2002 Lexus ES 300

Most & Least Ticketed Vehicles: Do You Own One?

YourMechanic has released a study that delved into which cars are the most and least ticketed for all kinds of traffic violations like speeding, illegal parking, driving with headlights off, and running red lights. The study analyzed vehicles according to subtypes – luxury cars, midsize, compacts, sports cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and subcompacts – and found the most ticketed and least ticketed vehicles within each section.

The data was based on an earlier study from Insurance.com.

The Lexus ES 300 came out on top in terms of violations, with a whopping 33.4% of owners picking up some kind of ticket. The Nissan 350Z was in close pursuit with 32.5% of owners incurring a violation. The Buick Encore is the least ticketed vehicle at a minuscule 3.2% of owners. The relatively compact size of the Lexus ES 300 may account for more reckless driving behavior compared to the bulk of the Buick SUV, which could encourage safer driving on the roads.

The results are incredibly revealing and shed some light on just what kinds of cars and what kinds of drivers are picking up tickets. For example, the highest ticketed minivan was the Ford Windstar at 19.9% of owners, but still significantly lower than the most ticketed cars in every other section.

Most & Least Ticketed Luxury Car

The Lexus ES 300 is the leading luxury car (as well as for overall tickets), but it’s also interesting to note that another Lexus ranks as the least ticketed luxury car. These results could dispel the notion that driving a certain car would mean an increase in the number of tickets issued.

Most & Least Ticketed Compact Car

Compact cars are defined as being between a midsize and a subcompact, and comprise roughly 16% of all cars on the road in the USA. The Volkswagen Jetta GL tops the list of most ticketed compact cars at 31.4%, while the Honda Civic is the least ticketed at 11.9% of owners. Interestingly, this is a slightly lower percentage compared to all the other categories of vehicles, except for luxury cars and SUVs.

Most & Least Ticketed Midsize

Midsize vehicles are larger than a compact car and tend to have 4 doors and 5 seats, which also makes them a bit pricier. The Dodge Charger SE/SXT currently ranks as the most ticketed midsize, while the least ticketed is the Volkswagen Passat SE which retails at a fairly similar price to the Dodge Charger.

Perhaps Dodge Charger owners just love to drive a bit faster? Photo: FCA US LLC
Perhaps Dodge Charger owners just want to drive a bit faster? Photo: FCA US LLC

Most & Least Ticketed Minivan

The diminished maneuverability and sheer size of minivans may in fact lead to more careful driving and less violations if this study is anything to go by. The highest ticketed vehicle is the Ford Windstar at 19.9% which is significantly lower than the leading cars in other categories. The least ticketed is the Chevrolet Venture.

Most & Least Ticketed Pickup Truck

The Toyota Tacoma, still in production and fresh off a redesign, leads the way in terms of traffic violations at 30.1% of owners. Interestingly, the least ticketed was the Chevrolet C2500 which was only manufactured for six years.

Most & Least Ticketed Sport Compact

The Volkswagen GTI, although not your most conventionally looking sports car, tops the list at 30.3% of owners. The stylish Alfa Romeo 164/4C/8C/Spider models ranked as the least ticketed, which may dispel the myth that flashy car drivers are more reckless.

2016 Golf GTI Front Fascia
2016 Golf GTI Front Fascia. Photo: Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Most & Least Ticketed Subcompact

The Mini Cooper S, a relatively pricey but high-quality subcompact, ranks as the most ticketed here with 26.7% of owners receiving some sort of violation. Presumably only a small number of these tickets were for parking violations given how this car is famously adept at fitting into tight spots. The Mitsubishi Mirage, in production for over 15 years, sits at the bottom of the list with 12.5%.

Most & Least Ticketed SUV

Heading up the list of most ticketed SUV’s is the Mazda Tribute, in production for a decade between 2001-2011. The least ticketed was the Buick Encore which is still relatively new to the streets, having first been produced in 2013. The Buick Encore’s extremely low score of 3.2%, significantly lower than the next entry on the list (Cadillac Escalade at 8.1%), is difficult to explain, but its relative newness to the market may have something to do with it.

How does your vehicle rank? View the complete study from YourMechanic here and see more on the infographic below.

Vince Nero enjoys cars of all shapes and sizes, but he prefers Hondas. He has owned a CRV and a Fit, but his one true love will always be his 1993 red Honda Civic. He also dreams to test drive a Tesla.

Cover Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

  1. This article about the least and most ticketed cars shows that the type of car you drive also weighs in when you get pulled over for traffic violation. This definitely makes me think about the next car purchase.

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