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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)
City Total Score ‘Cost of Ownership & Maintenance’ Rank ‘Traffic & Infrastructure’ Rank ‘Safety’ Rank ‘Access to Vehicles & Maintenance’ Rank
1 Corpus Christi, TX 69.76 7 1 9 72
2 Gilbert, AZ 66.41 34 2 1 96
3 Greensboro, NC 66.28 2 18 29 38
4 Mesa, AZ 65.89 30 5 7 48
5 El Paso, TX 65.74 21 21 2 62
6 Laredo, TX 64.25 15 20 3 100
7 Winston-Salem, NC 64.07 4 9 48 82
8 Plano, TX 63.89 36 29 5 42
9 Scottsdale, AZ 63.87 27 14 13 45
10 Raleigh, NC 63.72 3 26 44 41
11 Chandler, AZ 63.45 47 6 4 92
12 Lexington-Fayette, KY 62.63 8 27 20 94
13 Durham, NC 62.39 5 38 28 88
14 Virginia Beach, VA 62.31 10 57 15 67
15 Jacksonville, FL 61.48 22 13 59 28
16 Wichita, KS 61.03 17 17 42 86
17 Boise, ID 60.99 28 19 27 75
18 Fort Wayne, IN 60.79 12 52 19 78
19 Lincoln, NE 60.78 32 31 14 84
20 Arlington, TX 60.77 35 34 36 20
21 Fort Worth, TX 60.49 39 39 35 17
22 Las Vegas, NV 60.42 70 16 51 5
23 Chesapeake, VA 60.38 6 51 18 93
24 Charlotte, NC 60.23 16 44 47 26
25 Lubbock, TX 60.11 19 12 50 70
26 Orlando, FL 59.97 38 30 84 3
27 Norfolk, VA 59.96 1 54 46 80
28 Tampa, FL 59.95 51 45 55 4
29 Tucson, AZ 59.59 23 4 77 25
30 Nashville, TN 59.21 43 25 40 49
31 Irving, TX 58.89 53 46 21 35
32 Garland, TX 58.58 58 24 34 33
33 Phoenix, AZ 58.53 37 41 63 19
34 Oklahoma City, OK 58.03 52 47 30 27
35 Birmingham, AL 57.98 11 15 97 21
36 San Antonio, TX 57.41 33 59 69 11
37 Buffalo, NY 57.29 9 70 45 63
38 Toledo, OH 56.95 13 43 74 81
39 Chula Vista, CA 56.08 88 7 10 87
40 Henderson, NV 56.04 87 10 11 76
41 Austin, TX 55.89 48 65 60 15
42 Baton Rouge, LA 55.65 55 55 39 43
43 Columbus, OH 55.54 14 61 78 31
44 Colorado Springs, CO 55.00 50 72 26 61
45 Irvine, CA 54.96 83 40 6 69
46 Memphis, TN 54.90 26 35 81 53
47 Indianapolis, IN 54.80 20 50 85 24
48 Jersey City, NJ 54.69 24 96 16 55
49 Dallas, TX 54.36 44 74 76 8
50 Houston, TX 54.33 59 81 75 2
51 Cincinnati, OH 54.27 18 56 92 16
52 Omaha, NE 54.25 42 67 57 53
53 Tulsa, OK 53.68 61 37 73 51
54 Louisville, KY 53.62 60 58 64 36
55 St. Petersburg, FL 53.61 31 36 82 58
56 Reno, NV 53.52 69 49 32 68
57 Madison, WI 53.50 63 75 12 83
58 Fresno, CA 53.44 80 22 41 60
59 Bakersfield, CA 53.39 81 8 67 44
60 Glendale, AZ 52.92 56 3 79 89
61 Riverside, CA 52.90 76 33 37 37
62 North Las Vegas, NV 52.83 79 11 31 98
63 Kansas City, MO 52.71 25 53 83 64
64 Portland, OR 52.52 49 76 43 22
65 St. Paul, MN 52.52 45 71 66 59
66 Sacramento, CA 52.03 77 60 56 13
67 Hialeah, FL 51.85 72 64 33 65
68 Albuquerque, NM 51.72 29 42 95 47
69 San Diego, CA 51.55 90 69 23 12
70 Atlanta, GA 51.27 41 77 93 7
71 Anchorage, AK 51.26 54 83 25 99
72 Aurora, CO 50.69 62 87 22 90
73 Stockton, CA 50.58 71 28 72 91
74 Anaheim, CA 49.82 96 32 38 46
75 Fremont, CA 49.74 97 62 17 74
76 Minneapolis, MN 49.47 64 82 52 50
77 New Orleans, LA 49.35 75 48 58 95
78 New York, NY 48.00 84 99 8 6
79 Cleveland, OH 47.94 57 78 88 23
80 Pittsburgh, PA 47.91 67 84 70 18
81 Santa Ana, CA 47.65 82 68 62 30
82 St. Louis, MO 46.89 40 63 100 9
83 Miami, FL 46.85 74 88 86 1
84 Denver, CO 46.68 65 89 61 34
85 Long Beach, CA 46.45 91 66 54 39
86 Milwaukee, WI 45.19 66 79 87 52
87 San Jose, CA 45.18 94 73 49 56
88 Chicago, IL 43.93 86 98 24 14
89 San Bernardino, CA 43.80 85 23 89 79
90 Newark, NJ 42.27 46 94 99 40
91 Los Angeles, CA 42.16 99 90 65 10
92 Baltimore, MD 40.83 68 85 96 66
93 Philadelphia, PA 40.14 93 86 80 29
94 Honolulu, HI 38.77 92 92 68 85
95 Boston, MA 38.34 78 100 53 97
96 Seattle, WA 37.65 95 95 71 57
97 Washington, DC 36.85 73 97 91 71
98 Detroit, MI 36.42 89 91 94 32
99 Oakland, CA 36.37 98 80 90 73
100 San Francisco, CA 29.46 100 93 98 77
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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