How Much Is a Speeding Ticket in California?

A speeding ticket in California can cost up to $490, but the impact on your insurance will likely cost even more.
May 6, 2022

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A speeding ticket in California might not seem like a big deal at first. After all, the base fee for going over the speed limit is $35, with fines up to $100 depending on how fast you were going. But this price doesn’t include additional penalties, court fees or higher insurance premiums.

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How much is a speeding ticket in California?

Your base fine combined with surcharges and other penalties for a traffic ticket can range from $238 to $490 depending on how fast you were going, according to the Judicial Branch of California. Additional penalties and fees may be applied, depending on location.

California speeding ticket fees

MPH over limit

Base fee

Total fee

1 to 15

$35

$238

16 to 25

$70

$367

26 to 99

$100

$490

If you get a speeding ticket in highway construction zones and maintenance areas, your fee will be increased by $35.

California car insurance rates after a speeding ticket

While the speeding ticket itself may hurt financially, the biggest hit to your bank account is yet to come. The average 35-year-old California driver will pay 37% more per year for full coverage insurance after one speeding ticket, according to NerdWallet’s 2022 rates study. For our analysis, full coverage car insurance includes liability coverage, uninsured motorist protection, comprehensive and collision insurance.

Based on our research, the true cost of a speeding ticket in California could be more than 35 times the cost of the actual ticket — considering drivers could pay an additional $1,231 for a $35 ticket. That total cost includes the average $741 per year in additional insurance premiums, based on our analysis, and up to $490 in fees to the state of California.

What to do after you get a speeding ticket in California

California drivers with clean records have three options after receiving a minor speeding ticket:

  • Plead guilty, pay the fine and receive a point on your license. Points can stay on your record anywhere from three to seven years, but insurance surcharges typically last one to three years.

  • Plead guilty, pay the fine and attend traffic safety school to avoid receiving a conviction and a point.

  • Request a court date where you can decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty. You can also try to negotiate your fine in court, or the judge may issue a reduced fee based on your ability to pay.

If you are eligible for a traffic safety course: You can complete traffic school and avoid points on your driving record. This is called a “confidential conviction” and it doesn’t affect insurance rates, but you still have to pay a fine. You must have a valid license and have gotten your speeding ticket in a private (nonwork) vehicle to be eligible.

After a conviction: If you are found guilty for speeding, you should consider shopping around for car insurance quotes. Some insurers will overlook traffic violations, but you won’t know if your company is one of them unless you do the research.

Average car insurance rates after a speeding ticket in California

Car insurance companies use multiple factors beyond a person’s driving history to determine auto insurance rates. These factors can include gender, location and a car’s make and model.

Insurers will also consider additional characteristics like age and coverage amounts. NerdWallet’s 2022 rate analysis looked at the average rates in California for 35-year-old and 20-year-old drivers with one ticket for going 16 mph over the speed limit.

Average car insurance costs after a speeding ticket in California

Type of policy

Clean driving record

One speeding ticket

35-year-old-drivers

Full coverage

$1,984

$2,725

Minimum coverage

$622

$844

20-year-old-drivers

Full coverage

$3,677

$4,759

Minimum coverage

$1,151

$1,489

Does this mean young drivers with a speeding ticket are doomed to spend thousands of dollars on car insurance a year unless they purchase minimum coverage? Not necessarily.

Although these are the auto insurance trends we’re seeing for drivers with speeding tickets in California, insurance companies use different formulas when calculating rates. For example, one company may charge young drivers 10% more than older drivers with the same driving history. Meanwhile, another insurer might charge young drivers only 5% more. The only way you’ll find the cheapest price is if you compare car insurance rates with multiple companies.

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Cheapest car insurance companies after a speeding ticket in California

It’s smart to shop around and get several quotes to find the cheapest insurer after a speeding ticket. To help find the best company for you, NerdWallet compared rates among the largest insurance companies in California for hypothetical 35- and 20-year-old drivers with a speeding ticket, ranking companies from smallest average increase to largest. We looked at rates for drivers who were ticketed for going 16 mph over the speed limit.

USAA has the cheapest rates after a speeding ticket for drivers in both age groups. However, USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families. Because of this, we include its rates but don’t rank it.

Here are the average rates after a speeding ticket from more widely available companies.

California car insurance rates after a speeding ticket by company: 35-year-old drivers

Company

Average annual rate after a speeding ticket

Increase compared to driver with clean record

National General

$1,914

$144

Kemper

$2,447

$363

CSAA

$2,161

$450

Infinity

$2,132

$507

Mercury

$2,346

$566

21st Century

$2,437

$598

Auto Club of SoCal

$2,608

$614

Wawanesa

$2,118

$628

MetLife

$2,862

$762

Travelers

$2,810

$807

Geico

$2,270

$815

Allstate

$2,690

$829

State National

$2,808

$894

Bristol West

$3,655

$903

Chubb

$3,740

$920

State Farm

$2,753

$941

Farmers

$3,368

$1,000

Nationwide

$3,281

$1,113

Progressive

$3,064

$1,193

The Hartford

$3,571

$1,383

USAA*

$1,632

$166

*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.

California car insurance rates after a speeding ticket by company: 20-year-old drivers

Company

Average annual rate after a speeding ticket

Increase compared to driver with clean record

National General

$2,878

$129

Geico

$2,922

$368

Kemper

$4,843

$721

State National

$4,875

$819

Wawanesa

$2,810

$834

Allstate

$3,688

$897

21st Century

$4,540

$972

Bristol West

$6,747

$1,036

Nationwide

$5,820

$1,046

Auto Club of SoCal

$4,579

$1,061

Mercury

$4,359

$1,064

Travelers

$4,064

$1,091

Chubb

$7,372

$1,176

Farmers

$5,238

$1,185

Infinity

$5,233

$1,270

State Farm

$3,829

$1,318

MetLife

$5,536

$1,440

CSAA

$4,939

$1,699

Progressive

$5,507

$1,890

The Hartford

$5,268

$2,086

USAA*

$2,814

$292

*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.

National General is the cheapest insurer on average for both 35-year-old and 20-year-old drivers with one speeding ticket.

Kemper and CSAA are the next cheapest insurers for 35-year-olds. CSAA is a AAA insurance provider, and an AAA membership is required.

Meanwhile, Geico comes in as the second cheapest option for young drivers with a speeding ticket, followed by Kemper.

Bear in mind, if you get another speeding ticket or have an at-fault accident, you may be rejected for coverage by certain companies like Wawanesa, which sells policies only to drivers without many traffic violations. If you have trouble finding an insurer, you may need to use a high-risk insurance company.

Still, getting a speeding ticket doesn’t mean you can’t shop around. In addition to price, consider a company’s customer satisfaction ratings, consumer complaint data and coverage options. Taking the time to compare rates could not only save you hundreds of dollars, but it could also help you find the company that’s the best fit for you.

Methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates based on public filings obtained by pricing analytics company Quadrant Information Services. Although it’s one of the largest insurers in the country, Liberty Mutual is not included in our rates analysis due to a lack of publicly available information.

In our analysis, “good drivers” had no moving violations on record; a “good driving” discount was included for this profile. Our “good” and “poor” credit rates are based on credit score approximations and do not account for proprietary scoring criteria used by insurance providers.

These are average rates, and your rate will vary based on your personal details, state and insurance provider.

Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.

  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.

  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.

  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.

  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.

  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.

  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect only the minimum coverage required by law in the state.

We used a 2019 Toyota Camry L in all cases and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven.

These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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