Car Culture

What are the best and worst cities to drive in for 2018?

Financial advice site WalletHub collected data, did math and found out what we've been wondering.

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When people think about the worst places to drive, cities like New York or Los Angeles come to mind, but is that really the case? And if they're the worst, which cities are the best to drive in and why? The website WalletHub wondered that too, so it decided to find out.

It turns out that people's perceptions aren't entirely crazy; New York is the fifth worst place to drive, but surprisingly, Los Angeles isn't even in the top five. Why is that? Well, it's not going to shock anyone that the cost of owning a car in LA is high, the infrastructure and road maintenance is crappy and the safety of our roads/drivers isn't great either, but when it comes to giving people access to cars and the gas stations, repair shops, etc., that are needed to support them, LA is awesome.

Los Angeles traffic is a nightmare, but it's a function of too many people on the road, not a poorly designed infrastructure.

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WalletHub broke down its categories into interesting weighted subcategories and looking at them starts to give you the real scope of costs associated with vehicle ownership. In fact, for those of us with multiple vehicles, or expensive cars, these are particularly painful.

The three main categories are worth 30 points each, with the final category of accessibility being worth just 10. The subcategories are weighted differently, too, for example, the price of gas in an area counts for twice as many points as the cost of a new car. Things like bridge quality and how strict DUI punishments are half as significant as a normal subcategory.

So, what is the worst city in America in which to drive? We'll wait while you shout your guesses at your phone or laptop.

That's exactly right; it's Detroit! With terrible roads, potholes that will swallow a whole car, winters that give the land North of the Wall a run for its money and high instances of auto theft, the folks in Detroit have got it pretty bad, but remember, it's the Motor City and not the "Robustness of Road Infrastructure City."

We're guessing weather like this helped secure Detroit's spot at the bottom of the list.

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The best city to drive in is Raleigh, North Carolina. Relatively low population density, reasonable gas prices, good drivers and low cost of ownership make this a haven for the car commuter.

Whatever, though; Raleigh can call us when it gets roads like we have in California, and until then you can find us in the canyons having fun.