Can Parking Tickets Affect Your Insurance?

You stop at the side of a street, park, and dodge into a store nearby only to return to find a parking ticket tucked under the windshield wiper. It’s frustrating, but such is the outcome for parking illegally on a city street, even for a few minutes.

You might think driving away before a municipal law enforcement officer can place the ticket under the windshield wiper or pass it to you will get you off scot-free, but it won’t. That ticket will be mailed to the address for which the vehicle is registered.

About 2.8 million parking tickets are issued in Toronto each year, yielding an annual revenue of around $100 million for the city. Ignoring parking violations won’t make them disappear. On the contrary, it will end up costing you significantly more the longer you evade the issue.

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Parking Tickets and Your Car Insurance Premium

Here’s some good news: in general, parking tickets do not affect your auto insurance rate.

Nevertheless, unpaid parking tickets can prove costly.

Parking fines in Toronto range from $30 to $450. What’s more, if you’re parked illegally during rush hour on specific roads or have three unpaid parking tickets, you’re increasing the odds of your vehicle being towed away and impounded.

It’s a different story if you receive a speeding ticket in the mail. Cities like Toronto and Ottawa have automatic speed enforcement cameras installed in specific neighbourhoods to nab drivers who disregard the posted limit. A speeding conviction can impact your premium, especially if you have more than one, are caught racing, or if your licence is suspended. Moreover, a licence suspension may lead to you being considered a high-risk driver, which can make getting car insurance at an affordable rate challenging.

Other traffic offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt, may also affect your insurance. There are a variety of different infractions that can influence your premium, depending on whether or not it is a minor or major traffic conviction. Examples of traffic violations that can jack up your premium if you’re convicted of them include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Careless or dangerous driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign
  • Failure to stop for a police officer
  • Driving without car insurance

What Happens If You Don’t Pay a Parking Ticket Fine?

In Toronto, you have 15 days to pay a parking fine. If you miss that deadline, you have 30 days from the date on the ticket to request an extension to pay. But know that failing to pay a parking ticket by its due date has consequences. A late payment fee of $25.50 will be added to the fine after 30 days. Another $25.50 is added after 60 days.

You will eventually have to pay any outstanding parking fines levied to your vehicle, or you won’t be able to renew your licence plate registration sticker when it’s up for renewal.

So, safe to say you’re better off paying the parking violation by its due date before that $30 fine swells to three times the amount. And, of course, steer clear of parking your vehicle in places where you shouldn’t even for a few minutes.

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