Most New York drivers have seen a black or solid color vehicle on the road and wondered if it was a police car. Unmarked cars are a tool utilized by many law enforcement agencies to catch traffic violators. While at a glance such vehicles may look like normal cars, most have some features that give their presence away.
As Complex points out, most cars driven by law enforcement do not have hubcaps. Since police vehicles are often driven roughly and are subject to a lot of wear and tear, hubcaps may become loose and cause a safety issue. They can also be expensive if they have to be replaced often. Therefore, many unmarked cars have only black rims.
While many new cars come equipped with a lot of technological gadgets, police cars in particular need a lot of equipment. Therefore, a lot of displays lighting up the dashboard or more than the usual number of antenna may be a giveaway. Because of this, some unmarked cars also have tinted windows in order to make it harder to see inside.
While unmarked cars do not have lights on their roofs, if a police officer wants to pull someone over they will need to have emergency lights. Therefore, some cars may have lights that are inside the vehicle or are recessed into outside parts of the car. According to USA Today, spotting lights on unmarked may be getting even more difficult as Ford is producing police cars with rear lights that are built in to their spoilers and front lights that are located in the visors.