You see the flashing lights behind you and you slow down to a stop. Your first thought is how this ticket is going to cost you. Then, you think about what it will do to your car insurance rates. It seems like a losing situation all the way around.

Which Traffic Tickets are the Worst?

First of all, it’s important to know that not all traffic tickets are the same. Some have a bigger impact on your auto insurance than others. Generally, the more serious the offense, the bigger the impact. For instance, a speeding ticket will have more affect than a parking violation.

If your ticket is a criminal offense such as driving under the influence, you’ll notice a big spike in your car insurance premiums. Otherwise, don’t necessarily assume the worst.

How Much Will It Affect Your Rates?

How much it impacts rates will vary. These violations add points to your record. The more points they add, the more your rates go up. The insurance industry uses a formula to determine how much you’ll pay for car insurance. You can safely assume that it’s similar to how many points will be added to your driving record even though they are two different systems.

Multiple violations will also have a bigger impact than a single occurrence. If you constantly get tickets for speeding, they will increase your rates even if each one is for just a few miles over the limit.

Do You Have Options?

If you find your insurance rates have gone up, you might want to talk to your car insurance agent. Find out if there is a safe driver course you can take that will lower your rates. While the offset may not be equal, it can help.

Taking a safe driver course implies that you are learning to be a safe driver and won’t be making the same kinds of mistakes which led to the tickets. You’ll want to make sure you don’t get caught making the mistake a second time.

Another option you have is to fight the ticket. If you truly did what you were ticketed for, you won’t get off without some kind of penalty. However, you can find out about getting a reduced charge, especially if there were extenuating circumstances. Sometimes you can get a no-point violation, which will help your cause.

Just remember that all tickets fall off your record after some time. If you start driving defensively and avoid getting any new tickets, you’ll gradually see your rates go down. You should also know that your tickets will show up anytime you get car insurance quotes, so be upfront and honest about them.

If you want to know more about how a ticket will impact your rates or what you can do about it, you can contact your insurance agent. They will work with you to make sure your car insurance is still affordable until you can get a clean record once again.