Getting a speeding ticket in California might not seem like a huge issue at first. You pay the fine and move on with your life, right?
In reality, a speeding ticket can cost you a lot more than you might think in fees, fines, and insurance penalties. For some drivers, a small speeding ticket can turn into hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time.
So, how much does a speeding ticket in California actually cost?
How Much Does the Average Speeding Ticket Cost in California?
The base cost of a speeding ticket in California ranges between $35 and $500, according to California's Vehicle Code Section 22350. The base cost of the ticket varies based on how much you were speeding, and in some cases, how many times you've been ticketed in the past.
Here's what you can expect to pay based on your speed:
1 to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit: $35.00
16 to 25 miles per hour over the speed limit: $70.00
26 miles per hour (or more) over the speed limit: $100.00
Those fines might not sound that bad — especially if you are caught just going five or ten miles an hour over the speed limit. However, keep in mind those are only the base costs of a California speeding ticket. Other costs from your local county and additional fees can quickly add up.
Fees and assessments for emergency services, penalties, and surcharges can turn a $35 ticket into a $350 ticket with the additional fees and assessments. There are also hidden costs that you might overlook.
What Are the Hidden Costs of a California Speeding Ticket?
A California speeding ticket can impact your life for years to come. In addition to paying the ticket (which can be hundreds of dollars, as we saw above), there are hidden costs to a speeding ticket you might not have considered. Some are one-time costs, while other costs can last for years or months.
Time Off Work
You may be required to appear in court for a moving violation like a speeding ticket. Unlike jury duty, this time off work is at your own expense. If your work offers paid time off, this might not matter, but losing a day's pay can be a hardship for many workers.
Suppose you are required to appear in court for your speeding ticket. In that case, you may have to pay court costs, which can add up to several hundred dollars in administrative fees and other costs.You may be required to pay for a transcriptionist, paperwork filing, and other costs.
Depending on how fast you were going and whether you've had other traffic violations, a ticket may result in points on your driver's license. One way to prevent points is to attend driving or traffic school. These programs can cost up to several hundred dollars. Paying for driving school can save money you on your insurance, however, so the cost is often worth it.
A speeding ticket could also land you in hot water with your insurance company. Depending on your driving record, your insurance company might hike your premiums or drop your coverage altogether. Unlike fines, which you pay just once, an increase in automobile insurance can cost you hundreds of dollars every year.
If you've gotten a speeding ticket in California, keep your insurance rates low with DMV-approved online traffic school from DriversEd.com.