By on October 17, 2010

Ok, so which car gets the most tickets? A red Corvette? Jack Baruth’s Phaeton? Any Porsche? Wrong on all counts.

Quality Planning is a company that provides statistics to insurance companies. They relate cars to the people who drive them and especially how those people drive them. Quality Planning’s findings can cost you or save you money in terms of insurance. Ok, none of the above is on top of the list.

The Mercedes SL-Class roadster is not only a babe magnet, it has a fatal attraction to cops. But wait until you hear what the #2 car is.

It’s the alleged blandmobile, the vanilla Toyota Camry Solara. Followed, get this, by another Toyota, the Scion TC. Followed by a dead car, the Hummer. Even more interesting: The nation’s #1 hoonmobile, the Mercedes SL, is driven by an old and reckless driver who is 53 year on the average. And 59 percent of its ticketed drivers are women. Did I mention it’s a babe magnet? The runner-up, the Camry Solara, has a similar average age (50 years), 61 percent of its ticketed drivers are driverettes.

Vehicle with highest percentage of violations
Make Model Body Style Violations* Average Age % Male
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Convertible 404% 53 41%
Toyota Camry-Solara Coupe 349% 50 39%
Scion TC Coupe 343% 30 39%
Hummer H2/H3 SUV 292% 46 73%
Scion XB Hatchback 270% 37 40%
Mercedes-Benz CLS-63 AMG Sedan 264% 46 58%
Acura Integra Coupe 185% 33 60%
Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan 182% 40 41%
Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Sedan 179% 47 44%
Volkswagen GTI Hatchback 178% 40 44

Violations/100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average. For a complete list,

Now what about cars that are nearly ticket-proof? If you don’t want to send checks to the DMV or the court, get an SUV or minivan. Best, get a Buick Rainier. Average age 61, 71 percent driven by men. Cops pretty much ignore them.

Vehicles with lowest percentage of violations
Make Model Body Style Violations* Average Age % Male
Buick Rainier SUV 23% 61 71%
Mazda Tribute SUV 26% 36 29%
Chevrolet C/K- 3500/2500 Pickup 26% 40 86%
Kia Spectra Sedan 27% 40 44%
Buick Lacrosse SUV 32% 65 50%
Saturn Aura Hybrid Sedan 37% 59 14%
Oldsmobile Silhouette Minivan 37% 41 50%
Chevrolet Uplander Minivan 38% 40 54%
Hyundai Tucson SUV 38% 47 40%
Pontiac Vibe SUV 39% 41 32%

Violations/100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average. For a complete list,

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43 Comments on “The Truth About Traffic Tickets...”

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    My Phaeton got one ticket — for a missing front plate. Any other intended moving violations were never successfully served.
    My Town Car, on the other hand, is completely invisible to cops. Love it.

    • 0 avatar

      in 1969 age 22  I bought a used 250SL and put over 200000 miles on it over the next 5 years (it had about 25 000 on it when I bought it) I was living in Denver working as a pilot and my family was in new england hence many long drives across the US (my girlfriend living in Long Beach CA also piled on the miles) I had Driving licenses from 3 states and I needed them with all the speeding tickets I got in those years! but now I find I have not had a ticket in almost 20 years (knock wood) and I now drive between New england and New Mexico 2 times a year. I drive a MINI Cooper S with verve and gusto so I assume I must have become more cagey as I have aged.

    • 0 avatar

      My Town Car, on the other hand, is completely invisible to cops. Love it.
      As is my ’94 Vic and the three Grand Marquis that preceded it. As an added bonus, they never get broken into either.

    • 0 avatar

      “My Phaeton got one ticket — for a missing front plate. Any other intended moving violations were never successfully served.”

      Does this imply there were unsuccessful attempts to serve your Phaeton with a ticket?


  • avatar

    I can vouch for this, having a vintage R107 in the family. I helped drive it across the country last year about this time and was pulled over and ticketed in Montana(?!) of all places.

    However I have one SL vs The Fuzz story with a funny/happy ending: It was on the 2005 Colorado Grand in a 1957 300sl roadster. A county sheriff in rural Colorado stopped us, and walked up to the red roadster on the shoulder asking “Is this a Ferrari?” to which we replied, “No sir, this is a Mercedes-Benz.” He informed us that he heard that there was some sort of Ferrari club event coming through and he really wanted to catch one of them. Not being a Ferrari, he let us go with a warning.

    Go figure.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    One lightly used Buick Rainier with a V8 please.  (Now where did I put that V1 radar detector?) 

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve got an ’04 Rainier with the V8, and can vouch for it being pretty invisible (I’m also 58, so I’m right in the demographic….).  Even with Minnesota plates, the Wisconsin cops don’t give me a second glance when I blow by at 76mph in the 65 zone around Baldwin on I94 (one of their favorite haunts).  Also, make sure it’s silver … that makes in even more inconspicuous!!!!

  • avatar

    Haha, I work at the Superior Court and I see alot of that list almost all the time for speeders (Mostly Mercedes). Incidentally, since almost all of so-cal comes through here to get to Vegas, I see Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s.. But out of all the bunch the most common I see amongst the expensive cars is, strangely, Maserati’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Perhaps because Ferrari/Lamborghini drivers tend to give a rat’s ass about driving, while Maseratis are more apt to be driven by members of the Kept Women of Beverly Hills club who perpetually have one thumb on their Crackberry while behind the wheel?

  • avatar

    The GTI is not surprising.  I got a 4-point speeding ticket only a few weeks ago in mine.  Cops definitely look to see what “kind” of driver is behind the wheel.  They usually ignore me once they see a teenage kid is not driving.

    Still, that was my first ticket in many many years.  The older I get, the more cautious I drive.
    I’m completely invisible to cops in my Grand Cherokee – I think the baby sun shades act as some sort of radar absorbing material.

    • 0 avatar

      I somehow have a hard time believing that 60% of the tickets written to GTI drivers are to women.  The average age of 40 for the GTI surprised me a bit, but then I’m older than that and considering one…

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, 20 years of driving Japanese. Zero tickets.
      Wish I could say the same about the 60-odd days of driving bliss in my new GTI. That said, DC caught me on a camera-ticket. So I’m not sure whether I should count that or not…

    • 0 avatar

      Even back in the 80’s we understood that GTI meant “Get Tickets In”, especially in “Arrest Me Red”. My significantly less obvious Gambia Red A1 Jetta racked up several tickets in Missouri, despite several years of invisibility in New York and Oregon. I guess the cops in Missouri worked on commission.

  • avatar

    Heheheheh… a cougarmobile gets second place!

  • avatar

    Blasted old geezers – wait – I am one! Sorry. No tickets for many years, though, as I putt along in my trusty old Cappucino Frost ’04 Impala, no one sees me, anyway.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    The Pontiac Vibe is an SUV?
    If I was stuck enforcing absurd speed limits, I’d stick it to the rich too (and ditzy dames, punk kids).  No idea if these ‘violations’ are speed-related at all.

  • avatar

    Buck Lacrosse is not an SUV.

  • avatar

    Woo woo!  My Tribute is a chick’s car.  29% of those have been ticketed are male.

  • avatar

    No BMW, no Porsche in the hit list? Leaving disappointed.

  • avatar

    The Great Unpatolled American Road…belongs to Buick!

    +1 in the vindication list for big boat fans such as myself.

    Other notes: the Spectra is impossible to wind up to extra-legal speeds before encountering another stoplight, stop sign, or the horizon.

  • avatar

    Hate me. Despise me. I relish it.
    I will continue to just follow the posted limit, even in construction zones where the posted limit s often is asinine due to work or workers present.
    My Zen-like state of merely obeying and no stress from attempting to exceed the legal limit is worth the minute amount of time I “lose” by exceeding the legal limit.
    Within city limits I still follow speed limits and the anguish upon so many other drivers is regularly obvious.
    However, decades of experience has taught me the futility of “defeating of overcoming the many limitations on crowded to semi-crowded city streets due to traffic regulatory devices such as stop lights and the regular flow of traffic along with those entering/departing destinations such as side streets and businesses, etc.
    Tailgaters force me to slow down. Go ahead, try to make me meet your needs by believing tailgating will compel me to exceed the legal limit.
    A Disgruntled Old Coot am I and shall remain until an irresistible outside force impacts a vital organ.
    Or something.

    • 0 avatar

      Just stay in the proper lane and I will both admire and respect your restraint as I challenge the Federalis. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      try to make me meet your needs by believing tailgating will compel me to exceed the legal limit
      Wait, you actually think people believe you’re aware of what’s happening around you? Ha ha ha ha!

    • 0 avatar

      @obbop – +1 (me too). I’m more than delighted to stay in the right lane, except when some idiot tries to pass me in the emergency lane (more than once that’s happened).

    • 0 avatar

      My late grandfather used to drive his Buick on the highway in the right lane with the cruise on 62 in a 65.  He once told me his philosophy: “as long as I drive below the speed limit and stay in the right lane, it’s like having the whole road to myself”  which I assumed meant he never had to alter his path to pass anybody, and everyone passed him but no one tailgated or bothered him since he was in the right lane.

    • 0 avatar

      Keep to the right, and more power to ‘ya.

  • avatar

    Should proof-read mucho better, esses, my fellow vatos

  • avatar

    I’m a traffic attorney with over 15 years experience…..
    Sports cars go first.  (911 or riced-out Civic…all sportbikes fit here)
    Rich guys go second. (I’ve seen cops who write MB, Range Rovers, BMW, Audi almost exclusively-the perception is that “they can take the ticket”, especially as the typical ticket in NY is now a $500 nut.)
    Everyone else goes third.
    I’ve driven four door “quiet” cars the last ten years.  No one knows your engine or suspension system unless you advertise it (see #1)

    • 0 avatar

      Funny, I’ve ridden sport bikes for a number of years (since I was 20), and have never felt unfairly profiled. In over 20k miles, I’ve received 1 ticket – for 25 over – which I fully deserved. Officer was completely courteous and even told me how to go about getting the fine reduced, which I successfully did. I was pulled over on my VFR a few weeks ago. There had been an unusually large traffic jam, and once things finally opened up, so did I. 25-30 MPH over the speed limit, passing on the right, zig-zagging through traffic – not always with enough time to signal – and the officer saw it all. He said he knew I was just trying to get out of the hot weather and traffic, gave me a safety lecture, and sent me on my way. This was way more lenient than the way I was treated while driving my stock, clean, white ’92 Jetta, a vehicle which itself did a good job of flying under the radar most of the time.

    • 0 avatar

      @Juniperbug I think cops are more likely to be motorcycle enthusiasts than the average driver, which might account for your experiences.

  • avatar

    I haven’t been ticketed in quite a while but I’m hesitant to hoon when I do take my Integra out. It would be hard to convince a cop that I wasn’t fooling around in a gutted and caged car with harnesses and fixed back racing buckets.

  • avatar

    I was jamming south in my Subaru XT at a tad under 90 on 101 about 30 miles north of the Columbia River. 11 pm on a cool clear fall night  when my headlights lit up the back of a stater south of Bay Center. Took me a few feet to slow down and when he rolled up I got out slowly and apologized as I was just headed home from a long meeting and said “what the hell are you doing out here so late?”, “you guys never are out here past 8”. He laughed and said “Clam tide”.. “oh”.  You see urbanites like to dig razor calm and WSP gets ’em late headed north to Oly, Tacoma, Seattle. He looked up at the sky and said “it’s a clear night”, he looked down at the road “the road is dry” and over at my Subaru, “that’s a nice rig”. “how ’bout I write you up for 65?”. I’ve always found straight talk the best and a little local knowledge helps.

  • avatar

    Patience is a virtue in the driver behind you and a vice in the driver ahead of you.


  • avatar
    John Horner

    I think this list says more about the driver population which chooses those vehicles than it does about the vehicles themselves.

  • avatar

    Hah! I knew it! I knew it was the Camry!

    Now I’m wondering where my Saab 9-5 fits in. Do cops think I’m rich because I’m driving a 9k car with a 41k sticker? Or do they just see ‘unknown luxobarge’ and ignore it? So far, 10 over has gotten me nothing… And three or four 110mph passes were outside police presence. Then again, what am I gonna do when I’m passing a guy doing 40? Take three times as long in the other lane? That seems worse than spooling up the turbo…

  • avatar

    Drove the rental car fleet queen Pontiac Grand Prix for 4-1/2 years and only stopped once (no ticket, no warning).  I drove it like it was stolen; surprised to see it in the top, it always felt invisible to me.

  • avatar

    well i;m sure the chevrolet uplander should be on the top list… it’s so ugly it deserves a ticket every-time a cop sees it….

  • avatar

    What is surprising is that most all the cars listed are primarily female driven.  Now why was my insurance so much higher when I was learning to drive…

  • avatar

    @Steven02, your insurance wasn’t higher, the insurance of your female contemporaries was lower, because they got fewer claims against them. They’d just cry after bending a fender and the other driver would work something out with her dad. The same other driver would have called you a reckless punk and made sure you got points on your license, and all your male contemporaries would pay the price.

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