Do Parking Tickets Increase Your Car Insurance Rates?

Parking tickets don’t increase your car insurance rates directly. But an unpaid ticket can lower your credit score and affect your insurance rates.

Alani Asis
Written byAlani Asis
Alani Asis
Alani Asis
  • 3 years of content writing

  • Bylines with leading financial publications

Alani is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. She aims to make complex topics more approachable through fun, digestible content.

Featured in

media logomedia logomedia logo
Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo
Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated March 8, 2024

Why you can trust Insurify: Comparing accurate insurance quotes should never put you at risk of spam. We earn an agent commission only if you buy a policy based on our quotes. Our editorial team follows a rigorous set of editorial standards and operates independently from our insurance partners. Learn more.

A parking ticket can be a costly nuisance, but it won’t cause an increase in your insurance rates. Still, it’s smart to pay it as soon as you can because an unpaid parking ticket could land in collections and have a negative effect on your credit score.

In most states, insurers consider credit-based insurance scores when determining your insurance rates. So, if your credit score decreases, your auto insurance rate may increase. You should always compare quotes to make sure you find the cheapest rates for your driver profile and coverage needs.

Here’s what you need to know about parking tickets and insurance rates.

Shop for Car Insurance Online

Full-coverage rates start as low as $42 per month

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Parking tickets don’t directly increase car insurance rates

Your insurance rates likely won’t increase if you receive a parking ticket because non-moving violations don’t reflect your driving abilities or go on your motor vehicle record. Moving traffic violations — like speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence (DUI) — directly affect the price of your insurance coverage.

Though a parking ticket doesn’t directly lead to higher rates, an unpaid parking ticket that ends up in collections can have a negative effect on your credit score and lead to higher premiums.[1] Your parking ticket will go to collections if your fine is at least 30 days past due.

Most states allow insurance companies to use your credit history to generate a credit-based insurance score that helps them calculate your rates. While a good credit score results in lower rates on your policy, a poor credit score increases it. So if an outstanding parking ticket reduces your credit score, your insurance bill may be higher.

Unpaid parking tickets can affect your score

Your payment history is the most significant factor that influences your credit score.

Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score — the most common scoring model used by lenders and creditors. An unpaid parking ticket is a negative mark under this factor of your credit score, causing your score to take a hit.

Collection accounts will stay on your credit report for seven years. During that time, the account will continue to affect your credit score. So, you’ll want to settle the debt as soon as possible. Although a paid-off account in collections won’t remove the report from your credit history, it causes less damage to your score over time than an unpaid account.

Learn More: Tickets vs. Citations

Learn More: Tickets vs. Citations

How to ensure your parking ticket doesn’t affect your rates

A parking ticket won’t automatically affect your insurance rates. But an unpaid parking ticket might lower your credit score, which can increase your premiums when you renew your insurance policy.

If you’ve received a parking ticket, paying it off as soon as possible prevents your ticket from becoming a collection account. If you believe the ticket was a mistake, reach out to the issuing authority in your municipality to contest the citation.

Pay off your ticket immediately

If you receive a parking ticket, the best thing to do is to pay it off immediately. Parking tickets have time limits for how long you have to pay. If you fail to pay it on time, you could have to pay a late fee in addition to the ticket fee.

Having one or multiple unpaid parking tickets can lead to other negative consequences. Namely, the department of motor vehicles (DMV) in your state may refuse to renew your registration until you pay off the remaining tickets. Furthermore, you risk late fees and having your vehicle booted or towed.

Read the directions on your parking ticket to find out how you should pay for your ticket. Typically, if you receive a parking ticket from your city or municipal parking enforcement, you can make a payment online.

If a private company or your college issued the parking ticket, contact the agency that issued the ticket for further instructions. The citation should include the issuer’s contact information.

The ticket issuer should be able to tell you if your parking ticket is with a collection agency and how to contact them. Then, reach out to the collection agency to settle the bill. If you’re unable to pay the full amount, see if you can negotiate lower payments or set up a payment plan.

Communicate with the municipality if you feel the ticket was a mistake

A parking ticket could be a mistake for several reasons, including if you didn’t violate a parking law or if the sign wasn’t visible at the time of the violation. In those cases, you’ll need evidence to back up your claim, like your valid parking permit or photographs of the scene.

If your parking ticket has mistakes or factual errors, you can try to nullify it. Some of these mistakes could include an incorrect description of your vehicle’s make or model or the date and time of the infraction.

Keep in Mind

If you notice incorrect information on your ticket or don’t believe you violated the parking rules, you should take action as soon as possible. Review your ticket or contact the issuing agency for specific instructions on how and when to appeal.

Will car insurance companies check parking tickets?

Car insurance companies won’t check non-moving violations like parking tickets. Insurers don’t factor in these infractions when determining your car insurance rates. But unpaid parking tickets could lead to a lower credit score and higher rates as a result.

Find Cheap Car Insurance

Insurify partners with 100+ top insurers for accurate quotes

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Consequences of parking tickets

Learn more about the potential consequences of parking tickets below.

  • Penalty fees: You’ll likely face a late fee if you fail to pay your parking ticket on time. For example, an unpaid ticket in California past its due date results in a $100 civil assessment fee. Make sure you pay your parking ticket before its due date.

  • Effect on credit score: Having good credit helps you qualify for things like credit cards, loans, and apartment rentals. A parking ticket in collections can lower your credit score, affecting your ability to access those services.

  • Vehicle impoundment or booting: Failure to pay multiple parking tickets can lead to the city booting or towing your vehicle. This consequence may occur regardless of whether you’re in a permitted parking zone or if you’ve repeatedly parked in a restricted area in the past.

  • Registration holds: After multiple infractions, the DMV may refuse to renew your vehicle registration. Driving a vehicle without a valid registration is illegal and could result in hefty fines. Driving without registration for a significant time period could result in demerit points on your driving record and increased insurance rates.[2]

Parking ticket FAQs

The following information should help answer your remaining questions about whether a parking ticket can affect your car insurance premiums.

  • What kinds of tickets affect your insurance?

    The types of tickets that affect your insurance result from a moving violation, including a speeding ticket, an at-fault accident, or driving under the influence (DUI).

    Moving violations tell insurance companies how you behave as a driver and your likelihood of filing a claim. Non-moving violations like parking infractions don’t affect your insurance rates.

  • Can you lose your license for parking tickets?

    It’s unlikely. Parking tickets are non-moving violations, so it’s not likely that your city will suspend your driver’s license for having them. Keep in mind the penalty for multiple parking violations will depend on your state and the frequency of the infraction.[3]

  • How can you tell if you have unpaid parking tickets?

    Check your credit reports to determine if you have unpaid parking tickets. You can get free copies of your reports from all three credit bureaus through AnnualCreditReport.com. Then, review the collections or account information section to see what you owe and how much.

Sources

  1. Experian. "Do Parking Tickets Affect Your Credit Score?."
  2. FindLaw. "Driving Without Valid Vehicle Registration."
  3. Justia. "Driver's License Suspensions Based on Traffic Tickets."
Alani Asis
Alani Asis

Alani Asis is a personal finance freelance writer with nearly three years of experience in content creation. She has landed bylines with leading publications and brands like Insider, Fortune, LendingTree, and more. Alani aims to make personal finance approachable through fun, relatable, and digestible content.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo
Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Latest Articles

View all