By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch
Shutterstock.com / Misunseo
The Subaru WRX may be an all-wheel drive sport-compact, but the drivers of this car are either driving too fast, or having difficulty parking: It receives the most violations of any vehicle.
More than one-in-three drivers of the Subaru WRX has had a recent traffic violation, according to data on 526 models from more than 557,000 recent customers released by Insurance.com, a car insurance comparison website. Making it three times to the Top 20 most ticketed cars, the Scion was the car brand with the most violations.
The Most Ticketed Car in America Is...
A recent study showed Scion brand cars are ticketed most frequently, but which car model has the most violations? MarketWatch's Quentin Fottrell reports. Photo: iStock/westhoff
It’s no surprise that the list includes other sporty cars like the Mitsubishi 3000 GT and Scion FR-S, says Des Toups, managing editor of Insurance.com, but it also name-checks the hybrid Toyota /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM +0.15% Prius C, three sport-utility vehicles and even the now-defunct Mercury Topaz. But he doesn’t attribute the ticketing to green-eyed traffic cops. “Cars don’t get tickets, drivers do,” he says.
The number of violations may have more to do with the age of the drivers, says Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “These cars all appeal to a younger demographic and many of them skew heavily male,” he says. “Of course, young male drivers typically take the most risks and garner the most tickets, or are involved in the most accidents.”
In fact, the risk profile of younger drivers is reflected in their insurance costs. Adding a male teenager hikes premiums by an average of 92%, while female teen drivers hike premiums by 67%, according to a insuranceQuotes.com, a division of personal finance site Bankrate.com. The older their child becomes, the lower the premium: It falls from 96% for 16-year-olds to 58% for 19-year-olds.
And speed is not the only issue. The Chevrolet /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -0.22% Corvette, Dodge Viper and Nissan /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 +1.81% GT-R rank well below average for tickets even though they can easily double the highest speed limits, Toups says. But they’re also costly, “so their buyers tend to be older and take fewer risks.”
Around 20% of drivers reported having a traffic violation — usually speeding but also other offenses such as failure to yield and drunken driving — within the last three years. And when setting rates on particular vehicles, Toups says insurance companies pay more attention to claims than tickets. Accidents help drive up the rates of everyone who owns that car, he says. “Tickets tend to drive up your rates alone.”
The 20 cars with the most violations
|1. Subaru WRX||33.60%|
|2. Pontiac GTO||32.70%|
|3. Scion FR-S||32.60%|
|4. Toyota Supra||30.80%|
|5. Subaru Tribeca||29.70%|
|6. Volkswagen Rabbit||29.60%|
|7. Mercury Topaz||28.80%|
|8. Scion tC||28.80%|
|9. Toyota FJ Cruiser||28.40%|
|11. Hyundai Veloster||28.10%|
|12. Volkswagen GTI||28.10%|
|13. Suzuki Reno||28.10%|
|14. Scion xA||27.80%|
|15. Pontiac G8||27.70%|
|16. MINI Cooper S Countryman||27.50%|
|17. Mitsubishi 3000 GT||27.40%|
|18. Saturn Aura||27.10%|
|19. Infiniti QX56/QX80||27.10%|
|20. Toyota Prius C||27.00%|
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