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Do Parking Tickets Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?

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It’s stressful enough to find the perfect parking spot, but a parking ticket can put a damper on your day. If you’ve recently received a parking ticket, you may worry about how it will affect your car insurance rates. Do parking tickets affect car insurance? Maybe — but there are some things you can do to make sure that your rates won’t skyrocket due to a ticket.

Read on to find out more about the connection between parking tickets and car insurance, as well as how to avoid them in the first place. And if you’re looking for other ways to save on car insurance, compare quotes online to see rates from top auto insurance companies side by side.

Quick Facts

  • Parking tickets don’t typically raise your insurance rates.

  • Drivers must be aware of other negative consequences of parking tickets.

  • To prevent parking tickets, read nearby signs and be careful where you park.

Parking Tickets and Car Insurance

Do parking tickets affect car insurance rates?

Generally, parking tickets won’t increase your car insurance rates.

Do parking tickets affect insurance? Not usually. Parking tickets don’t typically change how much you pay for car insurance. However, they can involve other costs. The municipal code of the city, village, or county that issued your ticket will determine the fees you pay.

Parking Tickets and Your Driving Record

Two general types of traffic violations exist: moving and non-moving violations. A parking ticket is a non-moving violation. If you double-park or forget to feed the meter, your insurance company may never know. The violation isn’t attached to your driver’s license or added to your driving record. That means they don’t give you points on your record, and it won’t affect your auto insurance rates.

Unpaid Parking Tickets

Unpaid parking tickets are another story. If you don’t pay the fine, your parking ticket could be sent to a collections agency — and that can impact your credit-based insurance score. Some companies use your score to determine your car insurance rates.

Most states allow it. But a handful of states don’t let insurers use your credit score as a factor, including California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

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How to Stop Parking Tickets from Raising Your Insurance Rates

If you live in a metropolitan area, chances are good that you’ve received at least one parking violation. Even though parking tickets don’t directly cause higher rates for insurance coverage, there are a few steps you can take to guarantee they won’t.

For example, if you believe you got a ticket by mistake due to a broken meter or damaged “no parking” sign, send a letter to the issuing municipality to explain the circumstances. Talk to the city or county about payment plans if you’re short on cash. You could also ask family or friends to lend you the money to cover the fees.

But don’t ignore the ticket. At first glance, you might think these citations aren’t a big deal — but delaying payment can add late fees or other consequences, such as the city impounding your vehicle.

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Parking Tickets and Car Insurance

Car insurance is an important part of owning a vehicle. It’s essential to know what it covers and what it doesn’t. Most basic car insurance includes bodily injury liability and property damage liability, and full coverage adds collision and comprehensive coverage.

Your protection depends on where you live and the types of coverage you buy. And you may wonder whether you can get your insurance to pay for your ticket. But the answer is no, your auto insurance provider doesn’t cover parking tickets. You must cover the cost out of your own pocket.

Other Effects of Parking Tickets

You might be relieved to discover parking infractions won’t increase your car insurance premiums. But late or unpaid parking tickets can have other consequences:

  • A boot on your tire to disable the vehicle

  • Late fees that can double the original fine

  • Getting your car towed or impounded

While it may not skyrocket your rates, each of these situations can be a costly inconvenience. It’s best to deal with the ticket and pay the fee before it becomes a bigger problem.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance

How to Prevent Parking Tickets

Your best defense against unwanted parking tickets is to be cautious about where you park. Look around for signs and parking meters. Before parking your car:

  • Make sure the site allows parking

  • Check signs for time limits on parking

  • Find out if the area only allows parking during certain times or days of the week

Metered areas require plenty of change. You might also set an alarm on your smartphone to remind you to feed the meter.

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Safe Drivers Can Lower Car Insurance Costs

No one likes their car insurance rates to go up. Luckily, parking tickets don’t cause them to. It’s considered a non-moving violation and doesn’t reflect on your safety habits as a driver.

Keep in mind that parking tickets can have other consequences. If you fail to pay the fees, your credit score may suffer — and many insurance companies can use credit scores as a factor to determine your premiums.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do parking tickets affect your credit?

    If you’ve received a parking ticket, you understand the cost and inconvenience involved. However, parking tickets don’t affect your credit — unless you don’t pay on time. The municipality that issued your ticket may send late or unpaid parking tickets to collections, which can lower your credit score.

  • What kinds of tickets affect your insurance?

    Parking tickets are non-moving violations and generally don’t affect your insurance. On the other hand, tickets for moving violations, such as running a red light, speeding, DUI/DWIs, or accidents, are tied to how safely you drive. They can label you as a high-risk driver and impact your car insurance rates or even result in a suspended license.

  • How do you find out if you have unpaid parking tickets?

    Check with your department of motor vehicles (DMV). Many places have online systems that let you search for unpaid parking tickets by entering your license plate number. If you have one, pay it as soon as possible. If you’re short on funds, see if you can set up a payment plan to avoid additional fines or penalties.

  • Do parking tickets give you points?

    No, parking tickets won’t add points to your record. Other violations, such as traffic tickets, accidents, careless driving, disobeying a traffic signal, speeding, and DUIs, can add points to your record, resulting in higher auto insurance rates.

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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.

Amy Beardsley
Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer

Amy is a personal finance and technology writer. With a background in the legal field and a bachelor's degree from Ferris State University, she has a talent for transforming complex topics into content that’s easy to understand. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.