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Last updated: August 22, 2023

How a Speeding Ticket Impacts Your Insurance in California

Plus, how long you’ll see higher car insurance rates after a speeding ticket

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In 2021, 4,285 people died in car crashes in California. Out of these 4,285 deaths, 1,509, or 35 percent, involved speeding, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you’re caught speeding on one of California’s highways, you can face a fine of $500 to $1,000, license suspension of up to one year, plus higher car insurance rates by more than a third. Let’s take a look at the real cost of speeding in the Golden State.

How a Speeding Ticket Impacts Your Insurance in California

You can expect the cost of car insurance in California to increase by about 37 percent with a speeding ticket on your record.

Annual car insurance cost in California Clean record Speeding ticket Increase
Full coverage $1,962 $2,679 37%
Minimum coverage $622 $844 36%

While any moving violation, including a minor traffic ticket, raises premiums, the annual cost of car insurance across all providers will significantly increase with a speeding ticket violation, as you’ll be a higher-risk driver in the eyes of insurance companies.

Clean Record vs. Speeding ticket: Annual Car Insurance Costs

Provider Clean record Speeding ticket Increase
21st Century $1,839 $2,109 15%
CSAA Insurance Group $1,697 $2,081 23%
Farmers $2,435 $3,291 35%
GEICO $1,063 $2,079 96%
Mercury $1,780 $1,902 7%
State Farm $1,301 $2,800 115%
Travelers $1,993 $2,701 36%
Wawanesa $1,389 $2,170 56%

Despite the high cost of living, car insurance in California isn’t that expensive compared to the national average. In 2020, the last time the National Association of Insurance Commissioners released data, the average annual cost of car insurance in California was $1,050, only $3 more than the national average. Of course, rates will increase for drivers with a bad record.

Compare quotes from multiple companies to see how your ZIP code and insurance coverage changes your premium. For example, a ZIP code in Los Angeles will raise your insurance rates, as cities have a higher rate of accidents and claims compared to rural areas.

How to Lower Your Car Insurance Premium After a Speeding Ticket

Here’s how to find cheap car insurance in California after a speeding ticket.

  1. Join the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan. Having a speeding ticket on your record makes you a high-risk driver, which means that many insurance companies won’t want you as a customer. If you have tried to find a company that will cover you and have not been successful, you can join the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan as a last resort.1
  2. Attend traffic school. You can attend traffic school, and the state will remove a one-point violation from your record. You’ll get a notice from the court if you’re eligible to attend, and you can do this only once per 18-month period. See a list of the state-approved traffic schools in your area.
  3. Get minimum coverage. The minimum car insurance in California is only liability coverage:
    • Bodily injury coverage: $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident
    • Property damage coverage: $5,0002

    By buying liability coverage with a combined limit of $50,000, you’ll get the lowest premium.

  4. Bundle policies. California has the third-lowest rate of homeownership in the U.S., after Washington, D.C., and New York. Only 55 percent of California residents own their homes.3 If you’re in that fortunate group, bundle your home and auto insurance to save money. Some companies offer bundles with renters’ insurance for the other 45 percent or other types of policies.
  5. Drop coverages. While you may not want liability coverage only, as it covers the other party’s property damages and bodily injuries solely, some coverages are nonessential, like custom equipment coverage or rental car coverage. You could also drop comprehensive and collision coverage if you have an older car worth less than your deductible.
  6. Increase your deductibles. Raise your deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage to lower rates.
  7. Get discounts. If nothing else, ask your agent for ways you can save directly. Every company has discounts, and you may not know which ones you are already eligible for until you ask. While you may not be eligible for a good driver discount, you may qualify for other discounts.

Penalties for Speeding in California

California sets maximum fines and lengths of license suspensions for driving 100 miles per hour (mph) or faster on highways.4

Penalties for driving 100 mph or faster First offense Second offense
(within 3 years of first)
Third offense
(or subsequent within 5 years of prior offenses)
Maximum fine $500 $750 $1,000
Maximum license suspension 30 days 6 months, but can get restricted license for employment 1 year, but can get restricted license for employment

You may also get points on your record, which will remain there for 36 months or longer. While the speeding ticket is on your record, expect to pay a higher car insurance premium.

Options After a Speeding Ticket

You have two options: Pay for the ticket or contest it. But whatever you do, don’t ignore it, as it could lead to harsher penalties.

Pay the Ticket

It’s easiest to pay the ticket online, whether you plead guilty or no contest. While either plea will result in a conviction that will go on your record, with a no contest plea, if someone sues you for speeding, they will have to prove that you were speeding. A guilty plea serves as proof in and of itself.

Contest the Ticket

Your other option is to ask for a trial before the due date on your court notice. In this trial, you’ll be able to bring in witnesses and present evidence to support your claim. The judge will set a fine if they find you guilty.

The trial can occur in one of two ways:

  • Written declaration: With a written declaration, you won’t have to come into court physically. Instead, you can explain what occurred in a written statement and request a trial by written declaration.
  • Court trial: You can also request a court trial, which can occur either in person or remotely over the phone or video. In a court trial, a lawyer can represent you.


Don’t ignore the ticket. If you do, the judge can still declare you guilty without your presence, fine you up to an additional $100, charge you with failure to appear, and suspend your driver’s license further.5

More Traffic Violations That Affect Car Insurance

Speeding isn’t the only violation to keep in mind while driving on California roads. Avoid other non-moving and moving violations, such as:

  • Driving while using a handheld cell phone (learn more about fines for texting and driving in California)
  • Not yielding to pedestrians, bicyclists, or other vehicles who have the right of way
  • Not following traffic signals or signs properly
  • Improper passing
  • Driving under the influence, which will result in you having to carry a California SR-22 form
  • Not pulling over for emergency or road work vehicles
  • Evading law enforcement
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving without a license or registration
  • Driving without insurance in California


In California, you’ll need auto insurance to register your car.


Thirty-three percent of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes in California in 2021 were traveling more than 65 mph, the maximum limit on most highways in the state. The next time you’re driving on any of California’s roads, whether it’s the 101 or the 405, make sure that you’re adhering to the posted speed limits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest car insurance for speeding tickets?

The cheapest auto insurance rates for speeding tickets vary based on numerous factors, so it’s best to shop around to compare your options. Based on the data above, Mercury offers the cheapest average annual car insurance premium for a driver with a speeding ticket at $1,902, versus Farmers at $3,291 and State Farm at $2,800.

How do I remove a speeding ticket from my driving record in California?

You can attend traffic school to get one point removed from your driving record in California. However, you’ll have to wait three years for the violation to disappear.

Should I do traffic school for a speeding ticket in California?

You should do traffic school for a speeding ticket in California in order to get a one-point reduction and avoid inflated auto insurance premiums.

How long does a speeding ticket in California stay on your record?

A speeding ticket in California can stay on your driving record for three to seven years.


  1. California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan. AiPSA. (2023).

  2. Insurance Requirements. State of California DMV. (2023).

  3. Housing Vacancies and Homeownership (CPS/HVS). United States Census. (2023).

  4. DIVISION 11. RULES OF THE ROAD. California Legislative Information. (2023).

  5. Guide to traffic tickets. California Courts Self-Help Guide. (2023).