Pump The Brakes! Here Are The Top 10 Worst Cities To Drive In

One of the worst parts of living in a city is the traffic. Of course, not all cities are created equal and some are worse than others. Here are America’s worst cities to drive in.

According to a study conducted by WalletHub, there are several factors which impact the driving conditions in a given city.  And it isn’t all about traffic. The WalletHub study examined 100 cities in America and examined four distinct characteristics.

  • Safety
  • Cost of vehicle ownership and maintenance
  • Availability of vehicles and maintenance options
  • Traffic and infrastructure

Altogether, only one city can be called the worst city to drive in.

Detroit, Michigan

Despite Detroit’s resurgence in recent years, it still remains a nightmare of traffic as well as safety. in fact, it ranked next to last in the safety category due to high amounts of vehicle theft as well as fatalities.

Of all the worst cities to drive in, Detroit is the worst!. However, it isn’t the only one that made the list. Here are the rest of the top 10.

San Francisco, California

Ranking dead last in cost of ownership, San Francisco came in just ahead of Detroit, though not by much. Traffic and infrastructure are also a problem for the increasingly expensive and crowded city by the bay.

Oakland, California

Just a short jaunt from San Francisco, Oakland’s cost of ownership is far less than it’s across the bay cousin. However, high rates of car theft were enough to bring this city in at third place.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The city of brotherly love isn’t the city for a love of driving. Philly has relatively poor marks in several areas, including: cost of ownership, traffic, and safety. While it isn’t the worst in these categories, driving in Philly is no picnic.

Seattle, Washington

Living in Seattle is expensive. It isn’t the worst city for driving, but it’s one of the worst for cost of ownership and traffic.

Boston, Massachusetts

Driving in Boston is no picnic. Unlike other cities which have a more planned, grid-like formation; Boston is a mess which doesn’t help with traffic. It also ranked poorly in cost of ownership as well as access to vehicles and maintenance.

New York, New York

You may have expected New York to be higher on this list, yet here it is at number 7. Granted, these are the 10 worst cities to drive in, so even coming in at seven isn’t a prized position. New York ranked last in traffic and infrastructure and placed poorly in cost of ownership as well.

Newark, New Jersey

Newark isn’t too far from New York but that didn’t keep it off the list. Traffic is a major problem for this Jersey city as well as crime. Vehicle safety concerns helped to land it on this list.

Los Angeles, California

The famous Los Angeles traffic put it on this list. However, LA did not rank worst for traffic. That distinction belongs to New York. Cost of ownership dragged Los Angeles in the list of worst cities for driving. Though the traffic is still a problem.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago traffic ranked 2nd worst (after New York). High cost of ownership and safety concerns also put it squarely on the list.

A Matter of Location?

It should come as no surprise that all of the worst cities to drive in are relatively big cities or adjacent to big cities. Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, etc are all heavily populated and densely populated cities. You would expect traffic and driving to be worse there than in a smaller city or town.

Simply put, your location matters when it comes to driving conditions as well as cost of living. Few people will choose their home city based on the driving conditions, however they are something to consider.

City vs City accounts for the cost of transportation when calculating living expenses. Our app examines housing and transportation costs, state and local taxes, and more. Then, compare your costs with another city of your choosing.

As a result, you’ll see a side by side breakdown of costs between the two cities. If you’re thinking of moving, don’t make a move without downloading City vs City first.