competitive quote from AAA, for example. But, like the best car insurance company, the cheapest will also change from person to person.
    • While you do not have to inform your current insurer of a speeding ticket, they will find out once your policy comes up for renewal. When your policy renews, your insurer can look at your motor vehicle record and adjust your rate accordingly.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2024 rates for 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 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), single speeding ticket.

Gender: The following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.