Mercedes Drivers Are The Most Ticketed; GM Drivers The Least

A new study by an insurance industry analytics service reveals the vehicles with the highest and lowest percentages of traffic violations. Of the top 10 automobiles with the most violations, three of them were made by Mercedes-Benz. On the opposite end of the scale, 6 of the 10 least ticketed cars were GM models.

The study by Quality Planning determined each vehicle’s number of moving violations per 100,000 miles driven.

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Convertible had the highest percentage of violations, racking up more than four times the number of tickets than the average automobile. Two other Mercedes vehicles — the CLS-63 AMG and CLK 63 AMG — also made the top 10 list with 264% and 179% the average number of violations.

While there was only one Toyota brand vehicle — the Camry-Solara (349% the average) — on the list, the car maker is also responsible for the two Scion models in the top 10.

Only one car from a U.S.-based car company made the most violations list — the Pontiac Grand Prix, with 182% the average number of violations.

Meanwhile, GM essentially owns the list of cars with the fewest violations. Between Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac, the car maker accounts for 60% of that top 10 list.

The car with the lowest percentage of violations was the Buick Rainier, with only 23% the average number of violations. The Rainier also had the second-oldest average driver age (61) on that list. The vehicle with the oldest average age of the driver was the Buick Lacrosse at 65 years old.

1. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Convertible (404% of average)
2. Toyota Camry-Solara (349%)
3. Scion TC (343%)
4. Hummer H2/H3 (292%)
5. Scion XB (270%)
6. Mercedes-Benz CLS-63 AMG (264%)
7. Acura Integra (185%)
8. Pontiac Grand Prix (182%)
9. Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG (179%)
10. Volkswagen GTI (178%)

1. Buick Rainier (23% of average)
2. Mazda Tribute (26%)
3. Chevrolet C/K- 3500/2500 (26%)
4. Kia Spectra (27%)
5. Buick Lacrosse (32%)
6. Saturn Aura Hybrid (37%)
7. Oldsmobile Silhouette (37%)
8. Chevrolet Uplander (38%)
9. Hyundai Tucson (38%)
10. Pontiac Vibe (39%)

Auto Insurance Analysis: Does What We Drive Affect How We Drive []


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  1. agent 47 says:

    So…this begs the question…are Mercedes owners (ie rich people) bad drivers or do their cars attract more fuzz attention?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The Mercedes M class (SUV) isn’t on the list, so I think it has to be because the cars get more attention because they look sportier.

    • DoktorGoku says:
      • OnePumpChump says:

        That isn’t a point of grammar. In fact, if you look at the phrase grammatically, looking at the words and how they relate to one another, you’ll come up with the “wrong” meaning. That probably goes a long way to explaining the traction that the “wrong” use has.

        That “misuse” of the phrase does not bother me, because it was such a colossally shitty name for the fallacy it “correctly” represents.

    • NashuaConsumerist says:

      … or to the just have the ability to go really fast and the drivers tend to do that. The vehicles on the low violation list happen to be big SUVs or underpowered cars that most likely would be sputtering down the slow lane…

      • goodfellow_puck says:

        …”underpowered” what? Any of those cars can, and do, speed.

        • NashuaConsumerist says:

          Line up a KIA Spectra next to any Benz AMG and see which one tops 130+ and which one can maybe maybe 80 mph downhill with a wind at it’s back….

          • vision646 says:

            I own a Kia Spectra and it could probably do 130 if you wanted to. I drive 85 on the freeway all the time with no problems.

          • Willnet says:

            I drive a ford ranger and still speed irresponsibly. Its not really the vehicle that matters, its the insane person behind the wheel.

      • Sky75 says:

        If that were true you’d see my Dodge Charger (or the Challenger) on that list.

      • nbs2 says:

        I’d be curious to know what the previously driven vehicle of those drivers was, and the current time of ownership. While visiting my parents a few months back, I had to take some stuff to them. That meant driving their 3-series. The amount of work and the ease of driving in comparison to my Civic was astounding. My car does fine, but their BMW had me at 85 before I even realized I was speeding.

        Point being, if the drivers were new to their vehicles, I might understand higher rates of speeding in the more powerful/lower weight vehicles.

        • AustinTXProgrammer says:

          The day I bought my BMW M3 I was on my way home and my wife was driving the minivan. I had to go through the cash toll lanes while my wife went through the express lanes… I decided to catch up and hit 115 before I realized how fast I was going…

          • layton59 says:

            Was that really you? All I saw was a blur fly by and all the paint was sucked off of my car on the passed side..

    • kc2idf says:

      . . . or are they arrogant drivers?

      (also, it doesn’t beg the question . . . that’s a logical fallacy. It prompts the question)

    • FrugalFreak says:

      They make more money, so the paltry fine is no deterrence to them. They feel they can just do as they please because they are better.

    • Dover says:

      Or the cars attract people who are more likely to speed.

      • absentmindedjwc says:

        Guilty, I drive like an ass and don’t really care about the fine. (I drive a Audi TTS, not on the list, but there isnt all that many of them in the states.)

    • Bremma says:

      More like they tend to drive like asses. I think me and my BF more than half of the Mercedes on the road this weekend driving aggressively or stupidly, including one almost hitting another car by cutting across 2 lanes of heavy traffic near a light and off ramp and not watching for cars in the far lane.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Part of it is the perception of the vehicles, whether the perception is that they’re “fast” cars or the people who drive them are prone to speeding. Part of it is also that Buicks are most often associated with the 60 and over crowd, and the perception is often that these “old folks” are prone to driving at the pace even turtles would consider to be slow.

    As an aside…Oldsmobile Silhouette, a Chevrolet Uplander, and a Chevrolet C/K? I’ve never heard of any of these cars.

    • Battlehork says:

      The C/K is the old name for the Silverado pickup. The other two are minivans (and clones of one another).

    • cynical_reincarnation says:

      My Buick seems like an old people car, but its comfortable, reliable, and has good features. All of which are legal on the road. 500 horsepower doing 130mph, not so much…

    • tbax929 says:

      You’re probably not into American cars or minivans. I’ve heard of them.

      I think it has more to do with the types of people who are attracted to buying Mercedes. There’s an arrogance that comes with having that much disposable income. I’m not surprised that some of them drive like asshats and get lots of tickets.

    • agraham999 says:

      I’ve seen a lot of old folks and young folks driving Kia’s and GM’s and whatnot…and speeding like crazy. I had a Geo Storm fly by me yesterday on the highway. I have an SLK and a Porsche Cayenne…both very fast cars…and I haven’t had a moving violation in 20 years.

      I think that some of this is likely due to targeting certain cars as well…I regularly see cars of all makes going much faster than I do…I rarely go 10mph over the limit…but I do love having that 6 speed Kompressor when I need to pass.

      I also wonder how much of this is skewed because of how many of these cars are on the road. For example, Porsche only sold 20,000 cars last year…and don’t tell me those folks don’t have a bit of a heavy foot…and yet Mercedes…tons of those on the road.

      Mustangs and whatnot I always see racing.

  3. Battlehork says:

    The police assume you’re “fast and furious” if you’re driving something like a tC or Integra. Apparently if you want to speed, drive an SUV or a minivan.

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    rich ppl probably don’t care about the tickets.

    • jason in boston says:

      This is very true. Rich people can afford to take the ticket and hit on insurance. For some Venture Capital execs I know, speeding actually makes them money in the long run if they can get to more face to face meetings. One even learned how to fly just so that he could land in smaller airports.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      They should, enough tickets in a points state and bye bye DL.

  5. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Reasons for cars being in the HIGH violations list? OWNERS of these vehicles tend to have big egos and deep pockets…

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Cause Scion tC screams trust fund.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        Sorry I forgot to add the third reason, Ineperienced young drivers with poor taste who own ugly cars.

    • Preyfar says:

      I’d beg to differ that bigger cars are much easier to spot speed. It’s much more of a visible target to peg. If you’re a cop with a quota, it’s easier to land the big fish who are visible and easy to spot.

  6. shepd says:

    I’m assuming they are only counting moving violations. In that case, it makes perfect sense!

  7. qwickone says:

    For some of them, could it be that cops assume that people that drive certain cars are jerks or can afford it and pull them over more often? I’m not saying they weren’t speeding, but maybe if given a choice between a Mercedes and a Pontiac, if both are speeding, will the cop pull over the Merc?

  8. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Is it me, or do the top 10 cars just scream, “pop ya collar…AWESOME!!11” douchebag at me?

  9. The cake is a lie! says:

    1. Buick Rainier (23% of average)
    2. Mazda Tribute (26%)
    3. Chevrolet C/K- 3500/2500 (26%)
    4. Kia Spectra (27%)
    5. Buick Lacrosse (32%)
    6. Saturn Aura Hybrid (37%)
    7. Oldsmobile Silhouette (37%)
    8. Chevrolet Uplander (38%)
    9. Hyundai Tucson (38%)
    10. Pontiac Vibe (39%)

    Considering I’ve never seen one of those vehicles actually GOING the speed limit, I would agree with that list. I’m actually surprised there aren’t more mini vans on the list. One would think that someone driving around with a vehicle full of kids would drive a little slower. I know I drive better in the Odyssey than I do in the Ferrari…er… I mean Corolla.

  10. savashley says:

    Wow my boyfriend is definitely the opposite of this list..he drives a GTI and has only gotten one ticket in almost 10 years of driving, and it was because he didn’t have on his seatbelt, not because he was speeding. However he definitely does love to speed.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      My boyfriend had what he called a “sleeper” GTI.
      Looked stock on the outside, but it was a turbo-charged, sport-suspension, microchipped hell-machine. The only time he got a ticket was because the Cop felt he was going too fast for the road conditions- it was raining.

  11. KyBash says:

    Oldsmobiles were practically get-out-of-jail free cards — cops were likely to give you the benefit of the doubt if you’re driving a respectable family car.

    Many years ago, a friend of mine were both pulled over for speeding (we started at a traffic light, and while he beat me off the line, two miles down the road he was eating my dust). I got a warning ticket; he lost points and had to pay a hefty fine. A few days later I saw the cop in a bar. I bought him a drink and asked him why the difference. His reply: I was in a family 4-door sedan and my friend was in a two-door that was jacked up, plastered with stickers, and had a radar detector on the dash.

    He figured I might be blowing off some steam, but my friend was obviously a speeder at heart.

  12. ap0 says:

    Well, Volvos don’t appear to be on the most or least ticketed lists, but cops never seem to look twice at me when I cruise by over the speed limit.

  13. AngryK9 says:

    That is because most of the people that drive Mercs are the Starbucks swilling cellphone addicted rich idiots who think that the rules of the road do not apply to them, simply because they have a bit of money, whereas most that drive GM vehicles are people who actually have to work for a living who have incomes that barely make ends meet.

    Yeah, just my opinion. That sums it up around my neck of the woods at any rate.

    • Mike says:

      As a Mercedes owner I take SERIOUS issue with your comment. I DO NOT go to Starbucks. I only go to locally owned coffee roasters with wifi. That way I can have freshly roasted coffee while I talk on my cell phone and type on my laptop.

      And of course the law doesn’t apply to me. I am a douchebag who drives a Mercedes with a nice big law school sticker on the back from my wife’s law school. If a cop pulls me over they know that there is some self-entitled prick in the car who is not worth dealing with.

      No seriously I am a rich idiot. OK, I’m by no means rich. But my Benz does have a law school sticker on it. And I bought it used and do most of my own repairs, so you would never know that I have an astronomical amount of miles on it.

    • sopmodm14 says:

      i disagree

      most luxury car owners pamper their vehicles and won’t drive it recklessly…they want to keep it mint

      muscle cars are built for speed, but they dont get tickets in USA…domestic brand

      my college roommate zooms by me everywhere in his mustang, and i have a german compact, yet i have more tickets than he does….i got a quota one for 11 and 12 over, and my friend was going 15 over, and nothing. and b/c i lost the quick taco bell and denny’s run, i had to pay the bill

    • El_Red says:

      I have to disagree. I’ve noticed that expensive cars are driven 30% of time by polite good drivers. Other 70% are definite douche-bags.

      However taxis are the worst drivers out there. 99% of bad/rude drivers out there.

    • agraham999 says:

      Wow…you must really hate me…I have a Mercedes and a Porsche. I don’t go to Starbucks though. I haven’t had a moving violation in 20 years so I guess I do think the rules of the road applied to me…and I’m not one of those jerks I see in GMs or whatever talking on their cell phones and texting while they should be driving. I’m also not one of those jerks in Mustangs and big trucks who always want to race me at every single red light. Generally I ignore them but on occasion I’ll embarrass them off the line.

      I also grew up on a farm, my first cars were American (Buicks and Chryslers)…so I get the value of a dollar since I didn’t have a penny in those days.

      I buy these cars because they are hands down some of the best engineered, best built, most reliable, and safest cars on the planet…no corners cut…no cheap plastic…and I expect to get 200,000 miles out of them. It isn’t about being rich…it is about appreciating a well engineered product and a good value.

      Your anger is pretty silly and misdirected…and if you spent 30 minutes driving either of my cars you’d be hooked yourself.

      And both of my cars…used. I’ll leave it up to the Starbucks drinking, cellphone addicted, rich idiots to take the 20% hit on it off the new car lot.

  14. Mike says:

    All people who drive Mercedes are douchebags. I can say this with authority because I own one myself. Although I have not had a ticket in at least ten years.

    Hummer making the list doesn’t surprise me, again it is another car owned primarily by assholes. I read a really interesting article about it here:

    Acura Integra making the list does not surprise me at all. That is probably the most popular car to ‘mod’ and those are the guys who drive around town like they are an Asian Vin Diesel in a bad action movie. I should know, I own a tricked out Subaru WRX with all kinds of racing stickers, I can keep up with any fellow douchebag no problem.

    The Solara kind of surprised me being so high. It is a fine car but when I drive one I am never really tempted to drive like it is a sports car of any kind. When I was in the car business the majority of these I saw sold went to older people.

    The TC is not surprising, lots of young people drive there. It is a good looking affordable coupe, and these people tend to drive more quickly, despite the fact that the TC is not really all that powerful of a car. But it is decent enough to drive that I can understand how it got on the list.

    The Scion XB? You can get a toaster to move that fast? Seriously, that car looks like a toaster:

    The GTI- if you’re not getting ticketed often in the GTI you’re driving it wrong. Seriously those cars are fun to drive and handle great at speed.

    That list of the least ticketed cars is a whole bunch of car fail in my humble opinion. I always tell people you should buy a car that you are genuinely excited to drive. Actually the Buicks are better cars than people give them credit for, but no one who was born After the Nixon administration owns a Buick.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      The Integra being on the list is actually pretty cool considering they stopped making them nearly ten years ago. The 2001 was the last model year of the Integra. So a 10+ year old Integra is still capable of speeding. :) That is just nice to know. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

      • Mike says:

        Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Acura Integra Type-R is still one of my favorite cars to drive. It is the best example of an affordable hot hatch for that time period. I still keep my eyes out for those and the Honda Prelude SH for my next project car.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      But my dream car is a Buick….

      Who wouldn’t want a 1984 Buick Regal Grand National? And I bet they get a crapload of tickets too.

      • Mike says:

        LOL, I saw a supercharged black one for sale near my house a few months ago. The number of tires I would go through with a car like that would be epic. I would mod that car until it was impossible to accelerate without popping a wheelie.

  15. ElizabethD says:

    I’m in my late 50s and have never (knock on wood) had a moving violation of any kind. I’ve been pulled over twice: once at age 20 by a state trooper on the interstate for speeding, but he gave me a warning not a ticket; and once a few years ago for a “rolling stop” in a residential neighborhood by a grouchy local cop (gave me a lecture; no ticket).

    Oh — my car is a Hyundai Tucson, so that checks out.

    • tbax929 says:

      I get pulled over maybe once every couple of years, but I never get written a ticket. I’m polite to the officer and they run my license, see no violations, and just warn me to slow down.

      I wonder what attitude someone in a few of those highly-ticketed cars has toward the officer. If you’re a douche, you’re getting a ticket.

  16. Blueskylaw says:

    I’ve had my CL500 for almost two years now and no tickets yet, though the things I did when I first got it would most likely have landed me in jail had I been caught.

  17. richcreamerybutter says:

    This would at least be consistent with their latest campaign in which Meredes drivers describe their close calls. When I first saw these commercials I thought, “why are Mercedes drivers so damn careless?!”

  18. sopmodm14 says:

    either those brands are slow as spit or LEO’s don’t pull over domestic brands

  19. IThinkThereforeIAm says:

    Don’t you just love the classless American society?
    Where everyone can achieve anything without being pulled down by the envious masses?

  20. gedster314 says:

    Maybe the results would be different if tickets were based on a certain percentage of your income. Do you honestly think a Ferrari owner worries about a $500 ticket? I guarantee that a Kia feels more pain a ticket then a Mercedes owner.

  21. samonela says:

    What’s a Pontiac?

  22. MoreThanWYSIWYG says:

    Well yeah, per 100,000 miles… Does a GM last that long?

  23. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I’m surprised BMW isn’t on that list. Maybe we just quickly learn to slow down where the cops hide and speed back up otherwise.

  24. TPA says:

    WTF. No Lincoln Town Car / Mercury Grand Marquis / Cadillac sedans?!? Oh wait, those blue-hairs never even come close to the speed limit, let alone exceed it.

    One thing neglected by the story are the abilities of the cars. Not that I’d want to risk my life doing 100+mph in a Scion, but in the German cars that’s barely moving. The car & suspension are designed to handle those speeds (and crashes at those speeds.)

    Also, did anyone actually READ the story? The vast majority of offenders are WOMEN. This completely neglects the number of women who cry/flirt their way out of a ticket.

  25. nautox says:

    Mustang’s not on the list… at all?

  26. agraham999 says:

    The top speed of your spectra is 115…the top speed of my SLK is 168.

  27. el-brazo-onofre says:

    The majority of times I see asshole moves on the freeway, it’s a Mercedes.

  28. physics2010 says:

    I responded to this on another site, but bears repeating. This information was gleaned from data available to insurance companies, which means that tickets dismissed for defensive driving courses etc were probably not included. This does correlate to the deeper pockets not caring, but it also means that even if all vehicles were pulled over equally that the owners that felt it worth their time to take the defensive driving, or confident they could keep within the probation of deferred adjudication would appear to be ticketed less.

  29. endless says:

    i think AMG is to blame for this.

    they do a good job…

  30. webweazel says:

    As the old joke goes:
    What’s the difference between a Mercedes and a porcupine?
    On a porcupine, the pricks are on the outside.