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Can Parking Tickets Affect Your Car Insurance?

May 7, 2021
3 mins
A young man with glasses drives down the street

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.

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

Nevertheless, unpaid parking tickets can prove costly.

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. In Toronto, you can dispute any parking violation within 15 days of receiving it.

Parking fines in Toronto range from $30 to $450. Also, 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, leaving you on the hook to pay those fees as well.

Speeding tickets are another matter

It’s a different story if you receive a speeding ticket in the mail. Cities like Toronto and Mississauga have automatic speed enforcement (ASE) cameras installed in specific neighbourhoods to nab drivers who disregard the posted limit. Although a speeding conviction resulting from a ticket a police officer issues to you can impact your premium, especially if you have more than one, if you get a ticket from an ASE camera, it will not affect your insurance.

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:

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, even though parking fines don’t influence your car insurance premium, you’re better off paying any 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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Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile, seasoned writer and editor. He worked as both a staff writer and freelance writer for many business and technology publications as well as for several newspapers. He writes about home, auto, and travel insurance, and is a media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA.

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