People who live in cities have dealt with the stress and headache of parking tickets for quite some time, but you may find that they’re being written with more frequency these days. Cities are looking for ways to increase revenues through any available source, especially through parking tickets.
Parking tickets are becoming more expensive and more restrictive as local governments are using the fees to fund other programs outside of traditional parking and transportation-related costs.
Since the occasional parking ticket can happen to even the best drivers, you may be wondering, do parking tickets affect insurance rates? We’ll answer that question and others in this article.
Topics we’ll discuss include:
Do parking tickets affect your insurance?
What happens if you don’t pay a parking ticket?
How do you avoid getting a parking ticket?
What are some other factors that affect car insurance rates?
Does A Parking Ticket Affect Your Insurance?
In most situations, parking tickets will not directly impact your car insurance rates since it is a non-moving violation. You could be issued a parking ticket for simply forgetting to feed the meter, which is not something that is attached to your DMV reports or reported to your insurer.
You do not have to report a parking ticket to your insurance company, though even if you did, they would not use that information to decide your car insurance rates.
How Long Does A Parking Ticket Stay On Your Record?
You might be wondering, how long does a parking ticket stay on your record? The answer is that it never really goes on. Since it isn’t a moving violation, it doesn’t go on your driving record (one less thing to worry about, right?).
What Happens If You Don’t Pay A Parking Ticket?
While a parking ticket alone will not raise your rates, there can be a lot of negative impact if you do not pay your parking tickets, and those impacts could lead to higher insurance premiums. So, does a parking ticket affect your insurance? In these instances, it could.
Credit Score Impact
If you do not pay a parking ticket, it is likely that the unpaid fine will accrue late fees, court costs, or other charges that are usually far more expensive than the original fine. Eventually, unpaid parking tickets and fines will likely be sent to collections. Once you find yourself in this situation, then you have to worry.
Being sent to collections can impact your credit score, and, if your insurer uses credit-based rating, your insurance premium will go up.
Boot or Towing
If you fail to pay parking tickets, the city or municipality could put a boot on your tire, which makes it impossible to drive. They can also leave it on until you pay your parking fines. Additionally, they could tow and impound your car until the fines are paid. If that happens, it could cost you thousands of dollars to get it back.
In some states, unpaid parking tickets could be reported to the DMV, which could lead to your license getting suspended! Not only can it be costly to get your license reinstated, but a suspended license will likely show up on driver’s history reports run by your insurance agency and could cause you to lose your coverage or impact your rates.
How Do You Avoid Getting A Parking Ticket?
The best way to avoid getting a parking ticket is by always being careful of where you park. Check the nearby signs to make sure you’re parking in a permitted area and so you are aware of any parking schedules.
If you tend to park in metered areas, try carrying plenty of change to feed meters and always be aware of how much parking time you’ve purchased. A good way to remember to feed your meter is by setting an alarm on your phone. Be sure to give yourself a few extra minutes to make your way back to your car to add change.
Try to avoid parking spots with broken meters. If you receive a ticket at a faulty meter, it can be hard to prove your case with parking officials that the meter was actually faulty.
Finally, if you see that you are getting a lot of parking tickets near your home or work, consider renting a parking space or a garage near where you live, or try to take public transportation so you can leave your car parked safely somewhere else. Your employer may have a parking or transportation assistance benefit you can use too, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.
What Other Factors Affect My Insurance Rates?
While a parking ticket doesn’t directly impact your insurance rates, there are a few other things that do.
Do Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance?
Do parking tickets affect your insurance? Not really. Do speeding tickets affect insurance? Yes. Speeding is a far more dangerous violation.
On average, car insurance rates typically go up about 25% after a speeding ticket. Some companies will not raise rates after one speeding ticket, but most companies will significantly raise rates after the second and third speeding violations. You could lose your coverage altogether if you get too many moving violations.
The number of miles you drive each year can impact your insurance premiums. The more time you spend on the road, the higher the likelihood that you’re involved in an accident. If you drive a lot, you could pay a higher premium, while those who drive less than 10,000 miles a year can get a discount.
Some companies use zip code to rate car insurance policies based on garaging location or where your car is regularly kept overnight. Insurance companies use data like claim history, weather patterns, and crime rates within a zip code to help decide what your rates should be.
The Bottom Line: Parking Tickets Don’t Affect Your Car Insurance!
While a parking ticket won’t make an immediate impact on your insurance premiums, it is important to park responsibly to avoid the hefty fines and other complications that come with getting a violation. Always focus on being a safe and careful driver, even when you’re parking.
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Parking Ticket FAQs
Here are a few other commonly asked questions about parking tickets:
How much does the average parking ticket cost?
The cost of a parking ticket depends largely on the location and type of violation. Larger cities tend to have heftier fines, and violations for parking in a handicapped space will be more expensive than an expired meter violation.
Do late fees on a parking ticket affect my insurance?
Late fees on the parking ticket will not affect your insurance as long as you pay the fines before there is any further action taken. If the unpaid fines and fees are reported to the DMV, your license could be suspended and your rates may increase because of that.
What’s the best way to fight a parking ticket?
As soon as you receive a parking ticket, read it carefully and check for errors. Incorrect information on the ticket could make it legally invalid. Check the date and time and that the make and model on the ticket matches your vehicle. Also check that the ticket is signed by the issuing officer.
If you’re certain you didn’t park improperly, take photos of the signage and how you were parked. Finally, contact your local municipality and find out the process for filing an appeal.