How a speeding ticket impacts your insurance in North Carolina
The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate, we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. To help readers understand how insurance affects their finances, we have licensed insurance professionals on staff who have spent a combined 47 years in the auto, home and life insurance industries. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation of . Our content is backed by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed entity (NPN: 19966249). For more information, please see our .
North Carolina drivers can expect an average increase of 50% for full coverage car insurance after getting a speeding ticket citation. Although the state’s rates are lower than the national average for drivers with a clean driving record, the national increase for full coverage with a speeding ticket is only around 21%. North Carolina car insurance companies clearly take speeding seriously. Bankrate can help you understand the car insurance implications of getting a speeding ticket in North Carolina so that you can better prepare should you be convicted of breaking the speed limit.
How much is a speeding ticket in North Carolina?
The cost of a speeding ticket in North Carolina is relatively inexpensive. A speeding ticket cost in North Carolina starts at just $10, but court fees, license reinstatement fees and other costs could add up on top of that, making tickets relatively pricey. The price you’ll pay will also depend on how fast you were going and the specifics of your infraction. For example, speeding in a school zone comes with a $250 fee.
Besides the financial impact, repeat offenders may face having their licenses suspended after incurring too many points. The fee to have a driver’s license restored after too many speeding tickets is $70 for the restoration and an additional $50 service fee. You may also have to contend with court costs, which can add up quickly, too. In addition to fees directly tied to the ticket, you may also be viewed as a higher-risk driver by auto insurers, which will likely increase your insurance rates.
How much does a speeding ticket increase your car insurance in North Carolina?
Being convicted of speeding is likely to increase the average cost of your car insurance due to you now being considered a higher risk than you were before. How much more you’ll pay will depend on several factors, including your age, your previous driving history and the type of car you drive. On average, North Carolina drivers will pay 50% more for full coverage car insurance after a speeding ticket conviction according to premium data provided by Quadrant Information Services. This is much higher than the national average increase of 21%.
One thing to keep in mind is that North Carolina bans the use of gender as a rating factor, so men and women would pay the same rates before and after a speeding ticket conviction, assuming all other factors are equal.
Average annual full coverage premium
|Rate before speeding ticket||Rate after speeding ticket||% increase|
|North Carolina average||$1,392||$2,089||50%|
A single speeding ticket conviction in North Carolina can cause a significant increase in your premiums. The best way to avoid this increase is to maintain a clean driving record. Without the speeding ticket surcharge, your rates are likely to be much lower than they would be after a ticket conviction.
How to lower your car insurance after a speeding ticket in North Carolina
If you are a North Carolina driver and have a speeding ticket impacting your car insurance rates, it may help to know you can still find ways to save on car insurance. Consider the following ideas:
Get quotes from other car insurance companies
There is no standard rate increase based on the type of ticket you get. Two similar drivers insured by different insurance companies could see a big difference in how a speeding ticket conviction affects their premium. Some car insurance companies in North Carolina offer lower average rates than others. For example, despite having an average increase of 49%, State Farm has the lowest rate after a speeding ticket, likely due to its low average rate for drivers with clean driving records. However, National General has the lowest percentage increase after a ticket at 35% vs. the state’s average of 50%.
Average annual full coverage premium by car insurance company in North Carolina
|Car insurance company||Rate before speeding ticket||Rate after speeding ticket|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$1,047||$1,504|
*Premiums are average annual full coverage premiums for 40-year-olds
As you can see, the cost for the same level of coverage varies widely between companies, both before and after a speeding ticket conviction. The first step drivers might want to take after seeing a post-speeding-ticket premium increase is to get multiple car insurance quotes to consider if switching insurers would provide significant savings. However, since price is not the only consideration, take time to review customer ratings and independent reviews about the carrier to make sure you are making an informed decision.
Attend a driver improvement course
North Carolina state laws allow drivers with four points or more to attend a driver improvement course once every five years. You may need to qualify first and attend a hearing with an administrative hearings officer, which comes with a $40 fee, as well as a $70 fee for the course itself. Once you successfully complete the course, you will receive a credit of three points. Over time, these improvements to your driving record may result in lower premiums from your insurer upon policy renewal.
Adjust your coverage
If the new insurance rate is more than you can afford, you might also consider adjusting your vehicle insurance by lowering your coverage limits (within legal requirements). Alternatively, you can also raise your deductible to save, so long as you are prepared to assume more financial responsibility in the event of an accident. Be sure to talk to an agent or company representative before you make changes to your policy, to ensure you understand what you are doing. Lower limits likely mean lower rates, but also less financial protection if you get into an accident.
Other speeding ticket considerations
There are a few different ways to deal with a speeding ticket. While there are many instances where you might want to contest it, there are also times where it may make more sense to pay the ticket outright. With minor tickets, it’s often possible to pay online. However, with more serious offenses, this option is less common. In those cases, you’ll most likely have to pursue one of the alternative approaches.
Some speeding tickets in North Carolina are waivable, depending on the circumstances. Waiving your ticket means admitting guilt and paying the fine — in other words, waiving the need to appear in court. After that, the instance would be added on your driving record. This option is more likely and may make more sense with less severe tickets that have smaller fines. Tickets often indicate on their form if they are waivable.
You could contest a speeding ticket and plead not guilty, but doing this without legal counsel may be challenging. If there is no easily provable reason why the speeding ticket shouldn’t have been issued, it may be difficult to contest the ticket successfully.
North Carolina allows drivers to request that a speeding ticket be reduced, which can either be done in court or online, as long as the request is made at least seven days prior to the court date. There is no guarantee of success with this approach. Still, you may have a better chance of succeeding if you have an otherwise good driving record, admit guilt, and display an understanding for the violation being ticketed. If the judge sees that you will strive to prevent a re-occurrence of traffic violations, you may have a better chance of receiving the reduction. Depending on the judge’s decision, this may reduce the severity of your ticket, lowering the amount you owe and how many points get added to your insurance record.
Frequently asked questions
The best car insurance company, even if you have a speeding ticket, will depend on your unique needs. If you’re looking for cheap coverage after a speeding ticket citation, State Farm and North Carolina Farm Bureau could be good options. But car insurance is more than just price. You may also want to consider each company’s coverage offerings, discounts and third-party ratings to ensure you match yourself with the best option for your needs.
The state allows drivers with four points or more to attend a driver improvement course once every five years. You may need to qualify first and attend a hearing with an administrative hearings officer. Once you complete the course, you would receive a credit of three points.
The cost of a North Carolina speeding ticket varies between $10 and $250, depending on the specifics of the incident. However, court fees and administrative fees may be assessed on top of the fee for speeding, increasing the amount substantially. Additionally, you’ll likely see an increase in your car insurance premiums.
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