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Essential information can sometimes be overlooked when reviewing your auto insurance costs, and the consequences of getting a parking ticket are typically not explained in detail.
Various elements help determine auto insurance rates, with some of the more well-known factors being years of driving experience, age, driving history, and annual mileage.
But does a parking ticket affect your insurance rates?
This post looks into whether or not a parking ticket affects your insurance rates, what a parking ticket can impact, and additional information about the consequences of getting a parking ticket.
What Does a Parking Ticket Affect?
Your insurance company won’t use a parking ticket to determine the cost of your insurance. This determination is based on the likelihood that you will need their service to cover costs in the event of an accident. Since a parking ticket doesn’t require an insurance payout, companies don’t consider it when deciding the cost of your insurance premium.
A parking ticket will mostly affect your wallet. On the low end, a parking ticket will cost you about $20, but on the higher end, it can cost hundreds.
If multiple tickets start stacking up, this may lead to more significant problems. These related problems can begin to impact your insurance rates rather than the ticket itself.
Unpaid parking tickets can negatively impact your credit score and result in higher insurance costs. In certain states, auto insurance companies consider your credit score a determining factor in your insurance premiums. However, some states implement laws preventing insurance companies from using your credit history against you.
What Does Affect Insurance Rates?
There is a wide range of factors that can affect your insurance rates. Some of these factors include:
- Vehicle value: A vehicle with a lesser value driven by someone deemed less likely to get into an accident will have lower insurance costs.
- Accidents: Both at-fault and not-at-fault accidents can raise your insurance costs.
- Moving violations: Moving violations such as speeding tickets can raise rates.
- Amount of drivers covered: Including multiple drivers under a single insurance plan can raise your insurance rates quickly.
- Location: The area you live in can determine your insurance rates. Living somewhere with bad weather or a high crime rate may result in a higher cost.
What Do You Do When You Get a Parking Ticket?
The best thing to do when you get a parking ticket is to pay for it.
If you believe the parking ticket is unfair, you can contest it, which requires showing up in court. So while heading to court can be intimidating or inconvenient, it can help you avoid paying the associated fees.
However, court appearances aren’t usually mandatory when you get a parking ticket unless you have multiple outstanding tickets on your record. Allowing parking tickets to pile up will eventually catch up with you.
Dealing with multiple unpaid parking tickets can lead to credit issues and rising insurance costs.
If you have a lot of unpaid parking tickets, enforcement agencies may begin taking legal action should you acquire any more. Your car could also get booted or towed, and your license could be revoked.
These enforcement tactics can stop you from driving until you settle your parking ticket debt. Another possible after-effect is a steady increase in the fees you are responsible to pay.
What Do I Do If I Can’t Afford to Pay My Parking Ticket?
There are instances when you may be unable to afford to pay your parking ticket. This situation can land you in a financial jam. You either pay the ticket with money you don’t have or put it off and begin accruing larger fees.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to have the fee reduced or even taken away altogether. Here are some tips for settling your parking ticket debt.
- Meet with a judge: Meeting with a judge can be tricky, but this is the most responsible course of action if you can’t afford to pay a ticket. A judge can allow a few different routes for you to pay off your ticket.
- Ask for a price reduction: You can ask a judge for a price reduction by providing proof of your income to show that you don’t make enough to pay for the ticket.
- Request an extension: As long as it appears you are making a genuine effort to settle your parking ticket debt, you will likely be granted an extension to pay the fine.
There are also ways to pay for the ticket with your time. You can do this by enrolling in a traffic course or community service. If the judge finds it acceptable for your situation, you’ll be able to cover part or all of your ticket fee.
How To Avoid Getting a Parking Ticket
While sometimes mistakes or emergencies happen and lead to a non-moving violation, you should always take measures to avoid getting a parking ticket.
Ensure you are in an area that allows parking. Check for signage stating whether parking is permitted and if you are within the hours it allows parking.
If you don’t know if free public parking will be available, come prepared to pay for parking. This can be anything from paying for a parking meter to paying for private parking. Plan ahead where you are going to park and have a backup option. When you do this, you’ll know how much money you need to bring and where to park to avoid a ticket.
You should also find out how you need to pay for parking. This may be through cash, card, or even a specific app. A lot of contactless payment options have become available in recent years. Some places may not take cash at all.
Keep track of how long you have on your parking meter. Smartphones are well-equipped with timers and reminder settings. Set a timer that gives you ample warning when the clock on the parking meter is about to run out. This gives you enough time to get back to your car before you’re out of time on the meter.
The Bottom Line
It’s best to try and avoid getting a parking ticket altogether. If you get one, however, don’t worry too much. The system will forgive you if you can pay it or find an alternative way to settle the debt.
You do want to avoid having multiple unpaid parking tickets. This is where the trouble comes in, leading to the potential auto insurance cost hikes. Nevertheless, several factors ultimately impact your insurance rates, many of which you likely have no control over.
And don’t worry too much about getting a single parking ticket, as it likely won’t cause any long-term damage as long as you take care of it promptly.
Reference Legal Explanations
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" Does a Parking Ticket Affect Your Insurance Rates?". Legal Explanations. Accessed on December 1, 2023. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/does-a-parking-ticket-affect-your-insurance-rates/.
" Does a Parking Ticket Affect Your Insurance Rates?". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/does-a-parking-ticket-affect-your-insurance-rates/. Accessed 1 December, 2023
Does a Parking Ticket Affect Your Insurance Rates?. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/does-a-parking-ticket-affect-your-insurance-rates/.