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What cars do cops pull over the least?

What cars do cops pull over the least?

Police officers on patrol look for a variety of traffic violations when deciding which cars to pull over. However, some models of vehicles tend to get stopped less frequently than others. There are a few key factors that contribute to a car being less likely to get pulled over.

Car Color

The color of a car plays a significant role in whether it grabs an officer’s attention. Bright colors like red or yellow are more eye-catching and make a vehicle stand out on the road. In contrast, cars in neutral colors like white, gray, black or silver blend in more easily. These muted shades don’t draw as much notice from police on patrol. As a result, vehicles in neutral, common colors are less likely to be pulled over for minor traffic violations.

A study by Quality Logo Products surveyed over 2,000 drivers and found white cars are pulled over the least, followed by gray, silver and black cars. On the other end of the spectrum, bright colors like yellow and red were stopped the most. The survey confirmed officers are less likely to notice neutral colored cars that don’t stand out while driving.

Least Pulled Over Car Colors

Rank Color
1 White
2 Gray
3 Silver
4 Black

Vehicle Type

The type of vehicle itself also influences likelihood of being pulled over. Large trucks, commercial vehicles and high-performance sports cars tend to grab an officer’s attention and draw more stops. On the other end, family vehicles and plain sedans are less conspicuous and less likely to be targeted for minor violations. Minivans, in particular, blend in easily with other traffic and have a reputation for rarely being pulled over.

A poll by Far & Wide Finance found minivans receive traffic citations at the lowest rate compared to other vehicle types. Only 13% of minivan drivers reported being pulled over in the past 5 years. Midsize and full-size sedans were also toward the bottom of the list. Flashier sports cars and heavy duty trucks topped the list for being pulled over most frequently.

Vehicle Types Pulled Over Least

Rank Vehicle Type
1 Minivan
2 Midsize Sedan
3 Full-size Sedan
4 Subcompact Car

Driving Behavior

Beyond the vehicle itself, an individual driver’s behavior influences their chances of getting pulled over. Officers look for driving maneuvers that could indicate impaired or reckless driving. Drivers who maintain the speed limit, use turn signals properly and avoid sudden acceleration or braking are less likely to stand out.

Safe driving habits like avoiding distractions, leaving plenty of distance between cars and staying in the right lanes can help avoid attracting attention from patrol officers. On the other hand, behaviors like speeding, swerving, tailgating and improper passing make a driver much more likely to be pulled over.

Driving Behaviors That Attract Police Attention

  • Speeding
  • Frequent lane changes
  • Tailgating
  • Erratic braking
  • Failure to signal turns
  • Swerving or weaving between lanes
  • Driving significantly under the speed limit

Vehicle Condition

The overall condition and maintenance of a car can also influence the chances of being targeted for a stop. Vehicles that appear poorly maintained or have equipment violations may raise an officer’s suspicion of other issues. Common vehicle defects that attract attention include:

  • Expired or missing license plates
  • Non-functioning lights
  • Cracked windshield
  • Bald tires
  • Heavily dented or rusted exterior
  • Smoke from exhaust
  • Excessively loud exhaust

Drivers should make sure to address any vehicle defects or equipment violations to avoid attracting unwanted attention from police on the road. Keeping a car well-maintained makes it less conspicuous during patrols.

Driver Demographics

Unfortunately, driver age, gender and ethnicity also play a role in likelihood of being pulled over. Statistics show some demographic groups are stopped at higher rates than others, even when controlling for differences in traffic law violations. This indicates implicit biases may affect officers’ decisions of which vehicles seem suspicious.

A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics examined drivers’ self-reports of being pulled over in the prior year. The results showed:

  • Men were pulled over at nearly twice the rate of women – 16% vs 9%.
  • Young drivers ages 16-24 were stopped the most, followed by ages 25-29.
  • Black (13%) and Hispanic (10%) drivers were stopped more often than white drivers (8%).

While individual officers may not be aware of these implicit biases, the data indicates profiling plays a subtle role in decisions of which cars to target. Demographic factors outside a driver’s control can unfairly impact their likelihood of getting pulled over.

Time of Day

Patrol patterns and officer shift changes also influence when police are most active in traffic enforcement. Due to staffing levels, late night and early morning hours often see fewer officers on traffic duty. As a result, drivers may be able to get away with more violations without getting stopped during these hours.

In comparison, rush hour times when roads are most congested tend to have heavier enforcement. Officers set up along major commuting routes to catch drivers stuck in traffic. Enforcement is also heavier during holiday weekends, festivals and major events when police aim to catch impaired drivers.

Analyzing trends in your local police department’s activity and citations can help determine when they are most active. While officers patrol all hours of the day, knowing peak enforcement times can help avoid attracting extra attention during those periods.

Times With Light Traffic Enforcement

  • Overnight 1am-5am
  • Weekday mornings 5am-7am
  • Mid-day 1pm-3pm on weekdays

Times With Heavy Traffic Enforcement

  • Weekday rush hour – Early morning and late afternoon
  • Friday and Saturday nights
  • Holiday weekends
  • Major events like concerts or sports

Out of State Plates

Vehicles with license plates from a different state tend to attract more attention from patrol officers. Out of state drivers are often presumed to be unfamiliar with local speed limits and traffic laws. Officers also know out of state drivers are less likely to contest a ticket or appear in court.

One study based on nationwide traffic stop data found vehicles with out of state plates were cited at 17% higher rates for speeding compared to in-state drivers. The disparity was especially high in densely populated areas like the northeast where crossing state borders is common.

Drivers passing through a state should be extra cautious about obeying traffic laws. Even minor violations are more likely to get noticed due to the out of state plates. The inconvenience of contesting a ticket from another state also makes officers more confident writing citations.

Vehicle Age

The age of a vehicle can also play a role in attracting officer’s attention during patrols. Older cars with more wear and tear are more likely to have equipment issues that violate vehicle codes. Problem areas like cracked windshields, missing reflectors and faulty taillights are more common on high mileage cars.

Of course, vehicles of any age can develop defects over time. But in general, older cars tend to exhibit more signs of deterioration that officers are trained to notice. Even if the defects are minor, once an officer spots an issue they are more likely to find additional reasons to pull the vehicle over.

Data analysis by insurance comparison site Insurify looked at vehicle age in over 1.6 million traffic stops. It found vehicles over 16 years old received citations at a rate 15% higher than newer cars less than 5 years old. So as vehicles age, drivers need to be extra diligent about maintenance and repair to avoid attracting extra attention.

Vehicle Modifications

Aftermarket modifications like tinted windows, loud exhausts and complex paint jobs increase a car’s eye-catching appearance. While modifications alone are not illegal, officers view extensively customized vehicles as more likely to be involved in street racing or reckless driving. Even if the car is perfectly legal, modifications result in attracting more scrutiny.

A study by Quality Logo Products found 45% of drivers with car modifications reported being pulled over in the past year, compared to just 8% of drivers with factory standard vehicles. So drivers looking to avoid traffic stops should keep vehicles looking as stock as possible.

Driving History

Technology improvements allow officers to quickly access a driver’s history during traffic stops. Multiple past citations, suspended licenses, or a history of more serious driving offenses will cause officers to look at a driver more closely.

Drivers with a clean recent history are much less likely to attract scrutiny. But drivers with checkered histories may be targeted for minor violations that would otherwise be ignored. A driver’s past record essentially puts them on an officer’s radar for increased stops.

Those with extensive citation or violation history can reduce attention by maintaining a clean record for 3-5 years. But realistically, drivers with multiple serious offenses will continue attracting extra scrutiny for years.


While any driver can be pulled over for a violation, certain cars attract less police attention during routine patrols. Vehicles that blend in through neutral colors, conservative designs and well-maintained conditions are less likely to be targeted for minor infractions. Likewise, driving carefully within the flow of traffic makes a car less conspicuous.

Drivers should avoid common behaviors that grab officer’s attention like speeding, aggressive driving and equipment defects. Choosing a well-maintained vehicle in a muted, common color is also advantageous. While demographics unfairly play a role, cautious driving and vehicle choice can reduce chances of being singled out on the road.