There was a time when the term “used car” meant “clunker alert.” Now, that’s no longer the case. According to a report by CNBC nearly a third of new car buyers opt to lease their vehicle.
What that means for the used car market is that there’s a lot of well-maintained, pre-owned vehicles that can be had for a lot less money than if purchased new.
But price, aesthetics, and mileage aren’t the only factors you should consider when buying a car. Some cars are more prone to getting tickets, so taking into account the frequency of receiving citations might factor into your decision.
Cars that get the fewest number of tickets
The CNBC report referenced a 2016 Insurance.com survey that analyzed nearly 325,000 traffic violations committed by insured drivers. The drivers who were ticketed drove 331 different car models.
The cars that got the smallest number of tickets were:
10. Lexus IS 350
The Lexus IS 350 is an entry-level luxury sedan, with many features included in the standard model. Despite the satisfyingly loud rumble of the IS 350’s V6 engine, this car feels more like a luxury cruiser than a sports car - perhaps encouraging drivers to slow down and enjoy their ride instead of pushing the car to its limits, and getting pulled over.
9. Buick Encore
The Buick Encore, a crossover SUV, features excellent safety ratings and a good fuel economy. But, it’s also known for its mediocre performance, which could be part of why people who drive these SUVs don’t get speeding tickets.
8. Cadillac ATS
The Cadillac ATS is marketed by Cadillac as being a “sedan with the soul of a race car.” It boasts great handling, and is reportedly a fun car to drive. However, it has a relatively weak engine and its turbo - while it has good, loud sound - is inefficient. Drivers probably aren’t being stopped for reckless or fast driving in the Cadillac ATS due, in part, to this.
7. Acura ILX
A compact luxury sedan, the Acura ILX comes at the lower price range and it’s evident by the ride. The engine is not as powerful as those found in most other luxury sedans. The Acura ILX rides rough, and road noise can be louder than in other sedans. With a rough ride and an engine that may leave something to be desired, drivers won’t want to accelerate hard or drive fast.
6. Cadillac Escalade
The Cadillac Escalade was the first Cadillac model to make the jump into a younger and more trendy buyer demographic. The Escalade is a showy, full-sized SUV, with power under the hood and a striking road presence. However, the dynamic handling of the Cadillac Escalade could use improvement. This could be a reason why drivers of Escalades aren’t getting as many tickets - you don’t want to go fast if your vehicle’s handling is not up to your performance-driving standards.
5. Chevrolet Express
For forty years, the Chevrolet Express has been a go-to choice for many drivers of full-size passenger vans. It has a powerful engine, capable of hauling around fifteen passengers, and its handling is superior to its main competitor in the passenger van niche. So, why aren’t people being pulled over in the Chevrolet Express? Most likely, people who drive passenger vans aren’t looking to fulfill their race car driver fantasies on the road - they’re just conveying their precious cargo to their destination.
4. Audi A3
The Audi A3 family includes sedans, hatchbacks, and even a convertible model. The A3 in recent years has featured a push-button suspension change from “normal” to “sport” mode, and a 4-cylinder turbo engine that feels like a V6. It gets great fuel mileage, as well. However, due to the stop-sale beginning in 2015, the main reason that these cars don’t attract as many tickets in the 2016 study is likely that there are simply fewer of them on the roads.
3. GMC Savana
The Savana is another full-size passenger van option offered by GMC, but it is significantly less popular than the Chevy Express. It has powerful engine options, and is generally used as a fleet vehicle or a work van. Again, drivers of a full-size passenger van (or the gutted version for storing tools and equipment) are most likely not speeding down the highways and having a grand old time.
2. BMW 320i
The BMW 320i, a compact luxury sport sedan, is a great car for a smooth ride and responsive handling. It offers options for powerful engines, but unfortunately, many of the features are not available when purchasing the base model 320i. It has also been reported that the braking response is nothing to write home about. It could be that people who drive the BMW 320i get fewer tickets because they simply drive carefully!
1. Range Rover
Land Rover makes a highly regarded line of SUVs, crossovers, and off-road vehicles, including the luxury SUV model, Range Rover. The Range Rover has long been at the top of the list of luxury SUVs with off-road capabilities. Their price tag is so restrictive, however, that only drivers with some substantial funds in their bank accounts are on the road in these elegant but functional vehicles. Since not many people are able to afford a Range Rover, it makes sense that not as many people will get tickets in one.
Does car color matter?
Everyone knows that if you drive a red car you’re a ticket waiting to happen, right? That’s a nice theory, but the facts don’t support it. Radar guns are colorblind, so the idea that red cars attract more attention is fiction (well, as far as radar guns go).
Someone might argue that cops who don’t use radar guns tend have it out for red cars - that’s anecdotal. The police will tell you that sports cars very often come in red (especially those of the high end variety), and their owners tend to drive fast. That’s, in part, why you see red cars alongside the road.
Want to take a guess as to which color car is most likely to be pulled over? If you guessed any color but white, you’d be wrong. There isn’t any empirical evidence that can explain why white would be attractive to the police ticket books, other than white is one of the five most popular colors for cars.
In other words, there’s a lot of white cars roaming around out there so the law of averages applies.
Other than white and red, the other three colors that made the top five most ticketed list are black, grey, and silver. And they’re also on the most popular color list.
While this list is an interesting look into the statistics of how ticket quantities match up with car make and model, and car color, it’s important to remember that the driver gets the ticket - not the car. Don’t go out and buy a Range Rover just so you can drive fast without being pulled over!
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