Getting pulled over for speeding is always a drag, but it's even worse when it happens in a rental car. Here's what you should do if you get a speeding ticket in the Lone Star State.
How Much Are Speeding Fines in Texas?
Tens of thousands of drivers are caught breaking speed limits each year in Texas, with some drivers even pushing breakneck speeds well over 100 miles per hour. Tickets can often reach $200 or more, but the fee schedule varies by location. Dallas charges a base fine and then added fees for speeding in different categories, depending on how fast you're going. Speeding 20 miles over the limit through a Dallas city park can cost you $300, while Austin charges a fee per mile over the speed limit.
According to the National Motorists Association's website Speedtrap.org, drivers should be aware of a high number of speed traps in Houston, Austin, Timpson, Corrigan and Pasadena. Cities including Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth are also on its list of top 10 cities for having the most speed traps.
How to Handle a Speeding Ticket in a Rental
Unlike parking tickets and toll violations, which are typically tied to the vehicle, a speeding ticket is generally tied to the driver. If a police officer pulls you over, you'll be able to handle the fine on your own—possibly without the rental company ever finding out. From there, you can pay the fine or fight it. Going to traffic school or taking a defensive driving course online may also be an option for avoiding points on your record.
There is one way the rental company could find out about the issue. Getting caught by a speed camera that takes a photo of the plate would mean that the rental company would be notified of the fine—and pass on to you at a later date with an added fee. If you receive a notice in the mail about a fine triggered by a speed camera, be sure to pay it right away to avoid dealing with a collections agency.
How to Pay a Speeding Ticket in Texas
Whether or not you live in Texas, you'll have to pay the fine. Most states have agreements with one another to report the fines, and sometimes add points on your license. You can also try to fight the fine, although this can mean incurring legal costs and showing up for court.
The easiest way to pay a ticket in Texas—especially if you live outside the state—is via credit card through the webpage for the municipality that issued you the ticket. Most places also offer the option of paying in person, through the mail or on the phone.