Morgan Pritchett
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WalletHub Announces 2021 Best and Worst Cities to Drive In

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How does your city rank?

If you ask the internet, there’s no doubt that someone from every city will claim that theirs is either the absolute best or worst to drive in. But WalletHub — a professional finance organization — recently compiled data from the 100 largest cities in the U.S. to determine which were truly the top- and bottom-rated.


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The factors that WalletHub used to create the list included driver/owner expenses, road quality, driver-friendliness, and access to vehicles. From there, the organization revealed an overall list of the best and worst cities to drive in as well as smaller subsets of data.

According to WalletHub, the best city to drive in is Raleigh, North Carolina. Other cities in the top five include Lincoln, Nebraska; Greensboro, North Carolina; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Corpus Christi, Texas. On the other end of the list, the very worst city is Oakland, California. The remaining cities in the bottom five (from worst to best) are Detroit, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Check out this map, showing the best (1) and worst (100) cities to drive in:

Source: WalletHub

WalletHub also determined which cities had the lowest and highest annual hours spent in congestion. El Paso and Lubbock (Texas) were the two cities with the lowest congestion while San Francisco and Boston had the highest amount of driving congestion. Boise, Idaho, had the lowest accident likelihood while Oakland, California, had the highest. The lowest average gas prices were mostly in Texas, with San Antonio and Corpus Christi taking the top two spots.  

Another factor that many people consider when determining if a city is “good” to drive in is parking costs. WalletHub found that Hialeah and Jacksonville, Florida, had the lowest rates while Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., had the highest parking costs. In the same vein of budget-friendliness, Jacksonville, Florida, had the lowest auto maintenance costs while San Francisco had the highest.

Of course, all of this data is based on statistics and not personal preference, so subjective terms like “best” and “worst” must be taken with a grain of salt. For some, parking may not be a concern while others don’t mind a bit of traffic on the way home from work. The easiest way to know if a city is right for you is to experience it for yourself.