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The Best and Worst U.S. Cities for Driving

Thinking about a road trip? Here are the five best and worst cities in America to drive in. 

Holiday travel can be extremely stressful and upsetting, especially if the trip involves dealing with heavy traffic, paying for expensive gas, or worrying about the safety of your car while you're away. These common frustrations are generally bad for American and international travelers, prompting WalletHub to nail down the best and worst cities for driving.

America's best and worst cities to drive in

WalletHub examined the 100 biggest cities in the United States by using 25 metrics, varying from cost of ownership & maintenance, access to vehicles & maintenance, traffic & infrastructure, and safety, to decide the best and worst cities to drive in.  Did your city make the list?

First up, the five worst cities...

1. San Francisco, California

san francisco skyline with rush hour traffic on highways

San Francisco is the worst city in the U.S. to be a driver, with the highest average gas prices, frequent traffic congestion and frighteningly steep streets. 

  • Total Score: 29.46

2. Oakland, California

With high gas prices, a lack of public parking and busy streets, Oakland ranked second in America's worst cities to drive list. 

  • Total Score: 36.37

3. Detroit, Michigan

In a city that is listed among the worst for car thefts, motorists in Detroit will also be used to frequent road maintenance and congestion. 

  • Total Score: 36.42

4. Washington, DC

A lot of tourist drivers, one way streets, and expensive parking; it can be a challenge driving in Washington D.C. 

  • Total Score: 36.85

5. Seattle, Washington

Seattle's rainy weather makes for slow traffic, particularly during rush hour. And don't expect a simple merging process!

  • Total Score: 37.65

Now onto the five best cities...

1. Corpus Christi, Texas

greensboro, north carolina downtown skyline view

Don't worry if your car breaks down in Corpus Christi. The city is one of the cheapest places for auto maintenance!

  • Total Score: 69.76

2. Gilbert, Arizona

The city of Gilbert dedicates a lot of time to its safe driving campaigns, and its efforts have paid off. 

  • Total Score: 66.41

3. Greensboro, North Carolina

With reasonable vehicle maintenance costs, and quality infrastructure, it is a breeze driving in Greensboro. 

  • Total Score: 66.28

4. Mesa, Arizona

With a lack of traffic and plenty of scenic drives, it is easy to see why Mesa makes the list of the best places to drive. 

  • Total Score: 65.89

5. El Paso, Texas

Driving in El Paso is straighforward. The city ranked well for its traffic and infrastructure. 

  • Total Score: 65.74

Do you agree with this list? Let us know in the comment box below.