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True Cost of a Speeding Ticket in Texas

March 18, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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With all that open space, it’s easy to understand the temptation to speed in Texas — but getting caught can be expensive.

A speeding ticket in Texas could cost you more than $800 by the time you pay the fine, court costs and three years of higher auto insurance rates, a NerdWallet analysis found.

To reduce the financial blow:

  • If you can, choose an option that will keep the ticket off your record.
  • Shop around for the cheapest possible car insurance.

» MORE: Compare Car Insurance Rates

How much is a speeding ticket in Texas?

We looked at fines, court costs and car insurance rates for a hypothetical Texas driver recently caught driving 16 mph over the speed limit.

Depending on location, a Texas driver with a speeding ticket might pay:

  • $246 in fines and court costs for speeding.
  • $304 for speeding in a school zone.
  • $356 for speeding in a construction zone with workers present.

Your fines and court costs might be different — they varied in the 21 Texas locations we checked — but they’re generally a one-time expense.

Higher auto insurance rates, however, can keep pinching your wallet for up to three years, depending on the company, while the points from your speeding ticket remain on your driving record.

According to our analysis, a speeding ticket raises average car insurance rates in Texas by about:

Here’s how annual premiums are affected.

Average car insurance costs after a speeding ticket in Texas

Type of policyClean driving recordOne speeding ticketAnnual difference
40-year-old-drivers
Full coverage$1,471$1,665$194
Minimum coverage$664$750$86
25-year-old-drivers
Full coverage$1,721$1,923$202
Minimum coverage$753$847$94

» MORE: Best Cheap Car Insurance in Texas

What to do after you get a speeding ticket in Texas

A Texas driver with a clean record has several options after receiving a minor speeding ticket:

  • Plead guilty, pay the fine and receive two points on your license. You may be able to pay by mail and avoid a court appearance.
  • Plead no contest. You’ll still pay the fine and get two points on your license. But a plea of no contest can’t be used against you in a civil suit related to the traffic offense, while a guilty plea can.
  • Plead not guilty and have a trial before a jury or judge.
  • Apply for deferred disposition, also known as deferred adjudication. At the judge’s discretion, you’re placed on probation in exchange for pleading guilty or no contest. If you complete the terms of probation, your case is dismissed and you can request that your record be cleared of the offense.
  • Apply for a driving safety class. If you complete an approved six-hour course, you qualify to get your citation dismissed.

Not all Texas speeding tickets are eligible for the last two options, however.

» MORE: What to Do When You Get a Speeding Ticket

How to keep a Texas speeding ticket off your record

Paying the fine and moving on may seem like the most efficient way to put your speeding ticket behind you.

But taking the extra steps to get your case dismissed will likely save you money in the long run. If you keep the offense off your driving record, it won’t trigger higher auto insurance premiums.

Here’s a look at two options, dismissal through a driving safety class or through deferred disposition.

Driving safety course

You can ask the court’s permission to take a driving safety course to get your ticket dismissed. If you’re approved, you’ll likely have 90 days to complete the class and submit your paperwork.

There will be upfront expenses — typically $144 to $169 in court costs and fees, plus $25 or more for the course. Then, you’ll spend six hours in training, which can be in a classroom or online.

You’re eligible for this option only if:

  • You’re at least 17 years old.
  • You have proof of insurance.
  • You haven’t taken a driving safety class in the past 12 months.
  • You exceeded the posted speed limit by no more than 24 mph.
  • You don’t have a commercial driver’s license.

You can also be disqualified by details of your ticket, for example, if you were passing a school bus or speeding in a construction zone with workers present.

Deferred disposition

With this option, you’re asking the court to delay a decision on your case for up to 180 days. If you meet certain standards, such as not getting another ticket during that period, your case can be dismissed.

You’ll probably have to pay at least the normal fines and court costs associated with your ticket, and in some cases, an additional fee once the deferral period is over. If you’re younger than 25, it’s likely you’ll also be required to take a driver safety course.

Typically you can’t choose this option if:

  • You were going 25 mph or more over the speed limit.
  • You were speeding in a construction zone with workers present.
  • You have a commercial driver’s license.
  • You were on deferred disposition for another charge within the past 12 months.

Cheapest auto insurers after a speeding ticket in Texas

When you get a speeding ticket in Texas, some auto insurance companies will raise your premiums by hundreds of dollars a year. Others will change your rate by only a few dollars, or none at all.

To make sure you’re getting the best possible rate, it’s important to compare car insurance quotes after a speeding ticket. Here’s what we found when we compared average prices from the largest insurance companies in Texas for hypothetical 40-year-old and 25-year-old drivers ticketed for going 16 mph over the speed limit.

Texas car insurance rates after a speeding ticket by company: 40-year-old drivers

CompanyAverage annual premium after a speeding ticketIncrease compared to driver with clean record
*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance$1,041$0
Geico$1,410$203
Republic Group$1,446$95
State Farm$1,878$268
Auto Club of SoCal (AAA)$1,990$512
Nationwide$2,217$506
Allstate$2,452$42
USAA*$1,283$144

Texas car insurance rates after a speeding ticket by company: 25-year-old drivers

CompanyAverage annual premium after a speeding ticketIncrease compared to driver with clean record
*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance$1,116$0
Geico$1,706$187
Republic Group$1,831$95
State Farm$2,022$281
Auto Club of SoCal (AAA)$2,431$632
Nationwide$2,472$365
Allstate$2,712$48
USAA*$1,548$177

Taking the time to shop around for better auto insurance rates could save you hundreds of dollars. And when your speeding ticket is a few years in the past, remember to check car insurance prices again. Rates may come down at the one-, three- and five-year marks after your ticket, giving you another chance to save.

METHODOLOGY

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.

If required, minimum additional coverages were added and “good driver” discounts were automatically applied. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.

We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all drivers. In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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