BMW drivers are most likely to be psychopaths, a new study reveals.

Conducted by Scrap Car Comparison tasked 2,000 car owners with completing a ‘Psychopath Test’. This defines positions on the psychopathy scale. Surprisingly, electric car owners were were also more likely to be a psychopath. Personalised number plates are also a good indicator.

The new study utilised a twelve-question survey. This is able to define how likely a person is to exhibit abnormal, anti-social behaviour. Ranked on a scale of zero (no psychopathy) to 36 (psychopathy likely) the average score across all participants was 6.6.

Wearing the badge

Scoring almost double the national average, BMW drivers are ranked highest on the psychopathy scale. They scored an average of 12.1 out of 36. Audi drivers were narrowly behind, scoring 11.7.

Owners of both of the German manufacturers models have long had a bad reputation. They are seen as temperamental out on the roads, and the findings suggest they are more likely to exhibit psychopathic traits. These can include superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, and a lack of remorse or guilt.

Fiat owners completed the podium as the third most likely drivers to be psychopaths.

However, on the other end of the scale, Skoda owners have the lowest possibility of being psychopaths. They scored an average of just 3.2 .


Psychopathic drivers top 10

Rank Car brand Average psychopathy score (/36)
1 BMW 12.1
2 Audi 11.7
3 Fiat 7.0
4 Mazda 6.4
5 Honda 6.3
6 Ford 6.1
7 Mercedes-Benz 5.9
8 Citroen 5.8
9 Volkswagen 5.4
10 Hyundai 5.3


Fuelling concerns

Additionally, researchers also analysed whether fuel type, car colour or even style of number plate could be an indicator.

The results reveal an average score of 16.0 out of 36 for electric car owners – the highest levels of psychopathic personality traits across the entire study.

Those who opt for gold as their car colour harbour higher psychopathic tendencies (12.7). Red scores the lowest (4.9).

Drivers who own a personalised number plate were more than double the levels of those who don’t. They score an average of 13.8 on the psychopathy test. This compares with 5.3 or those with standard plates.

Driver profiling

Dan Gick, Managing Director of Scrap Car Comparison says the world has a “fascination with psychopaths”. This is what inspired the research, especially with road rage potentially on the increase. “We were curious to discover whether there was any correlation between the car you drive and where you might sit on the psychopath scale”.

Gick admits the finding “back up some existing stereotypes of drivers who are unsafe on the road”. He adds: “It’s worth noting that none of the levels seen in our study were any cause for concern”. Though he does believe “it is a condition that should be taken seriously”. However, the number one priority is “ensuring that whether you drive a BMW or a Skoda, you’re staying safe while driving”.

Read the full findings here.