Best and worst cities for car drivers

Summary:What makes a city a bad or great place to drive? According to financial services information site NerdWallet, it comes down to the price of gas, easier-to-navigate roads and less traffic. Here are the best and worse.

What do New York, Detroit, San Francisco and Chicago have in common? According to financial information services NerdWallet, they are the worst cities to drive in the United States.

NerdWallet looked at the cost of owning a car, each city's population density, the length of traffic delays and the number of days with precipitation as a factor. With more than 27,000 people per square mile and an average yearly car insurance bill of $1,614.17, New York topped the list of worst cities for car drivers.

Other "worst" cities are:

  1. New York
  2. Detroit, Mich.
  3. San Francisco
  4. Chicago
  5. Washington D.C.
  6. Seattle
  7. Boston
  8. Miami
  9. Honolulu
  10. Oakland, Calif.

Long commutes and expensive gas and insurance have pushed people living in densely populated cities to turn to mass transit and bicycles. Some 55 percent of New Yorkers take public transportation to work. And San Francisco, which was No. 3 on the worst cities for car drivers, is one of the best for cyclists.

In a previous study, NerdWallet analyzed 52 of the largest U.S. cities to determine which cities are the best for cyclists. Portland took the top spot, followed by Washington D.C., Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Tucson, Ariz., Oakland, Calif., and Denver.

NerdWallet also used metrics to pick the best cities for car drivers. Folks living in the "best" cities for drivers enjoy cheaper gas, easier-to-navigate roads and less traffic. The No. 1 city for car drivers is Albuquerque, New Mexico followed by Tucson, Ariz., El Paso, Texas, Phoenix and Colorado Springs, Colo.


This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.