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.
Add up the costs of wasted time and fuel due to traffic congestion on U.S. roads, and we arrive at a collective total of about $124 billion annually, or about $1,700 per household. However, that figure doesn’t include the extra $515 tab for maintenance and repairs, costs induced by the poor quality of America’s roads, which currently rank at No. 16 in the world and receive a grade of “D” from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
But some cities are more haven-like for drivers, especially those who find pleasure behind the wheel. To find those locations, WalletHub ranked the 100 most populated U.S. cities according to the costs of car ownership and commuting — in terms of time, money and safety — as well as the environment for leisure drivers. We compared our sample across 21 key metrics, among which are average gas prices, average annual traffic delays, rates of car theft and car clubs per capita. The results, as well as expert commentary and a detailed methodology, can be found below.