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The cost of a speeding ticket varies based on the details and severity of the offense. Factors that influence costs and the penalty for a speeding violation include how fast you drove over the speed limit, your location, and your past driving history.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of a speeding ticket, how it affects your driving record, and how it affects your insurance rates.
Speeding tickets typically cost $50 to a few hundred dollars. In some cases, speeding tickets may cost up to $1,000. Driving several miles per hour above the speed limit could result in a simple traffic citation with a small fine, but reckless driving or racing will cost quite a bit more.
The actual ticket only represents one of the out-of-pocket costs you could face when caught speeding. Speeding tickets can result in an increase in your car insurance premiums if the violation goes on your record.
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Factors that can affect the cost of a speeding ticket
Several variables determine how much you’re fined when you get pulled over and receive a speeding ticket. These factors can affect the cost of a speeding ticket:
Location: Different states, cities, counties, and municipalities have different laws that dictate ticket costs, so where you get pulled over will affect how much you pay.
Speed: How fast you’re going in relation to the speed limit also affects your ticket cost. For example, driving five miles per hour over the speed limit will likely come with a lower fine than driving 20 miles over the limit.
Speed zones: Driving fast in areas marked with low-speed zones, like construction sites or school zones, can increase the cost of your ticket.
Additional violations: Speeding while committing another traffic violation, like driving recklessly, could increase your penalties.
Your driving record: Accruing many points on your license for speeding violations could trigger harsher and more expensive consequences, such as a license suspension, than the penalty for a first offense.
Your interactions with the officer: Your interaction with the ticketing officer — whether good, bad, or neutral — could increase or decrease your violations and fine.
Damage or bodily injury: If your speeding causes injury or death, you could be charged with a felony.
Here’s how to calculate the total cost of the fine if you get pulled over for speeding:
Check the citation. The fine amount you owe should be written on the citation, which will also include instructions on how to pay it or contest it.
Review court fees. If you plan to contest the ticket in court, contact the local courts to find out what court fees you may need to pay to handle the process.
Look for payment options. If you decide to pay online or need a payment plan for your fine, you may face credit card fees to process the payments.
Understand court rules. If the citation requires you to appear in court, you may be fined if you fail to show up.
What to do after you get a speeding ticket
Avoid tossing your speeding ticket into the glove compartment and forgetting all about it. Mark the due date on your calendar because failing to pay or respond to the fine could result in extra fees and harsher repercussions, like a license suspension.
Here’s what you can do after you get a speeding ticket:
Pay the fine. You may be able to pay your fine online, by phone, or in person.
Contest it in court. Directions on your ticket may instruct you to appear in court within a certain number of days to contest the ticket. If you feel you have a case, consulting with an attorney could help you develop a strategy for contesting the ticket.
Negotiate lower fees. You may be able to negotiate a fee reduction on your own or with the help of an attorney.
Attend traffic school. You might also be able to negotiate a deal to prevent adding points to your license if you agree to go to traffic school.
How speeding tickets affect car insurance
Insurance companies will review your driving history to measure the risk associated with insuring you. Past speeding tickets, accidents, and other violations on your record will indicate added risk and increase your insurance rate. Because driving violations can stay on your record for several years, speeding can result in higher premiums that last long after you’ve paid the actual ticket.
Here’s how you can lower your insurance rate after getting a speeding ticket:
Take a driving class. Insurance companies may offer insurance discounts if you take a defensive driving class.
Look for other discounts you may qualify for. Insurance providers may also offer discounts for bundling policies, installing safety or anti-theft features in your car, being a low-mileage driver, and more.
Increase your deductible. Increasing the amount you’ll pay out of pocket for a car insurance claimcould lower your premiums.
Comparison shop. Insurance rates typically vary for each driver, and comparing quoteswill help you find the most affordable coverage for your insurance needs.
Here are answers to some common questions about speeding ticket costs.
How can you reduce the cost of a speeding ticket?
You may be able to reduce the cost of a speeding ticket by contesting it or making a deal to attend traffic school. An attorney can look at the details of your case and help you determine the best defense. If you’re facing financial hardship, you may be able to get your fine reduced, pay in installments, or do community service instead of paying in some cases.
What are the most expensive states for car insurance after a speeding ticket?
Speeding ticket costs vary, but a ticket can cost Nevada drivers up to $1,000. The lowest amount Nevada drivers will pay for a speeding ticket is $20 per mile over the speeding limit.
Is a speeding ticket a felony or a misdemeanor?
Speeding violations can qualify as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the incident. Reckless driving or excessive speeding could result in a misdemeanor, but you could receive a felony if your driving causes death or injury.
How much are speeding tickets in California?
Speeding ticket rates in California vary by speed. The state’s speeding ticket costs can range from $238 to $490, according to the Judicial Council of California. This range includes base fines, surcharges, and court fees.
How much is a speeding ticket in Florida?
Speeding ticket costs in Florida differ by county. If you only go one to five miles above the limit, you might not receive a ticket and only get a warning. If you go over the speed limit by six to 30 miles per hour, you could pay $130 to $356. You may pay even more if you speed in a construction or school zone.
How much is a speeding ticket in Texas?
Like in other states, ticket costs vary based on your location. For example, speeding fines in Travis County, Texas, are $10 per mile over the speed limit, but fees could be higher when driving in a school zone. In Bexar County, Texas, the cost of a speeding ticket ranges from $185 to $350 and may double if the speeding occurred in an active construction zone.
Taylor Medine is a writer who's covered personal financial topics from budgeting and saving to paying down debt for more than eight years. She got her start demystifying intimidating money topics for the everyday consumer on a personal blog, and has since been published on Bankrate, Experian, Forbes Advisor, The Balance, Business Insider, Credit Karma, and more. Follow her on Twitter @taytalksmoney.