These Cities Are the Best for Owning and Driving a Car

Driving should be fun, right? No one wants to waste time in traffic. It turns out, some cities are much more pleasant than others for drivers and car owners.

Cars cost time and money. Last year, the average cost of owning and operating a new vehicle was $8,469 a year, or $706 a month, according to AAA. Americans drive nearly 10,900 miles on average and spend more than 290 hours on the road -- that's seven 40-hour work weeks, AAA reports.

To determine the best places for drivers, personal finance site WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across 29 key indicators of driver-friendliness. The data set includes average gas prices, annual hours in traffic congestion per auto commuter, the number of auto-repair shops per capita, traffic/infrastructure, safety, access to vehicles, and cost of ownership and maintenance.

The cities were given an overall score based on these factors, then ranked. According to WalletHub, these are the best places in the U.S. to drive.

1. Raleigh, N.C.
1. Raleigh, N.C.

1. Raleigh, N.C.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 1 (of 100 cities)
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 17 (of 100 cities)
  • Safety rank: 27 (of 100 cities)
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 55 (of 100 cities)

Raleigh tops the list of all 100 cities as the best place to drive and has the lowest cost of ownership and maintenance.

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Corpus Christi, Texas
2. Corpus Christi, Texas

2. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 10
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 1
  • Safety rank: 18
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 82

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Orlando, Fla.
3. Orlando, Fla.

3. Orlando, Fla.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 8
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 3
  • Safety rank: 83
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 4

Does it get better than this? In Orlando, you can take a guided tour in a vintage amphibious car. 

Photo: VIAVAL / Shutterstock

4. Greensboro, N.C.
4. Greensboro, N.C.

4. Greensboro, N.C.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 2
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 25
  • Safety rank: 45
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 66

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Plano, Texas
5. Plano, Texas

5. Plano, Texas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 20
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 30
  • Safety rank: 8
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 48

Photo: RaksyBH / Shutterstock

6. Winston-Salem, N.C.
6. Winston-Salem, N.C.

6. Winston-Salem, N.C.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 5
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 16
  • Safety rank: 56
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 92

Photo: Shutterstock

7. Durham, N.C.
7. Durham, N.C.

7. Durham, N.C.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 4
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 34
  • Safety rank: 37
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 89

Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

8. El Paso, Texas
8. El Paso, Texas

8. El Paso, Texas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 28
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 20
  • Safety rank: 6
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 71

Photo: Shutterstock

9. Jacksonville, Fla.
9. Jacksonville, Fla.

9. Jacksonville, Fla.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 9
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 11
  • Safety rank: 65
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 33

Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

10. Tampa, Fla.
10. Tampa, Fla.

10. Tampa, Fla.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 38
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 28
  • Safety rank: 46
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 7

Photo: Shutterstock

11. Birmingham, Ala.
11. Birmingham, Ala.

11. Birmingham, Ala.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 3
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 9
  • Safety rank: 96
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 22

Photo: Shutterstock

12. Las Vegas
12. Las Vegas

12. Las Vegas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 52
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 5
  • Safety rank: 53
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 6

Photo: Nick_Nick / Shutterstock

13. Arlington, Texas
13. Arlington, Texas

13. Arlington, Texas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 21
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 47
  • Safety rank: 30
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 27

Photo: Therearenospoons at the English language Wikipedia

14. Austin, Texas
14. Austin, Texas

14. Austin, Texas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 32
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 43
  • Safety rank: 38
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 13

Photo: Avaniks / Shutterstock

15. Lincoln, Neb.
15. Lincoln, Neb.

15. Lincoln, Neb.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 36
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 37
  • Safety rank: 11
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 86

Photo: Shutterstock

16. Fort Worth, Texas
16. Fort Worth, Texas

16. Fort Worth, Texas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 25
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 50
  • Safety rank: 32
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 19

Photo: T photography / Shutterstock

17. Laredo, Texas
17. Laredo, Texas

17. Laredo, Texas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 16
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 41
  • Safety rank: 12
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 99

Photo: Barna Tanko / Shutterstock

18. Nashville, Tenn.
18. Nashville, Tenn.

18. Nashville, Tenn.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 37
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 18
  • Safety rank: 44
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 39

Photo: jiawangkun / Shutterstock

19. Charlotte, N.C.
19. Charlotte, N.C.

19. Charlotte, N.C.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 7
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 44
  • Safety rank: 66
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 32

Photo: Shutterstock

20. Scottsdale, Ariz.
20. Scottsdale, Ariz.

20. Scottsdale, Ariz.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 62
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 2
  • Safety rank: 21
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 51

Photo: Shutterstock

21. Gilbert, Ariz.
21. Gilbert, Ariz.

21. Gilbert, Ariz.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 56
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 19
  • Safety rank: 4
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 94

Photo: Shutterstock

22. Wichita, Kan.
22. Wichita, Kan.

22. Wichita, Kan.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 13
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 27
  • Safety rank: 47
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 87

Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

23. Mesa, Ariz.
23. Mesa, Ariz.

23. Mesa, Ariz.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 47
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 15
  • Safety rank: 22
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 58

Photo: Shutterstock

24. Virginia Beach, Va.
24. Virginia Beach, Va.

24. Virginia Beach, Va.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 17
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 65
  • Safety rank: 14
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 74

Photo: Jay Yuan / Shutterstock

25. Boise, Idaho
25. Boise, Idaho

25. Boise, Idaho

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 41
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 12
  • Safety rank: 29
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 81

Photo: Checubus / Shutterstock

26. Chesapeake, Va.
26. Chesapeake, Va.

26. Chesapeake, Va.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 11
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 68
  • Safety rank: 17
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 96

Photo: Shutterstock

27. Oklahoma City, Okla.
27. Oklahoma City, Okla.

27. Oklahoma City, Okla.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 29
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 54
  • Safety rank: 36
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 36

Photo: Shutterstock

28. Tucson, Ariz.
28. Tucson, Ariz.

28. Tucson, Ariz.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 30
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 6
  • Safety rank: 88
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 40

Photo: Shutterstock

29. Lubbock, Texas
29. Lubbock, Texas

29. Lubbock, Texas

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 23
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 10
  • Safety rank: 68
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 83

Photo: Redraiderengineer/Wikipedia

30. Henderson, Nev.
30. Henderson, Nev.

30. Henderson, Nev.

  • Cost of ownership and maintenance rank: 65
  • Traffic and infrastructure rank: 22
  • Safety rank: 7
  • Access to vehicles and maintenance rank: 77

Also see: The Worst U.S. Cities to Drive In

Photo: Famartin/Wikipedia

Advertisement

More from Personal Finance

How Financial Planners Keep Anxious Clients on Track During Volatile Times

How Financial Planners Keep Anxious Clients on Track During Volatile Times

Top 7 eBay Scams to Look Out For in 2018

Top 7 eBay Scams to Look Out For in 2018

The Best Ski Spots in Europe

The Best Ski Spots in Europe

How Much Do Doctors Make in 2018?

How Much Do Doctors Make in 2018?

What Is Rate of Return and What Is a Good Rate of Return?

What Is Rate of Return and What Is a Good Rate of Return?