Before you get behind the wheel this holiday season — in a rush to get home from a ski trip in Tahoe or after having a few drinks at the company holiday party in Los Angeles — take note: A DUI or speeding ticket in California can have financial consequences that last for years to come.
A fine isn’t the only way you’ll pay for driving mistakes like speeding or drunken driving; your auto insurance will take a hit, too. Car insurance quotes may give you sticker shock when your policy is up for renewal or if you have to look for a new carrier after a DUI license suspension.
According to a new study by NerdWallet, auto insurance rates across the nation increase 14% on average after a speeding ticket and 62% on average after a DUI. In California, those penalties are even higher:
- A DUI will increase your annual rates by 128% in the Golden State — from $1,248 with a clean driving record to $2,849, on average. That’s the second-highest increase in the nation. North Carolina has the largest penalty, with an average 368% increase. Drunken drivers in Louisiana see the most modest increase for DUI: 17%, on average.
- If you’re ticketed for speeding 11 to 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit in California, you’ll see your rates rise 20%, to $1,503 a year, on average. North Carolina also had the highest increase for speeding, at 62%, while rates for speeders in New Hampshire rise only 1%, according to the analysis.
Preventing rate increases caused by dangerous driving behaviors is easy: Drive safely. Don’t rush and never drink and drive. However, if the mistake has been made and you’re now facing the consequences, shop around. Compare auto insurance quotes from several different companies, even if it means switching insurers for a better deal.
The NerdWallet analysis looked at rates for full coverage for 30-year-old men and women in each state and the District of Columbia. Profiles with clean driving records were compared with those with one DUI and those with one speeding ticket for going 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit.