Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

Full Bio →

Written by

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Mar 10, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

Just the Basics

  • A parking ticket usually doesn’t affect your insurance since there are no claims involved
  • Refusing to pay a ticket can affect your credit score, which will raise your insurance rates (except in states where credit checks are illegal)
  • Tickets for traffic incidents, accidents, and other violations will cause your insurance rates to increase

Parking tickets are one of those violations that you don’t actually contemplate until you find one under your windshield wiper. Furthermore, parking tickets are a hassle and typically cost between $25 and $200. But, do parking tickets affect insurance?

The quick answer is that they usually don’t, but there are situations where an unpaid parking ticket can increase your car insurance rates.

Why does a parking ticket affect your insurance? Read further to learn more. Then, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to discover what auto insurance rates might look like for you.

Does a parking ticket affect your insurance?

Typically, parking tickets don’t affect your insurance. Insurance companies consider how likely you are to make an insurance claim. Therefore, the higher the risk to the company, the more you’ll pay for coverage.

Parking tickets don’t indicate how risky a driver you are. People usually receive parking tickets because they didn’t realize that they were parked in the wrong place. At worst, someone might experience an inconsiderate moment and think that undesignated parking isn’t a serious offense.

Regardless, you won’t have to file a claim for a parking ticket, even if it was issued to you erroneously. In addition, others won’t file a claim against you that your company will have to pay out. While parking tickets are annoying, your insurance company won’t even notice it.

However, a parking ticket becomes an issue if you don’t pay it. If your ticket remains unpaid, it will eventually be sent to collections which can ruin your credit score. Insurance companies review your credit score to determine your rates (except in a few states), so unpaid parking tickets can affect your rates.

What happens if you hit an illegally parked car?

Striking a parked car is a rather clear-cut case of who is at fault. However, what happens if you hit a car that is illegally parked? After all, you wouldn’t have hit the vehicle if it hadn’t been parked there.

This is an example of a situation where both drivers will be at fault. In cases like this, both drivers are typically deemed negligent. The illegally parked person shouldn’t have parked where they did, but you also should have been driving defensively.

If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is speak with your insurance agent. They can assess the situation and determine if you are eligible to file a claim against the illegally parked person.

Does a parking ticket affect your driving record?

Similar to your insurance, parking tickets usually don’t affect your license. If your state uses a point system, you’ll notice that there aren’t any designations for parking tickets.

However, you’ll run into trouble if you don’t pay your tickets. The DMV can enforce consequences for unpaid tickets, such as late fees, tire boots, suspension of your license, denial of car registration, and even impoundment of your vehicle.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What should you do if you have a parking ticket?

If you ever detect that dreaded little slip of paper on your windshield, the first thing you should do is move your car. Some drivers think that they can get their money’s worth on a ticket that’s already been issued by failing to remove their car, but that might lead to more fines and steeper punishments.

Once you’re in a safe spot, examine your ticket. All the information you need should be on the slip, usually toward the bottom. The ticket will inform you of how much you owe, the date by which you owe it, and where you need to send your payment.

You don’t typically need to go to court unless you’re a repeat parking offender.

It’s best to pay your ticket as soon as possible. While it can be tempting to forget about a parking ticket, it will be much more of a hassle and cost increasingly more if you disregard it.

Call the listed officials if you think that you’ve been wrongfully issued a ticket. They’ll let you explain your case (as long as you’re respectful) and might ask you to take pictures to prove your point. You might have to appear in court to argue your case as well.

What else affects your insurance?

While parking tickets don’t affect your insurance (as long as you pay them), there are many other things you can do behind the wheel of your car that influence it. While the following list isn’t complete, you can get an idea below of various factors that affect the price of car insurance:

  • Speeding. Any speeding ticket you receive can increase your rates, but you’ll see a higher increase if you are charged with criminal speeding. An average speeding ticket can raise your rates by 25%.
  • Accidents. If you aren’t at fault, an accident won’t raise your rates (unless you’re very unlucky and often get hit). However, a single at-fault accident can increase your rates by as much as 51%.
  • DUI. Considered one of the worst violations you can get, a DUI infraction will raise your rates by an average of 74%. You might also be dropped from your insurance.
  • Running a red light. While this is usually a simple mistake, your insurance might increase by 23% if you receive a ticket.
  • Driving with a suspended license. It might seem like this crime isn’t that terrible, but you should always avoid getting behind the wheel if you don’t have a license. Insurance rates rise by an average of 62% for this ticket.
  • Reckless driving. Reckless driving is usually one of the main charges when people engage in road rage. This can increase your rates by 70%.
  • Not wearing a seatbelt. This is the most minor offense on this list, but it can still increase your insurance rates by an average of 4%.

As you can see, there are numerous things you can do that will increase your insurance rates. It’s best to remain actively aware while you’re driving, avoid engaging in road rage, and obey all traffic laws.

If you’re concerned about your ability to drive, there are plenty of driver education courses you can take to refresh your skills. As a bonus, you might earn a driver education car insurance discount.

How to Avoid Parking Ticket Problems

As with most situations, the best way to avoid an issue is to evade the circumstance entirely. Familiarize yourself with your local parking laws, and you’ll be able to prevent illegal parking with ease.

However, many people receive parking tickets when they’re unfamiliar with the area, such as when on a business trip or on vacation. If you’re worried about parking illegally, consider the following tips to avoid trouble:

  • Look for signs. While they can be confusing, no parking zones typically have signage to indicate that you can’t park there. Look for Anti-Gridlock Zone, No Stopping/Standing, and Fire Zone signs.
  • Remember your meter. If you park in front of a meter, set a timer to remind you when your time is about to expire. Even if you think you’ll be out in plenty of time, creating a reminder only takes a minute and can save you from accruing additional fees.
  • Resist the urge to park for a minute. Some people think that they can park illegally for a few minutes and make it back out before they’re caught. While it certainly happens, parking inspectors can appear at any time. All it takes is one minute of illegal parking to be issued a ticket.
  • Use a garage. If you plan on leaving your car parked for an extended duration, a parking garage might be a safer bet.

Even the best-laid plans fail sometimes, and you might find yourself with a parking ticket. If you are issued one, you should pay it as soon as possible.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Find the Best Insurance for Any Situation

While parking tickets don’t usually affect your insurance rates, many other incidents will. If your rates have increased because you didn’t pay your tickets, or you were charged with a traffic incident, you should consider shopping for new insurance.

Now that you know a parking ticket affects your insurance, but only if you don’t pay it, you can compare rates to determine what coverage might cost you. When you’re ready to begin, enter your ZIP code into our free tool.