Everyone knows a red Ferrari convertible attracts attention from the highway patrol. Pricey speed demons have a certain disadvantage when it comes to moving violations, but their high cost also rules out the young and the reckless — the class of driver known to take the most risks. Believe it or not, you can’t find Mustang, Challenger, or Camaro in the top 20 of most-ticketed automobiles, according to data analyzed by Insurance.com. What’s more, the frumpy Toyota Prius is ticketed more often than a Corvette.
Using over 550,000 requests for insurance quotes over the course of a year, Insurance.com put together a list of the cars whose drivers reported getting the most tickets over the previous three years. In the muscle car capital of the world, this list skews, cheap, sporty, and foreign, but there are a few wild cards in the mix. Compared to the 19.9% of all drivers who reported getting a ticket, these cars attracted tickets in 28% to 33% of the situations.
Here are the 10 most-ticketed cars on U.S. roads.
Like the Ford Focus and VW Golf, the Mazda2 has a reputation as a car worth the aftermarket treatment. Cops are aware of this fact as well. In the huge sample size, 28.1% of 2014 Mazda2 drivers had reported violations, about 8% higher than the average car. Numerous offenders had speeding and racing convictions under their belt, which sent insurance premiums skyrocketing. Probably the biggest factor in the Mazda2’s ticket total is its base price. At $14,720, there are many young drivers behind their wheels.
9. Toyota FJ Cruiser
Perhaps the unusual color combination on the Toyota FJ Cruiser makes it stand out from the automaker’s other models. Whatever the reason, 28.4% of drivers of these sport utility vehicles have found themselves with a ticket in hand in recent years. Another Toyota that didn’t make the top 10 but was notable on the most ticketed list was the Prius, which locked down 20th place with 27% of owners getting tickets. That was more often than the triumvirate of American muscle cars.
8. Scion tC
The compact sport coupe is a recurring style on the list of most ticketed cars on U.S. roads. With a base price under $20K and a reputation for performance, it is no wonder 28.8% of Scion tC drivers reported getting a ticket recently when shopping for a new insurance package. It will hardly come as a surprise that Insurance.com listed speeding as one of the recurring violations for owners of this Scion model.
7. Mercury Topaz
The Mercury Topaz (and its sibling the Ford Tempo) have been out of production since 1994, but a large volume of these rides are still on the street and getting hit with tickets for violations of all sorts. Because liability coverage is all that is necessary for these vintage auto specimen, locking up a cheap rate for a Topaz is possible. Of those who were looking for a price quote, 28.8% had reported being ticketed in the previous three years in the sample of over 550,000 drivers.
6. Volkswagen Rabbit
The Volkswagen Golf has been sold under the Rabbit nameplate for several generations of the vehicle, the most recent of which was released in 2004. As drivers of the Golf GTI will attest, these cars are favorites of the aftermarket set for their responsiveness and lightweight body. Even the base 2015 Golf starts below $18K, so expect the new version to stay in the top 10 in ticketed cars for years to come. Speeding was a common infraction among the 29.6% of Rabbit drivers who had been pulled over in recent years.
5. Subaru Tribeca
The Tribeca sold so poorly for Subaru that the automaker stopped producing the SUV in 2014. Of the vehicles that are actually on the road, drivers are racking up tickets at a prodigious pace. Insurance.com data showed 29.7% of Tribeca drivers receiving tickets in the three years up to the 2014 study. Though the volumes are surely lower than many other cars on this list, the Tribeca’s rate of ticketing is the highest in the utility vehicle segment.
4. Toyota Supra
Insurance.com reported citations for driving without insurance popping up for Supra owners, but it is safe to say speeding is the pastime of choice for this enthusiast’s favorite. The Mark IV, which was the last generation Supra built from 1993 to 2002, led the pack for this performance model. Overall, 30.8% of Supra drivers said they had been ticketed in recent years when shopping for a new rate.
3. Scion FR-S
The Scion FR-S is always popping up on lists of hot performance cars around $25K, so there is no mystery as to why it broke the top three in most ticketed vehicles on U.S. roads. Almost one third (32.6%) of FR-S drivers had been cited for some type of violation over the previous three years in the Insurance.com study, which sent premiums skyrocketing for a driver with multiple speeding tickets.
2. Pontiac GTO
Like the Topaz and Supra, the Pontiac GTO may have ended its production run long ago but still reels in a high number of tickets. A robust 32.7% of GTO owners had received a citation over the previous three years. As one of the original American muscle cars, the GTO holds a unique place on the most ticketed list, but this last generation was an import from GM’s Australian subsidiary, Holden. Standard hood scoops and 350 horsepower would explain its high position among this group.
1. Subaru WRX
Always on the list of best performance cars under $40K, the Subaru Impreza WRX is built for speed. It usually tops the list of cars ripe for aftermarket upgrades as well. The combination of racing stock and low price point makes it a magnet for tickets, and 33.6% of WRX drivers reported they had been cited in the three years prior to shopping for insurance quotes. WRX STI performance variants featuring 305 horsepower likely have even higher ticketing rates. It’s safe to say cops have this car on their radar.
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