Virginia cities surrounding Washington, D.C., pay much higher car insurance rates than the rest of the state. You can see how all Virginia ZIP codes compare by clicking around the map below. No matter what neighborhood you live in, though, you'll find that different car insurance companies will charge the same driver very different state car insurance rates. That's why it's wise to compare rates to be sure you're not overpaying. To get a customized rate for your neighborhood, enter your ZIP, age and coverage level in the tool below. You'll also see how much you can save by noting the difference between the highest and lowest rate fielded from major insurers.
Stringent speeding laws: Virginia is tough on speeding. For example, a conviction for speeding above 80 mph can be considered reckless driving -- a six-point offense -- and stay on the driver's motor vehicle record for 11 years, long after the points have disappeared.
A "super speeder" law added fines of as much as $1,050 to tickets before that provision of the law was repealed in 2008.
Bank some safety points: For every year without incident, a Virginia driver can accumulate a "safety point" that offsets a demerit point. Drivers can also get an additional safety point for taking a defensive driving class. In total, you can't accumulate more than five, though.
Pay $500 a year and drive anyway: Virginia has an unusual "Uninsured Motor Vehicle" fee that allows a car owner to register an uninsured vehicle and drive at his or her own risk. The owner is still legally liable for any damages he or she causes.
Uninsured motorist penalties for Virginia: If you don't register and pay the fee to drive uninsured, you may be fined $500, have your license and registration suspended and be required to file an SR-22 form.
Electric vehicle tax: To make up for lost gasoline tax revenue, owners of electric vehicles face an additional $50 cost at registration time.
DUIs in Virginia:Driving under the influence and other drug- and alcohol-related violations in Virginia add six points to your license and will stay on your driving record for 11 years.
No age restriction for insurance, title or registration: Virginia allows minors to own, register and insure vehicles, but it is up to an insurance company to decide if they will write a policy for a minor.