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Ranked: Best and Worst Cities To Drive In

Source: WalletHub

Best & Worst Cities To Drive In

Most Americans rely on cars to get around. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, “87 percent of daily trips take place in personal vehicles.” And even with growing access to public transportation in U.S. cities, most people still choose to travel by car, mainly for reasons such as “comfort and reliability.”

In truth, however, driving is often a major hassle and expense. Drivers annually spend an average of 200 hours on the road, plus another 41 hours in gridlock. For a full-time worker, that’s the equivalent of a six-week vacation. Add the costs of wasted time and fuel due to traffic congestions, and our collective tab comes to about $124 billion annually, or $1,700 per household. That figure doesn’t even include the additional $515 expense for maintenance and repairs, which many of us are likely to spend given the poor quality of America’s roads — currently ranking No. 14 out of 140 economically developed nations, according to the World Economic Forum, and graded “D” by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

But some cities are better for those behind the wheel. To determine those places, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 25 key indicators of driver-friendliness. Our data set ranges from average gas prices to average annual hours of traffic delays to auto-repair shops per capita. Read on for our findings, tips and insight from a panel of experts, and a full description of our methodology.

Overall Rank
(1 = Best)
CityTotal Score‘Cost of Ownership & Maintenance’ Rank‘Traffic & Infrastructure’ Rank‘Safety’ Rank‘Access to Vehicles & Maintenance’ Rank
1Corpus Christi, TX69.7671972
2Gilbert, AZ66.41342196
3Greensboro, NC66.282182938
4Mesa, AZ65.89305748
5El Paso, TX65.742121262
6Laredo, TX64.2515203100
7Winston-Salem, NC64.07494882
8Plano, TX63.893629542
9Scottsdale, AZ63.8727141345
10Raleigh, NC63.723264441
11Chandler, AZ63.45476492
12Lexington-Fayette, KY62.638272094
13Durham, NC62.395382888
14Virginia Beach, VA62.3110571567
15Jacksonville, FL61.4822135928
16Wichita, KS61.0317174286
17Boise, ID60.9928192775
18Fort Wayne, IN60.7912521978
19Lincoln, NE60.7832311484
20Arlington, TX60.7735343620
21Fort Worth, TX60.4939393517
22Las Vegas, NV60.427016515
23Chesapeake, VA60.386511893
24Charlotte, NC60.2316444726
25Lubbock, TX60.1119125070
26Orlando, FL59.973830843
27Norfolk, VA59.961544680
28Tampa, FL59.955145554
29Tucson, AZ59.592347725
30Nashville, TN59.2143254049
31Irving, TX58.8953462135
32Garland, TX58.5858243433
33Phoenix, AZ58.5337416319
34Oklahoma City, OK58.0352473027
35Birmingham, AL57.9811159721
36San Antonio, TX57.4133596911
37Buffalo, NY57.299704563
38Toledo, OH56.9513437481
39Chula Vista, CA56.088871087
40Henderson, NV56.0487101176
41Austin, TX55.8948656015
42Baton Rouge, LA55.6555553943
43Columbus, OH55.5414617831
44Colorado Springs, CO55.0050722661
45Irvine, CA54.968340669
46Memphis, TN54.9026358153
47Indianapolis, IN54.8020508524
48Jersey City, NJ54.6924961655
49Dallas, TX54.364474768
50Houston, TX54.335981752
51Cincinnati, OH54.2718569216
52Omaha, NE54.2542675753
53Tulsa, OK53.6861377351
54Louisville, KY53.6260586436
55St. Petersburg, FL53.6131368258
56Reno, NV53.5269493268
57Madison, WI53.5063751283
58Fresno, CA53.4480224160
59Bakersfield, CA53.398186744
60Glendale, AZ52.925637989
61Riverside, CA52.9076333737
62North Las Vegas, NV52.8379113198
63Kansas City, MO52.7125538364
64Portland, OR52.5249764322
65St. Paul, MN52.5245716659
66Sacramento, CA52.0377605613
67Hialeah, FL51.8572643365
68Albuquerque, NM51.7229429547
69San Diego, CA51.5590692312
70Atlanta, GA51.274177937
71Anchorage, AK51.2654832599
72Aurora, CO50.6962872290
73Stockton, CA50.5871287291
74Anaheim, CA49.8296323846
75Fremont, CA49.7497621774
76Minneapolis, MN49.4764825250
77New Orleans, LA49.3575485895
78New York, NY48.00849986
79Cleveland, OH47.9457788823
80Pittsburgh, PA47.9167847018
81Santa Ana, CA47.6582686230
82St. Louis, MO46.8940631009
83Miami, FL46.857488861
84Denver, CO46.6865896134
85Long Beach, CA46.4591665439
86Milwaukee, WI45.1966798752
87San Jose, CA45.1894734956
88Chicago, IL43.9386982414
89San Bernardino, CA43.8085238979
90Newark, NJ42.2746949940
91Los Angeles, CA42.1699906510
92Baltimore, MD40.8368859666
93Philadelphia, PA40.1493868029
94Honolulu, HI38.7792926885
95Boston, MA38.34781005397
96Seattle, WA37.6595957157
97Washington, DC36.8573979171
98Detroit, MI36.4289919432
99Oakland, CA36.3798809073
100San Francisco, CA29.46100939877
Lowest Annual Hours Spent in Congestion per Auto Commuter

  1. Greensboro, NC
  2. Wichita, KS
  3. Corpus Christi, TX
  4. Lincoln, NE
  5. Fort Wayne, IN
Highest Annual Hours Spent in Congestion per Auto Commuter

  1. Miami, FL
  2. Atlanta, GA
  3. San Francisco, CA
  4. New York, NY
  5. Washington, DC

Fewest Days with Precipitation

  1. Las Vegas, NV
  2. Henderson, NV
  3. North Las Vegas, NV
  4. Long Beach, CA
  5. Anaheim, CA
Most Days with Precipitation

  1. Portland, OR
  2. Pittsburgh, PA
  3. Seattle, WA
  4. Cleveland, OH
  5. Buffalo, NY

Lowest Accident Likelihood in City vs. National Avg.

  1. Madison, WI
  2. Boise, ID
  3. Laredo, TX
  4. Wichita, KS
  5. Mesa, AZ
Highest Accident Likelihood in City vs. National Avg.

  1. Philadelphia, PA
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Boston, MA
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Baltimore, MD

Lowest Car – Theft Rate

  1. Gilbert, AZ
  2. Irvine, CA
  3. Scottsdale, AZ
  4. New York, NY
  5. Virginia Beach, VA
Highest Car – Theft Rate

  1. Albuquerque, NM
  2. St. Louis, MO
  3. Milwaukee, WI
  4. San Bernardino, CA
  5. Oakland, CA

Most Auto-Repair Shops per Capita

  1. Las Vegas, NV
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. New York, NY
  4. Miami, FL
  5. Houston, TX
Fewest Auto-Repair Shops per Capita

  1. New Orleans, LA
  2. Gilbert, AZ
  3. Laredo, TX
  4. Irvine, CA
  5. Boston, MA

Most Car Washes per Capita

  1. Las Vegas, NV
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Miami, FL
  4. Atlanta, GA
  5. Los Angeles, CA
Fewest Car Washes per Capita

  1. Jersey City, NJ
  2. San Bernardino, CA
  3. Laredo, TX
  4. Garland, TX
  5. Boston, MA

Lowest Avg. Gas Prices

  1. Tulsa, OK
  2. Oklahoma City, OK
  3. Lubbock, TX
  4. Birmingham, AL
  5. Wichita, KS
Highest Avg. Gas Prices

  1. Reno, NV
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Fremont, CA
  4. Oakland, CA
  5. San Francisco, CA

Lowest Auto-Maintenance Costs

  1. Portland, OR
  2. Laredo, TX
  3. Greensboro, NC
  4. San Antonio, TX
  5. Buffalo, NY
Highest Auto-Maintenance Costs

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Boston, MA
  3. New Orleans, LA
  4. Honolulu, HI
  5. New York, NY

Lowest Parking Rates

  1. Winston-Salem, NC
  2. Fort Wayne, IN
  3. Norfolk, VA
  4. Greensboro, NC
  5. Wichita, KS
Highest Parking Rates

  1. Philadelphia, PA
  2. Washington, DC
  3. New York, NY
  4. Chicago, IL
  5. Boston, MA


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