2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

When it comes to driving, there are certain things drivers try to avoid when getting behind the wheel; getting in a car accident, causing another accident and of course, getting a ticket. But what if you knew that you were more likely to get a ticket based on the type of car you drive?

A recent study released by an insurance analytics company reveals that the top 10 most ticketed vehicles are predominately foreign-made cars, with the exception of the Pontiac Grand Prix. Three of the top 10 automobiles with the most violations were made by Mercedes-Benz; the SL-Class convertible steals the number one spot for most violations with four times the average amount of traffic violations. While on the opposite end of the scale, 6 of the 10 least ticketed cars were produced by U.S. manufacturer GM.

At first glance this would seem like an obvious correlation. Foreign-made cars are typically smaller, sportier and made to be driven fast while larger body styles tend to have technology suited for more cautionary driving.

Furthermore, the typical driver of a sports car is younger and more inexperienced on the road. More specifically, research data indicates that, the average age of the most-ticketed driver is 42, while the least-ticketed driver’s average age is 47.

“Spirited Vehicles” (vehicles with highest percentage of violations)
Make Model Body Style Violations* Average Age % Male
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Convertible 404% 53 41%
Toyota Camry-Solara Coupe 349% 50 39%
Scion TC Coupe 343% 30 39%
Hummer H2/H3 SUV 292% 46 73%
Scion XB Hatchback 270% 37 40%
Mercedes-Benz CLS-63 AMG Sedan 264% 46 58%
Acura Integra Coupe 185% 33 60%
Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan 182% 40 41%
Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Sedan 179% 47 44%
Volkswagen GTI Hatchback 178% 40 44%


Yet a closer look at the research suggests that it may not be the type of car that affects the number of traffic violations drivers incur, but how drivers are driving, based on what kind of car it is.

The least ticketed cars on the list were mostly either minivans or SUVs, which may indicate that drivers with more passengers are more cautious when they get behind the wheel and thus, less likely to get a traffic violation. Of the least-ticket vehicles that are not considered an SUV or minivan are the Chevrolet heavy-duty pickup truck, the Kia Spectra and the Saturn Aura Hybrid – all vehicles with clear needs for hauling equipment or passengers.

“Cautious Vehicles” (vehicles with lowest percentage of violations)
Make Model Body Style Violations* Average Age % Male
Buick Ranier SUVe 23% 61 71%
Mazda Tribute SUV 26% 36 29%
Chevrolet C/K-2500/3500 Pickup 26% 40 86%
Kia Spectra Sedan 27% 40 44%
Buick Lacrosse Sedan 32% 65 50%
Saturn Aura Hybrid Sedan 37% 59 14%
Oldsmobile Silhouette Minivan 37% 41 50%
Chevrolet Uplander Minivan 38% 40 54%
Hyundai Tucson SUV 38% 47 40%
Pontiac Vibe SUV 39% 41 32%


So, if you are interested in purchasing a Mercedes-Benz or any other small, sporty European car, it may not be the actual price that you need to re-think. Instead, thinking twice about how you handle that vehicle on the road could save you time and money through avoided traffic violations.

author photo

Marah Lidey is a lifestyle and entertainment writer who has written web content for media outlets like Current TV, Brightkite.com, and StudentofFortune.com. Marah is currently pursuing a degree in journalism at the University of Georgia with a focus in new media.

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