Do Parking Tickets Affect Your Car Insurance Rate?

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Margaret Huntley 26-10-2021

Do Parking Tickets Affect Insurance?

do parking tickets affect insurance

Parking tickets. No one likes them, but almost every one who drives has got one. You may receive a parking ticket if you park somewhere you are not supposed to, or do not pay the required parking fee. They typically cost between $25 and $200 and are issued by the municipality, or a private property owner.  

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Consequences of Parking Tickets on Your Insurance Rates

The consequences of such violations are not very severe, provided that you pay the fine on time. If you do, your only consequence is that you are out a hundred bucks or so. There will be no lasting legal or insurance-related ramifications. 

This is because parking tickets are non-moving violations. Such violations are not considered to be dangerous driving by insurance companies. Unlike speeding tickets, parking tickets do not increase the likelihood of you getting into an accident and making a large insurance claim. 

You are not required to tell your insurance company about your parking ticket. However, even if you do, you do not need to worry about them spiking your monthly premiums. 

Where you may run into some issues is if you do not pay your parking tickets on time. In such cases there will be both legal and insurance-related consequences. 

Let’s begin with the possible legal outcomes. Though they will vary depending on the laws in your specific municipality, the following are all possible consequences for unpaid parking tickets:

  • Additional late fees 
  • A boot on your tire, that you will need to pay to have removed 
  • Having your vehicle towed and needing to pay for it to be released 
  • Suspension or nonrenewal or your license 
  • Cancellation of your car registration 
  • Having your vehicle impounded 
  • Your vehicle being sold at auction

The car insurance-related consequences are less direct. You rates may increase if: 

  • The Unpaid Ticket was Sent to a Collections Agency: Your credit score will look at all outstanding debts, including those with a collections agency, and outstanding parking tickets will hurt your credit score. If you live in a State that allows insurance agencies to view your credit score to determine your insurance rates, then your outstanding parking tickets may increase your monthly car insurance premiums. 
  • Your Car Registration or License was Suspended or Cancelled: A cancellation of car registration and/or your license is possible. Such actions will flag you as a high risk driver to your insurance company and they may increase your monthly premiums.

In both cases, the increase in your rates is less about the parking violation itself and more about your irresponsibility with regards to paying the ticket(s). 

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How to Avoid Parking Tickets Affecting your Insurance?

As you can likely tell from reading about the consequences of unpaid parking tickets, the best course of action is to avoid parking tickets all-together. And if that is not possible, then it is to pay your tickets on time. 

To avoid receiving parking tickets:

  • Read and follow all parking signs 
  • Carry sufficient change for a parking meter
  • Set a phone timer so you do not forget when your meter runs out (be sure to allow yourself time to get back to your vehicle!)
  • Consider parking in a garage 
  • Consider alternate transportation if going to an area with difficult parking laws

To resolve your parking tickets on time:

  • If you feel the parking ticket was issued in error, contact the municipality to dispute the ticket. Be sure to provide contact information and proof of error.
  • Contact the city about an alternate payment plan if unable to pay on time 
  • Ask a family member or friend for a loan 
  • Ask your employer for an advance on your paycheque

You will typically be given between 14 and 30 days to pay or dispute your ticket. You must take action within that time frame. 

Overall, parking tickets are fairly minor inconveniences with easily avoidable consequences. So long as you take action in a timely manner, a parking ticket is nothing to worry about. 

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Margaret HuntleyMargaret Huntley is a creative writing and philosophy student at Western University. She has been working as a freelance writer for over two years and has written about everything from insurance, to poker, to health and wellness for international businesses.