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Speeding can be an expensive mistake that many of us make at some point in our lives while driving. If you have a speeding ticket on your driving record, you can expect to pay $367 more per year on average for a full coverage policy compared to someone with no tickets. In addition to an increased premium, you would also have to pay your ticket fee. Bankrate has broken down the essential information you need to know after receiving a speeding ticket so you can prepare your budget for what lies ahead.
- The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that speeding accounted for 29% of crash fatalities in 2020.
- Driving even 5 mph over a road’s speed limit can cause an increase in traffic fatalities of up to 8%, as reported by the IIHS.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) found that 308,013 people sustained injuries in car accidents caused by excessive speed.
- Data collected by the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) shows that teen drivers accounted for 43% of all traffic fatalities between 2015 and 2019, where speeding was a factor.
How much does a speeding ticket cost?
Based on 2022 data provided by Quadrant Information Services, drivers with a speeding ticket pay an average of $2,138 per year for a full coverage policy and $657 per year for minimum coverage. Comparatively, the average premium for an annual full coverage policy for a driver with a clean driving record is $1,771 per year for full coverage and $545 per year for minimum coverage.
How much you will pay in fines for speeding depends on the situation. Your ticket should list the amount you must pay, but you may want to call the court if you have further questions. The following factors can determine how much your speeding fine will cost you:
- Speed: Your actual speed will significantly impact the cost of your speeding ticket, with higher speeds sometimes leading to criminal charges, license suspensions and even jail time. In Virginia, for instance, any speeding ticket for driving 20 or more miles over the limit is considered reckless driving.
- State: Where you are cited for speeding matters. States like Nevada have much stricter penalties for speeding than other states. Louisiana drivers, who already contend with the highest average annual full coverage car insurance rates at $2,864 see an average annual increase of $607 on their car insurance after just one speeding ticket.
- Zone: If you are caught speeding in a high-risk area, such as a school, work or construction zone, you could face much steeper penalties than you would on a regular roadway.
- Additional infractions: If a police officer observes you committing other infractions while speeding, such as reckless or drunk driving, the consequences of your speeding ticket are likely to be much more severe. In these cases, what would have been a standalone speeding ticket could now lead to jail time.
- Prior driving record: If you have a history of speeding or multiple moving violations on your record, you may be charged a higher fee than if it was your first infraction.
Other penalties of speeding tickets
The consequences of speeding aren’t just limited to receiving a ticket, fine or time in court. If you get a speeding ticket, you may also experience:
- Bodily injury: Speeding is dangerous and could result in causing harm to yourself if an accident occurs. Additionally, if you hit someone and injure or kill them while speeding, you can expect penalties to be much more severe.
- License suspensions: If your offense is severe enough or your driver record shows a pattern of speeding, you could have your license suspended for anywhere from one month to over a year.
- Points: Speeding is an easy way to rack up points on your driver record, leading to expensive fines, license suspensions and even having your car confiscated. Points will also raise your car insurance premiums.
How does a speeding ticket impact your insurance?
The average cost of car insurance is $1,771 per year for a full coverage policy. A driver with a speeding ticket, however, pays $2,138 annually. For minimum coverage with a speeding ticket, drivers pay an average of $657 yearly, but those with a clean record usually pay around $545. Speeding tickets usually carry a surcharge on your policy for three years.
Insurance companies tend to view drivers with a speeding ticket as higher risk and more likely to cause an accident, so they raise their premiums to reflect this risk. However, it is important to note that if your ticket is dismissed, it should not affect your rate. Some states also allow you to take a course to remove points from your license.
Speeding ticket costs by state
Costs for speeding, including penalties and car insurance hikes, vary greatly. Here is a quick look at the most and least expensive states for increased car insurance rates after one speeding ticket.
Most expensive states for car insurance after a speeding ticket
To determine the most expensive states for a speeding ticket in terms of your car insurance costs, we looked at the total average full coverage premium for drivers with a single speeding ticket on their record. The three most expensive states are Louisiana, Florida and New York according to our research.
|State||Average annual full coverage premium with a speeding ticket|
Least expensive states for car insurance after a speeding ticket
Car insurance companies in some states are more forgiving than others. If you receive a speeding ticket in Maine, Vermont or Idaho, you should be able to find cheap car insurance without much hassle. Other states like Hawaii, Washington and Wisconsin all tend to have lower car insurance hikes after speeding as well.
|State||Average annual full coverage premium with a speeding ticket|
Speeding ticket costs by state
The penalties for speeding vary significantly by state, with some states imposing much stricter penalties than others.
|State||Maximum Speeding Ticket Fine||Average full coverage insurance increase post-speeding||Average annual full coverage premium with speeding ticket|
|District of Columbia||$300||$265||$2,213|
Court fees and fines are additional.
Is a speeding ticket a misdemeanor or a felony?
How a speeding ticket is classified depends on several factors. Based on your jurisdiction, your speeding offense may be considered an infraction, misdemeanor or felony. Most speeding tickets are treated as a simple infraction or violation and have no associated criminal penalty. This can include speeding and other minor offenses such as failing to stop, yield, signal, use proper lighting or use your seat belt.
Your driving history and the severity of the event may also impact how your speeding ticket is classified. When there is property damage, injuries or death, you are likely to face harsher penalties than an incident with no associated losses. Additionally, some states classify a certain number of miles per hour above the posted limit as reckless driving, which could be a misdemeanor or felony. If you speed in a school zone, you will almost always face more severe consequences. Drivers with a record that includes multiple speeding violations or other infractions are also likely to face harsher consequences than drivers with a clean driving record.
There is a difference in how violations are tried in court. Generally, less severe offenses are heard in traffic court, while more severe offenses may be tried in criminal court. However, this varies based on state and local jurisdiction law.
Typical Differences Between Traffic Court and Criminal Court
|Traffic court||Criminal court|
|Minor speeding||Extreme speeding (15 mph or more)|
|Failing to stop at a stop sign||Property damage|
|Running a red light||Driving under the influence (DUI)|
|Texting while driving||Driving while intoxicated (DWI)|
|Following too closely||Reckless driving|
|Changing lanes unsafely||Vehicular homicide or manslaughter|
Most speeding cases are handled in traffic court unless it is a more severe case involving a repeat offender or one resulting in an accident that incurs damages and losses of some kind. If you are unsure about how your jurisdiction treats various speeding offenses, check your local laws or speak with a local attorney.
Do I need a speeding ticket lawyer?
Deciding whether to hire a traffic lawyer for your speeding ticket is a personal one, and having a lawyer’s defense for the infraction could have both pros and cons.
|Knowledge and relationships: Lawyers have greater knowledge and experience with the court that could help lessen the penalty of your speeding violation.||Legal fees: For less serious offenses, it may be cheaper to pay the fine outright.|
|Less severe penalties: Lawyers may be able to keep points off your record that could affect your car insurance.||More time-intensive: Fighting your ticket may require time off for lawyer meetings and court.|
|More cost-effective: Hiring a lawyer may be cheaper than the penalties you would otherwise face in some situations.|
“Even in something as simple as a traffic ticket, you have a lot at stake,” says North Carolina attorneys Kurtz & Blum. “Having a good traffic lawyer from the beginning will likely save you time and money.”
In the end, hiring a traffic lawyer is a personal decision. A traffic lawyer may be able to spot mistakes on your ticket that you are likely to miss, and these mistakes could get your ticket thrown out of court. However, lawyers are not cheap, and finding one you want to work with may take leg work. Fighting a ticket in court will also require you to carve extra time out of your schedule, possibly resulting in missed work. If your ticket is serious, all of this may be worth it.
When deciding, you have to balance the cost and time associated with hiring a lawyer with the amount of your fine, court costs and potential for increased insurance premiums if the ticket remains on your record.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 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 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 2020 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