2015 Subaru WRX STIEnlarge Photo
Are you a ticket magnet if you drive a Subaru WRX?
According to a new analysis by Insurance.com, you might be—or at the very least, you’ll be paying the price in insurance premiums for these models’ typically more risk-prone driver profile.
One third of all WRX drivers who applied for insurance had a traffic violation on their record; that’s significantly higher than the 19.9-percent average for drivers of all models.
It’s hardly surprising that several attractive, affordable sporty cars, including the WRX, the Scion FR-S, Scion tC are on this list, as well as some older high-performance used cars like the Toyota Supra and Pontiac GTO (the Pontiac G8 is further down the list as well).
In the real world, it’s not uncommon for patrolmen with speed guns to spend a little extra time clocking those who drive flashy sports cars or lowered performance models.
And, because insurance premiums are based on relative risk, it affects the rates paid by anyone who drives those models. Of course it’s the drivers that get the tickets, not the cars. But those who want to enjoy some of these performance cars responsibly will arguably pay a price.
While the insurance authority reported that speeding was the most common offense on drivers’ records, it’s clear by the list of vehicles that other violations, like red-light running or drunk driving, also color the driver profiles for some models. For instance the Toyota FJ Cruiser, in the top ten most ticket-prone, is a surprise to these editors as it’s a rather noisy vehicle inside, one in which you notice speed. And the Mercury Topaz, an odd car to have on the list, as it’s particularly slow and unreliable—and as probably the majority of them have been taken out of service now. But it stood out as having some particularly bad drivers, apparently.
Not just speed, but inexperience
“It’s not about horsepower,” said Des Toups, managing editor for Insurance.com. “The Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper and Nissan GT-R rank well below average for tickets even though they can easily double the highest speed limits. But those cars are also costly, so their buyers tend to be older and take fewer risks.”
Models more often driven by young or inexperienced drivers (like those of the Volkswagen Rabbit, Mazda2) were also included in the top ten. And popularity in urban environments probably has something to do with the hybrid Toyota Prius C and its 27-percent rate of moving violations for applicants.
The results are one of the more extensive we’ve seen in such an analysis, which includes quote information given to 557,238 drivers through the Insurance.com site from January 2013 through July 2014. Vehicles with 50 quotes or less were dropped from the list to eliminate outliers.
1. Subaru WRX (33.3%)
2. Pontiac GTO (32.7%)
3. Scion FR-S (32.6%)
4. Toyota Supra (30.8%)
5. Subaru Tribeca (29.7%)
6. Volkswagen Rabbit (29.8%)
7. Mercury Topaz (28.8%)
8. Scion tC (28.8%)
9. Toyota FJ Cruiser (28.4%)
10. Mazda2 (28.1%)