When you see folks pulled over for speeding or other moving violations, what kind of car are they driving? Does it seem as if some makes and models get ticketed more often than others?
If you answered "yes" to that second question, you're not seeing things. According to Insurance.com, some cars appear to be ticket magnets.
The company analyzed data from over 550,000 applications for insurance quotes. In the process, it noted which owners reported having moving violations on their driving records and which of 526 car models they drove. On the whole, 19.9 percent of motorists reported having a recent traffic ticket, but drivers of some cars scored much higher.
Owners of the Subaru WRX have the dubious honor of earning the most tickets, on average: 33.6 percent of them reported having a recent violation.
That's not just a useful tidbit of information; it can have a huge impact on insurance rates. A WRX owner with no infractions might pay an annual premium of $2,618 to $4,182, depending on where s/he lives. Add one speeding ticket to the mix, and that figure can skyrocket to $3,610 to $5,248.
Here's the list of the top ten most-ticketed cars and the percentage of owners with recent violations on their records:
1. Subaru WRX: 33.6%
2. Pontiac GTO: 32.7%
3. Scion FR-S: 32.6%
4. Toyota Supra: 30.8%
5. Subaru Tribeca: 29.7%
6. Volkswagen Rabbit: 29.6%
7. Mercury Topaz: 28.8%*
8. Scion tC: 28.8%
9. Toyota FJ Cruiser: 28.4%
10. Mazda Mazda2: 28.1%
Of course, the study raises as many question as it answers. For example, does the Subaru WRX get more tickets because it attracts reckless and/or youthful, inexperienced drivers? Or are cops more prone to keep an eye on (and pull over) WRX drivers than, say, drivers of the Porsche Cayman (which ranks #512 out of #526)?
That said, the data is out there, and insurance companies may consider it when calculating your rate, even if you don't have a ticket yourself. If you're planning to buy a new or used car, why not see how your favorite model stacks up? It could save you -- or cost you -- down the line.
* We're as shocked as you are.