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Types Of Police Cars & Their Uses Across The Us & World

Types Of Police Cars & Their Uses Across The Us & World

Over the years, the Police have prioritized the capabilities and functional values of cars they use to fight crime. Robust police vehicles enable the officers to reach the desired location faster. Besides, high-performing vehicles deliver them a tactical advantage when they apprehend suspects and patrol the streets.

Currently, the manufacturers largely prioritize developing improved versions as well as new models to ensure reliable performance on heavy-duty use. Most of these vehicles have bigger bumpers, better cooling systems, stronger axles, and more performance benefits. When it comes to pursuing bank robbers and bandits, law enforcement officials get a strategic advantage. As the law enforcement market demands a constant supply of powerful automobiles, the brands have focused on developing dependable, rugged, and fast vehicles.

In this article, we have extensively discussed the different types of police cars. You will also get to know the most popular models that the law enforcement market currently has.

Types of police cars in 2022

Based on the use and capabilities of police cars, they come under the following categories.

1. Interceptor:

The Interceptor, or the ‘Police vehicle’ comes with a powerful engine. These cars habitually need to attain high speeds. Often, you will come across the term ‘response vehicle’ defining these cars. In case of an incident, interceptors are usually the first to reach the spot. Some of these vehicles have push bars protecting the front.

2. Patrol car:

These are the most basic vehicles that the law enforcement market has. They usually respond to calls while patrolling the streets. You will come across patrol cars primarily in the urban areas. These cars have sirens and light bars. You will find a clear demarcation on these cars, as ‘law enforcement vehicles’

3. Highway Patrol Vehicle:

As the name suggests, highway patrol vehicles ply along the highways and carry more engine power as compared to normal patrol cars. Besides, these cars need trained officials for handling. Usually, the law enforcement department uses highway patrol cars for apprehending speeding vehicles and controlling the traffic in general. You would generally find speed cameras integrated into these vehicles. These cars run at high speeds, as they need to catch evading vehicles that try to dodge the police. So, they need to kick into action quickly.

4. Trucks and SUVs:

SUVs and trucks are relatively new entrants in the law enforcement department when you think of urban areas. In the past, the department extensively used trucks and SUVs to patrol borders, or in the rural areas. Thanks to their powerful performance, the US police now use these vehicles in the urban zones as well. Besides delivering a stronger performance on road, they are comfortable and versatile. Besides, some pickup trucks and SUVs are as fast as a response or patrol cars. The basic reason for the law enforcement department to use them is that they can accommodate more equipment as compared to sedans. Besides, some automobile brands are delivering all-wheel drives for their models.

5. Specialty vehicle:

To tackle specific emergencies, the Police need specialty vehicles. These vehicles might have special integrations. Tow trucks and vans also come under this category of law enforcement vehicles.

6. Unmarked vehicle:

Sometimes, the Police might decide to go with unmarked devices to hide their identity or carry out surveillance. The models of unmarked vehicles might differ from the ones that the law enforcement department usually uses.

What is the most popular police car?

Based on the purpose and incident, the US police use several powerful models. Here are some of the popular police cars that you might find on the streets.

Dodge Charger Pursuit

When you think of the classic police cruiser in the US, you need to consider the Dodge Charger Pursuit. Among the domestic sedans, this police car deserves a mention. The brand has been producing these vehicles since 2007, and they come with V-8 engines. Most of the police officials working in the law enforcement department in the US prefer this car.

You will come across two versions of this car. Firstly, you have the 300-hp patrol car that comes with automatic transmission and an AWD system. When the driving conditions turn out to be challenging, or the environment is relatively colder, the Dodge Charger Pursuit turns out to be the right choice.

Besides, the manufacturer has come up with a 370-hp variation of this car. This car comes with a rear-wheel drive. When it comes to highway patrolling and chasing offenders, this car proves to be one of the best choices. They are popular since they are spacious, durable, fast, and stable. The brand has been responsible enough to integrate necessary enhancements in its pursuit cars. This explains why this car comes with heavy-duty suspension, brakes, and push bars. For better communication, the manufacturers have also designed a special electronic package.

Ford Police Interceptor

Ford has long been developing powerful cars for the US law enforcement department. If you remember, this brand used to develop the Crown Victoria cars that have been a part of the agency right from the 1980s. Later, the Taurus Interceptor replaced this car, which the brand sold till 2019. Even today, you will come across several of these models plying the US streets.

The Police department can choose between the all or front-wheel-drive. The well-engineered car looks modern. Besides, it has a V-6 engine (EcoBoost), and comes with 365-hp. Even though the Interceptor proved to be a reliable car for the Police, Ford decided to discontinue all the sedans. Rather, the brand wanted to focus more on trucks and SUVs. This implied that the Police would have to do away with the Taurus sooner or later.

The Interceptor is currently one of the best cars for the Police as it is based on the Explorer from the same brand, which proved to be dependable. Also, the brand has integrated several enhancements in the vehicle, including electronic equipment. The Police Interceptor is also available at 318-hp, where the cars have a hybrid powertrain.

Police cars sometimes don’t have much to do, and spend their hours idling. Therefore, devised the system in such a way that the machines remain operational without consuming much fuel. The law enforcement department can also integrate the Perimeter Alert System into the Ford Police Interceptor. This enables the officials to stay aware of potential threats around the car.

Ram 1500 Special Service

The Ram 1500 Special Services vehicles demonstrate how the manufacturer turned full-size pickup trucks into police cars. This is a powerful model with 395-hp, that carries more power than some other cars like the Charger Pursuit. Besides being a patrol car for the highways, it doubles up as a pursuit car, response car, or standard patrol car.

The Ram 1500 Special Service car offers a lot of space. The towing capacity of this model is pretty impressive, around 10,000 pounds. Moreover, it proves ideal for the law enforcement department as it can carry around 1,500 pounds as a payload. Being versatile, this car can serve a comprehensive range of purposes. Besides, the presence of an all-wheel drive system makes it ideal for the Police. Most importantly, the manufacturers have integrated special features into this car, including undercarriage protection and heavy-duty suspension. Law enforcement officials can use these vehicles both on regular and off-roads.

Ford F-150 SSV (Special Service Vehicle)

Besides being one of the most extensively sold vehicles in the US, the Ford-150 has proved to be an effective vehicle for the Police. It is a properly equipped and capable truck that offers plenty of customization room for its engines. All these trims come with at least 400 horsepower, which demonstrates their immense capacity.

Besides being a highway interceptor, this police car from Ford couples up as a patrol car. Besides, the officials can use the car as a traffic enforcement truck and even a first response vehicle. The Ford F-150 SSV offers the all-wheel drive feature. The components are heavy-duty, and the latest models offer plenty of electronic upgrades. Evidently, the Police have yet another versatile vehicle to deploy for multiple purposes.

Chevrolet Tahoe SSV and PPV

The Police department uses two different models of the Chevrolet Tahoe, the SSV, and the PPV. These SUVs are more robust, and the chassis is almost like a ladder. This adds more sturdiness, durability, and strength to the vehicle, compared to the unibody models.

The Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) serves the purposes of a highway patrol vehicle, pursuit car, or patrol car. It is available with all-wheel or rear-wheel drive systems.

The towing capacity looks pretty impressive, and the brakes are heavy-duty. This is a specialty vehicle that also serves the functions of a patrol car. When it comes to transporting special equipment or venturing off the roads, the Chevrolet Tahoe comes in handy.


Evidently, the Dodge Charger Pursuit tops all the police cars in America in terms of popularity. However, you also have other models that serve their respective purposes, as we discussed in this article. The law enforcement market has witnessed the penetration of some of the established automobile brands, such as the Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge. All these brands have their respective track records for launching dependable and durable vehicles that prove vital for the law enforcement department.