While going a couple of miles over the posted speed limit may seem like a harmless way to shave a few minutes off your commute, it can have serious consequences.
The police stop more than 20 million Americans each year for traffic violations. A 2021 survey of police officers found that 43% of stops stems from speeding, which means approximately 8.6 million Americans are receiving citations for speeding annually.
Not only do speeding tickets come with a fine, the size of which varies from state to state and depends on how fast you were going, they can also have a long-term effect on your insurance rates. Insurify found that the average monthly cost of insurance for a driver with a speeding ticket is $123, although it can go much higher than that depending on your driving profile.
Police and insurance companies come down hard on speeding for a very good reason: It’s dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of traffic fatalities in 2020, causing the deaths of 11,258 people.
While speeding is common, drivers of certain car brands seem to be guilty of this traffic offense more often than others. To identify the car brands with the most speeding tickets, the data science team at Insurify turned to their database of more than 4.6 million car insurance applications. See if your car brand made the list:
Infiniti was the No. 1 car brand cited for speeding, with 8.7% of drivers receiving a citation.
All 10 of the most-cited makes are foreign car brands, with five Japanese brands, three German brands, and two Korean brands.
Of the 10 most-cited models, the BMW i3 speeds the most overall, with 17.6% of its drivers having speeding citations on their record. The i3 is also the only model on the top 10 worst offenders list that isn’t a high-performance internal combustion engine sports car. It’s a fully electric car, unlike the others on this list.
The three brands that speed the least are Cadillac, with 5.4% of drivers cited, Tesla, with 5% of drivers cited, and Volvo, with 2.7% of drivers cited.
Car brands with the most speeding tickets
Insurify’s research finds that, on average, 7.1% of all drivers receive speeding citations. Every car brand on this list has more speeding citations than the national average.
Share of Hyundai drivers with a speeding violation: 7.4%
The worst offender: Hyundai Genesis Coupe (13.4% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Hyundai Santa FE XL (3.9% of drivers reported a citation)
Despite Hyundai discontinuing the Genesis Coupe after the 2016 model year, its drivers still manage to rack up an impressive number of speeding citations per year. This model was the manufacturer’s only sports car, and it offered a high level of performance — including up to 348 horsepower and a choice between an eight-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmission — all for just over $28,000.
For comparison, the best-behaved Hyundai model, the Santa Fe XL, is a three-row, seven-seat SUV with a maximum of 290 horsepower and six-speed automatic transmission. The Santa Fe XL trim was discontinued after the 2019 model year, although the two-row Santa Fe is still available.
Share of BMW drivers with a speeding violation: 7.4%
The worst offender: BMW i3 (17.6% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: BMW Z4 (4.5% of drivers reported a citation)
Despite being ranked ninth on this list overall, BMW holds the distinction of having the model with the highest rate of speeding violations — the BMW i3, with 17.6% of drivers reporting a speeding citation.
The i3, which was discontinued after the 2021 model year, was the German automaker’s first fully electric car. And though it offered a relatively modest 170 horsepower, reviewers and drivers found the i3 to be agile, quick, and fun to drive — which might explain why so many i3 drivers reported a speeding violation.
Share of Honda drivers with a speeding violation: 7.5%
The worst offender: Honda S2000 (10.8% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Honda CR-V (5% of drivers reported a citation)
There are some pretty clear differences between Honda’s worst offender, the S2000, and its best-behaved vehicle, the CR-V. The S2000 is a two-seater convertible with a powerful, race-car-inspired engine. Though it was only produced from 1999 to 2009, the Honda S2000 garnered a devoted following among car enthusiasts that continues to this day. In fact, used S2000s are currently selling for more than their original asking price.
The CR-V, on the other hand, is a compact crossover SUV whose initials stand for “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle.” This may explain why the median age of buyers for CR-Vs is 62, and their median annual income is nearly $95,000, according to a 2019 review by J.D. Power. Considering who each of these vehicles is likely to appeal to, it’s understandable why S2000 drivers report more than double the number of citations of CR-V drivers.
Share of Kia drivers with a speeding violation: 7.6%
The worst offender: Kia Stinger (13.4% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Kia Soul EV (5.0% of drivers reported a citation)
The Kia Stinger is a four-door hatchback that Car and Driver describes as “a wildly good sports sedan.” The Stinger base model offers 300 horsepower, and the 368-horsepower, twin-turbo V-6 option does 0 to 60 in less than 5 seconds — the first Kia vehicle to manage such a feat. Testing that timing may be what led to so many Stinger drivers receiving speeding tickets.
However, Kia drivers may be worried about something other than being pulled over. Because of a design flaw, Kia vehicles made between 2011 and 2021 are easy to steal, and a viral TikTok challenge encouraged viewers to exploit this flaw. Kia thefts have been rising across the country, starting with a precipitous increase in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee police reported 3,561 Kias stolen in 2021, 2,540 stolen in 2022, and 239 stolen between Jan. 1 and Feb. 13, 2023.
Kia has updated its software for all cars built in 2022 or later to fix the flaw, and any Kia driver with an older model will receive a free software update from the manufacturer, which is currently going through a phased release.
Share of Audi drivers with a speeding violation: 7.6%
The worst offender: Audi S4 (14.6% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Audi SQ5 (1.5% of drivers reported a citation)
Nearly 15% of Audi S4 drivers reported a speeding violation, so it’s clear this car doesn’t struggle to get up to speed. The car has a 349-horsepower engine, precise steering and cornering stability, and a reported 0 to 60 acceleration of 4.2 seconds, so drivers who want both sporty fun and luxury are going to be in heaven. Unfortunately, that may make them forget the posted speed limits.
Share of Mazda drivers with a speeding violation: 7.7%
The worst offender: Mazda MX-5 Miata (9.2% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Mazda5 (4.3% of drivers reported a citation)
For more than 30 years, the Mazda Miata has been offering a convertible sports car at an attainable price. This very snug two-seater comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission and boasts 181 horsepower, so it’s likely anyone getting behind the wheel is not just looking for a commuter car. Add together the low price tag, the lack of extensive storage space, and the fact that this little car can get from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds, and it’s clear that most Miata drivers are focused on performance, fun, and speed — hence their higher percentage of speeding citations.
Share of Subaru drivers with a speeding violation: 8%
The worst offender: Subaru WRX (13.6% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Subaru Ascent (1.9% of drivers reported a citation)
Subarus are often stereotyped as the preferred vehicle for outdoorsy, dog-owning nature lovers, making their appearance on this list a bit surprising. But in addition to making practical all-terrain vehicles that can carry your kayak, your friends, and Bandit the black lab, Subaru also makes performance-oriented vehicles focused on speed and handling.
The WRX, which stands for World Rally Experimental, was originally created for rally racing. This type of racing is done on closed public roads featuring tight turns and often slippery surfaces. In other words, the all-wheel drive WRX is an everyday driver that can also move like a rocket through whatever nature throws at it. Is it any wonder 13.6% of WRX drivers report getting a speeding ticket?
Share of Volkswagen drivers with a speeding violation: 8.3%
The worst offender: Volkswagen Golf GTI (11.1% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Volkswagen Touareg (4.8% of drivers reported a citation)
Described by Car and Driver as a “speedy box-on-wheels,” the Volkswagen Golf GTI has a 241-horsepower engine and can go from 0 to 60 in 5.1 seconds. More than 11% of Golf GTI drivers do put that engine (and acceleration) to the test, considering how many speeding tickets they receive.
Volkswagen Touareg drivers, in comparison, seem to value other aspects of their car. J.D. Power found that owners of this car appreciated things like storage space, ease of folding rear seats, rear visibility, and quietness of the vehicle interior. Such drivers are probably more focused on practicality than speed, providing one possible explanation for the lower percentage of speeding tickets.
Share of Scion drivers with a speeding violation: 8.4%
The worst offender: Scion FR-S (13.7% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Scion xA (4.3% of drivers reported a citation)
Though parent brand Toyota discontinued Scion after the 2017 model year, this brand is second on our list of speeding drivers. The worst offender in the Scion family is the FR-S, described by Car and Driver as “sports-car agility on a budget” with “excellent driving dynamics.”
Specifically, the FR-S has a 200-horsepower engine and comes in either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Perhaps most telling is the fact that FR-S owners told J.D. Power that they liked the compact, sporty car’s handling on curves and the sound of its engine — either of which may be enough of a temptation to pick up the pace past the speed limit.
Share of Infiniti drivers with a speeding violation: 8.7%
The worst offender: Infiniti G37 (10.7% of drivers reported a citation)
The best-behaved: Infiniti QX60 (5.2% of drivers reported a citation)
The car brand with the most speeding tickets is Infiniti, which may come as a surprise to anyone old enough to remember the first commercials for the brand, which featured the calming sound of water and no actual images of the cars.
But Infiniti makes powerful luxury vehicles with smooth rides that might mask your speed. The G37, Infiniti’s worst offender, offers an acceleration innovation called Acceleration Swell. J.D. Power describes this as “a progressive, seemingly limitless rush that builds the faster you push the 328-horsepower [engine].” Just be careful you don’t become so relaxed you lose track of how fast you’re driving.
To identify the car brands with the most speed-prone drivers, the data scientists at Insurify turned to their database of more than 4.6 million car insurance applications. When applying for car insurance, drivers disclose their vehicle make and model, as well as any citations, such as speeding tickets, they have on their driving record within the past seven years. For each vehicle brand, Insurify data scientists compared the number of drivers reporting a speeding ticket against the total number of drivers in the database to determine the share of drivers with a speeding ticket.
The car brands that boast the most speeding tickets may seem surprising at first glance, but a closer look at the worst offenders for each brand provides some answers. All 10 of the worst offenders are either high-performance sporty vehicles or beloved for how fun they are to drive. It may be that speeders are choosing zippy cars with powerful engines — rather than the cars tempting otherwise safe drivers to put the pedal to the metal.
No matter what kind of car you drive, remember that you’re not the only vehicle on the road. All drivers should respect posted speed limits — not only to protect themselves and their vehicles but also to keep others safe on the road. Your enjoyment of a powerful engine is less important than safety.