How Much Will That Traffic Ticket Cost You?

by Miranda Marquit · 14 comments

It’s been almost 11 years since I last had any sort of traffic violation. Prior to that, though, I had some speeding tickets on my record, and a rather embarrassing incident involving a semi truck.

Those types of traffic violations can cost you.

Naturally, you pay your fine, whether it’s for speeding, reckless driving, or blowing through a stop sign. However, when you receive a ticket for a traffic violation you also see an increase in your auto insurance premiums. But how much extra, on average, can you expect to pay when you receive such a ticket?¬† has the answer. The new “Uh-Oh! Calculator” is designed to tell you how much you can expect to pay for your lapse in judgment.

Insurance Premium Increases as a Result of Traffic Violations

You might be surprised at some of the increases you can see as a result of traffic violations. According to, here are the increases, in percentage, you can expect from certain traffic violations:

  1. Reckless driving: 22 percent
  2. DUI first offense: 19 percent
  3. Driving without a license or permit: 18 percent
  4. Careless driving: 16 percent
  5. Speeding 30 mph over the limit: 15 percent
  6. Failure to stop: 15 percent
  7. Improper turn: 14 percent
  8. Improper passing: 14 percent
  9. Following too close/tailgating: 13 percent
  10. Speeding 15 to 29 mph over limit: 12 percent
  11. Speeding 1 to 14 mph over limit: 11 percent
  12. Failure to yield: 9 percent
  13. No car insurance: 6 percent
  14. Seat belt infractions: 3 percent

Clearly, you want to avoid anything that can be construed as reckless driving since that represents the largest increase in your premium. A DUI first offense results in a 19 percent increase. (Implied is that you will see a larger increase with subsequent DUI offenses.) also allows you to tailor the results according to your age, where you live, and other factors that might affect the result. In some cases, you might end up paying more than the “average” seen above.

Saving on Auto Insurance

Once you have a violation reported, it’s a little harder to save on auto insurance in the future. Check with your insurance company to see how long a violation remains on your record, affecting your insurance rate. For many violations, you can expect an impact for about three years. Check with your insurer to be sure, though. When shopping around for new insurance, you may be asked to list violations dating back five years.

There are things you can do to reduce the impact, such as taking special classes with a local public safety agency. In some cases, that can erase a traffic ticket — and save you money. Usually, though, you need to show good traffic behavior for at least three years in order to begin to see a reduction in your auto insurance rates. Bundling, and employing other tips to reduce your rate can only get you so far when your driving habits declare you a risk.

If you are looking to save money on auto insurance, it’s fairly clear that you need to remember to follow good driving practices. Obey the law, and drive defensively. You’ll avoid traffic tickets, and keep your auto insurance rates lower.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Daisy @ Add Vodka May 22, 2012 at 6:33 am

What strikes me as odd is that DUI provides less of an increase than reckless driving – that’s crazy! Although, I’m not too sure what reckless might be – maybe distracted driving is more “careless”.


Jay February 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

A TX DPS Sergeant told me that “Reckless Driving” was subjective; it meant anything he said it meant. Not having a wreck is an affirmative defense.
An Indemnity policy suffers no increase for these charges, of course they are more expensive to begin with. If you drive a Porsche, it’s worth seeking one out.


Sean @ One Smart Dollar May 22, 2012 at 7:59 am

I’m somewhat surprised that tailgating is higher than going 29 miles over the speed limit. I would think that speeding like that could cause a much worse accident.


M Meagher May 22, 2012 at 8:24 am

I have read where each and every infraction should be challenged and protested. In my state of Mass. the violations last up to 6 years. So if you can go before the traffic court, you could have your fine reduced or removed entirely. It’s worth the time off of work if you figure the cost of the fine, plus 6 yrs of additional insurance costs.


david May 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

Yes, this is so very true, It can really impact your costs.

sometimes your current company does not recheck (after the initial check) but if you switch companies they will do an initial check and if your violation shows up it will cost you.

Thanks for the good info on this.


Lance@MoneyLife&More May 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I think most of those make sense but a couple are out of order. From an insurance standpoint I’m sure they have statistics on how much each type of driver ends up getting from claims and all that technical stuff. Tailgating causes a ton of accidents where cautious speeding may not.


Marbella May 26, 2012 at 4:34 am

What a strange system you have in the U.S. for car insurance. Here in Spain costs it the same, no matter how many traffic violations you get.


Jean May 28, 2012 at 5:45 am

Yea, it is a somewhat strange system based on studying the way it is in other parts of the world.



Barry April 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

in most cases it is just another way for insurance Co’s to rip folks off


Your Agent October 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Dont get insurance..will cost you 6% ? 6 % of nothing is nothing

Beanos Nachos


Rightwingextremist February 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Traffic tickets and insurance rate increases from them are a total scam on the consumer!!! I have received many tickets and never an accident! I have been ticketed by officers that were blatantly lieing as well! The last one in Coeurdalene Idaho by the state patrol on I 90, the officer was tailgating me in heavy traffic and when traffic slowed and I had to slow with it. He was pissed off for some reason and pulls me over says I was following to closely I told him it was he who was following to closely about 4 feet from my bumper at one point so he writes me the ticket!?!? 99% of traffic cops are lieing lowlife pukes!!! They are there to tax you for using the roadways and it is blatantly obvious when they are out in mass ticketing everyone they can at the end of the month or end of the year! It is all about revenue period!!! I have very little respect for cops and none for traffic cop pukes!


Sage58 February 18, 2014 at 6:35 am

How about people who aren’t guilty of anything? I was in two collisions, a head-on and a rear-end. I was found to be 100% innocent in both instances. Yet – when I went to Travelers’ to apply for auto/home insurance, they told me I’d have to wait FIVE years from the date of my last accident. I asked why and they told me BEING hit made me a Worse risk! THEN – and this really had me seeing red – I was told by the Travelers’ agent that if I had been the one who CAUSED the accidents, I’d still be insurable to them!! She said I would have been charged a lot more, but I would’ve been accepted as a customer.
I was dumbfounded. I also found out that just because your name is considered the “gold standard” in insurance, does NOT mean you’re actually a better insurance company.
Go Just Above the cheapest policy you can find and that’s the policy you should buy. That’s 34 yrs. of experience with auto insurance through 12 states speaking.


lawyer for speeding ticket June 13, 2014 at 5:56 am

I have received many tickets and never an accident! I have been ticketed by officers that were blatantly lieing as well! The last one in Coeurdalene Idaho by the state patrol on I 90, the officer was tailgating me in heavy traffic and when traffic slowed and I had to slow with it.


rougarou July 22, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Driving without a license or permit: 18 percent
No car insurance: 6 percent
Seat belt infractions: 3 percent
thats a 27% increase and is not a moving violation
end mandatory insurance and end the corruption
or at least if we are forced to buy it then we should be able to see where all the money is going


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