The Most Pleasant — and Painful — Cities for Drivers

Getting behind the wheel can be a joy in some cities -- and a chore in others. Find out where your town ranks.

The Most Pleasant — and Painful — Cities for Drivers Photo (cc) by Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon

Two Texas cities rank as the best spots in the nation for driving.

Lubbock and Corpus Christi scored highest in WalletHub’s ranking of “2015’s Best & Worst Cities to Be a Driver.” Four North Carolina cities also made the top 10, and New York scored the lowest.

WalletHub used 21 metrics to rank the 100 biggest cities in the country based on four categories of driving-related factors:

  • Costs
  • Safety
  • Traffic and road conditions
  • Driver and car wellness

The metric that received the most weight — which fell into the “costs” category — was the average gas price.

The website estimates that the cost of time and gas wasted due to traffic congestion nationwide amounts to about $124 billion — about $1,700 per household — every year. That does not include an extra $515 for maintenance and repairs due to poor roads.

According to WalletHub:

Unless you rely on public transit or live within walking distance of work, school and everywhere in between, commuting by car is necessary. For many of us, that unfortunately means being on the road about 200 hours each year — in addition to more than 40 hours stuck in traffic. In working-class terms, a total of 240 hours is the equivalent of a six-week vacation.

The best-ranked cities are:

  • Lubbock, Texas
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

The worst-ranked cities — with the worst at the bottom of the list — are:

  • Los Angeles
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Boston
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Detroit
  • San Francisco
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington, D.C.
  • New York

You can see the full list here.

What’s your take on these rankings? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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