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True Cost of a Speeding Ticket in Virginia

March 17, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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It’s always a drag getting a speeding ticket, but depending on how fast you were going, the cost could be relatively small — at first glance. But you can’t take the speeding ticket’s fee at face value. In Virginia, processing fees combined with an increase in insurance premiums can hike the total fine up to more than three times the initial cost.


» MORE: How much car insurance rates go up after a speeding ticket

How much is a speeding ticket in Virginia?

Virginia charges $6 per mile over the speed limit. Don’t let the low number fool you — that makes the base price for driving 16 mph over the speed limit in Virginia $96. Factor in the $51 processing fee and the total jumps up to $147.

If you’re caught speeding in a highway construction or school crossing zone, the fee increases to $7 per mile over the speed limit. However, most Virginia speeding tickets are limited to a $250 base charge.

But the cost of a Virginia speeding ticket doesn’t end with the fine. On average, a 40-year-old Virginia driver with full coverage will pay more than 20% per year in additional premiums for full coverage insurance after one speeding ticket, according to NerdWallet’s 2020 rate study. We defined full coverage car insurance to include liability coverage, uninsured motorist protection, and comprehensive and collision insurance.

Based on our research, the true cost of a speeding ticket in Virginia could be more than 3 1/2 times the cost of the actual ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit, considering drivers could pay a total of $340 for a $96 ticket. That total cost includes the average $193 per year in additional insurance premiums, based on our analysis, and $147 in fees to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

» MORE: Best cheap car insurance in Virginia

What should you do if you receive a speeding ticket in Virginia?

Virginia has a points system that includes both demerit and safe driving points. Demerit points stay on your record for two years, and if you accumulate enough of them, your license could be suspended.

Drivers with clean records normally have three options after receiving a minor Virginia speeding ticket:

  • Plead guilty, pay the fine and receive a conviction and demerit points.
  • Plead guilty, pay the fine and attend a driver improvement class to earn safe driving points.
  • Attend court on the date provided. You can plead not guilty to fight the conviction or negotiate your fine in court.

Drivers receive demerit points based on how fast they were speeding:

  • 3 points: Driving 1-9 mph over the speed limit.
  • 4 points: Driving 10-19 mph over the speed limit.
  • 6 points: Driving 20 mph over the speed limit; driving over 80 mph.

To counteract demerit points, drivers can earn five safe driving points for completing a driver improvement class. One safe driving point is also awarded each year a driver has held a Virginia driver’s license without any violations.

Exact court costs and proceedings vary depending on whether you negotiate your ticket fee in court and your method of payment.

» MORE: Car insurance quotes

Average car insurance rates after a speeding ticket in Virginia

While your insurance rates will likely increase, drivers with a speeding ticket on their records can still find affordable car insurance. To find the cheapest prices, you should compare car insurance rates from multiple companies.

NerdWallet’s 2020 rate analysis looked at the average rates for a 40-year-old driver in Virginia after one speeding ticket, going 16 mph over the speed limit and a 25-year-old driver in Virginia after a speeding ticket. We also analyzed rates for both minimum and full coverage.

Why? Characteristics like a person’s age and coverage (to name a few factors) will affect car insurance rates.

Type of policyClean driving recordOne speeding ticketAnnual difference
40-year-old-drivers
Full coverage$960$1,153$193
Minimum coverage$381$456$75
25-year-old-drivers
Full coverage$1,150$1,357$207
Minimum coverage$447$526$79

As you can see, the annual difference between a clean driving record or one speeding ticket more than doubles with full coverage. Still, there’s more to think about than prices alone. Comprehensive and collision insurance might not seem important now but may make your financial life easier if you do get in a car accident.

Take the time to shop around to find the cheapest rates for the coverage you need. Keep in mind if you have more than one speeding ticket, any other moving violations or poor credit, you may need to find an insurer that specializes in policies for high-risk drivers.

Cheapest car insurance companies after a speeding ticket in Virginia

To help you get started comparing insurance companies, NerdWallet looked at rates among the largest insurance companies for both 40- and 25-year-old drivers ticketed for going 16 mph over the speed limit in Virginia.

Virginia 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
Erie$714$28
Nationwide$1,066$162
Geico$1,118$89
Progressive$1,274$300
State Farm$1,296$179
Travelers$1,408$402
Allstate$1,898$434
USAA*$854$151
*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.

Virginia 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.
Erie$859$34
Nationwide$1,181$162
Geico$1,347$69
Progressive$1,436$316
Travelers$1,549$370
State Farm$1,553$214
Allstate$1,953$447
USAA*$1,145$208

While insurance companies often quote very different rates based on age, in Virginia, Erie is the cheapest choice for both 40-year-old and 25-year-old drivers, on average, followed by USAA and Nationwide.

No matter your age, the rate your insurance increases with one speeding ticket varies drastically by company. Although Geico might not be the cheapest option for many Virginians with a speeding ticket, rates only increase from $69 to $89 per year, on average, after a ticket.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s auto insurance reviews for 2020

Even more surprising, 40-year-old drivers receive a steeper increase than their younger counterparts after a ticket from Geico. All other companies increased rates more for 25-year-olds, except for Nationwide who charged an additional $162 per year on average, regardless of age.

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. 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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