The Ultimate List of Best US Cities to Drive In

January 1, 2018Car Driving Tips
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Approximately 87% of adult Americans use their vehicles to get around, driving on average 220 miles per week or 11,500 miles annually. This shows that four-wheelers are an irreplaceable part of daily routine. So, when moving across the country, settling in one of the best US cities to drive in will save you a lot of time and nerves.

The US is huge, and there are many places where driving is not such a bother. To find them look into the infrastructure, safety, and cost of owning a four-wheeler. Furthermore, figuring out which US city has the best drivers and what is the cheapest state to own a car will make hiring a USA auto transport company and shipping the four-wheeler worth all the trouble. To make it easier for you, we made a list of top-rated locations where driving is stress-free and as easy as breathing.

Why Should You Consider Moving to One of the Best Cities for Driving in the US?

There are many reasons to move, and no matter what yours is, deciding where to live is the first step in the process. If you want to have a stress-free moving experience, put a thinking cap on and write down all the things the new location must have. Because only with the list of priorities will you be able to move out of state without losing your mind.

Those that are moving with pets and kids will emphasize good school districts and vicinity to parks. However, if you are a vehicle owner on top of it all, there is another thing to consider – how car-friendly your next destination is. Long before you call up a car shipping company that offers open trailer trucks or even enclosed auto transport services, look into:

  • Costs of maintenance and vehicle ownership (insurance and repair costs)
  • Traffic safety (likelihood of accidents)
  • Infrastructure (quality of roads, time spent in congestion).

Hot-Tempered and New Drivers Should Stay Clear of Some Locations

You might agree that living without a car in this day and age is almost unimaginable. That’s why, if you want to avoid road rage, being stuck in traffic for a long time, and spending a small fortune on insurance and repairs, stay clear of some of the worst cities for driving in the US:

  • What makes driving in Seattle the worst are auto maintenance costs and rain. Let’s not forget the rain. Because if you are a beginner trying to overcome driving anxiety, cruising along slippery streets might not seem like a fun thing to do.
  • Those that like racing video games and are inspired by some of the best car movies might like going over the speed limit on a Garden State Parkway in Newark. However, that was the cause of more than 10,360 crashes last year (according to the state’s Turnpike Authority). So, if you think that speedy driving in Fast and Furious makes it one of the worst car movies ever, reconsider settling in Newark (because here streets are filled with Vin Diesels and Paul Walkers alike).
  • Driving in Chicago will take a huge chunk of your time because Chicagoans spend around 70 minutes in a commute daily. Furthermore, the city lacks repair shops, so you might be stuck on the road for a while if your machine breaks down.
  • Same as Chicago, being behind the wheel in Los Angeles means you’ll spend so much time being stuck in traffic. After all, Los Angeles is known for the worst congestion in the US. Here people annually spend 167 hours commuting.
  • Cruising around New York might seem like a fun thing in theory. That’s before you learn that parking rates are the highest in the States, as well as auto maintenance costs. So, moving to this big city is not the best solution if you want to avoid dipping into savings.
  • Detroit might play a significant role in the evolution of vehicles. However, nowadays, it is considered one of the most dangerous places for auto owners. There has been a 35% increase in hit-and-run incidents, and the number of uninsured four-wheelers is on the rise.
car on the street
Going over the speed limit is one of the major problems in different metropolises

On Top of the List of Best US Cities to Drive in Is Raleigh in North Carolina

Let’s say you are not moving at the last minute. This means you’ll have enough time to research different places and find the one that fits all of your needs. That being said, if you are looking for an auto-friendly location, you can’t go wrong with Raleigh in North Carolina.

The capital and second-most populous city in North Carolina is the top-ranked location on the WalletHub list of best cities to drive in the US. Raleigh climbed on top of the list because of the low costs of ownership and maintenance. Furthermore, it ranked high in terms of infrastructure since the network of roads is well-maintained.

However, if this North Carolina gem is not to your liking, the state has more to offer since some other locations found their way up to the top of the WalletHub list.

Greensboro Has Almost Zero Congestion

Greensboro is a place where you can become a better driver since being behind the wheel won’t be so stressful. This location doesn’t have high congestion levels, and you can move pretty easily around the streets without worrying about the time. The fact that the average commuter spends only 4 hours in congestion annually says a lot about Greensboro streets.

If you want to see how it is like to cruise around the streets of Greensboro, check out the video below.

YouTube video

Car Maintenance in Austin, TX Is Quite Affordable

Moving to Austin will put you in a fairly spread-out location, where most people commute by car. Since getting from one place to another means being behind the wheel (for most Austinites), knowing the costs of gas, insurance, and maintenance is a must.

Luckily, when you decide to move to Austin, your budget won’t suffer. After all, the price of gas is cheaper here than throughout the US. Furthermore, you won’t have to figure out how to fix windshield wipers or something even more important, like how to adjust the parking brake. This is because the cost of auto maintenance is lower than the national average.

With all yearly vehicle checks, you can expect to pay somewhere between $950 and $2,550 for the maintenance. Of course, the price will depend on the make and model of the auto, distance crossed, and the amount of time it takes professionals to fix it up.


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Corpus Christi in Texas Is Safe for Drivers

Those that want to settle in a coastal area in Texas should consider Corpus Christi as their next destination. Drivers will especially enjoy the coastal scenery and the view of the Gulf of Mexico. But what sets this location apart from other places in Texas is the safety on the roads. Since the area has a lower population density than many locations in the state, the accidents on the road are not as frequent as in bigger metropolises. On top of that, residents have a lower than average percentage of cars per household, meaning there are fewer machines making traffic jams.

Area photo of Downtown Austin
Settling in Austin will be a good decision for your budget

Shorten Your Commute by Relocating to Jacksonville, Florida

As the most populous location in Florida, Jacksonville is a shining gem for people considering a cross country move. On top of breathtaking scenery, newcomers can look forward to a shorter commute time, which is on average 24.6 minutes.

Additionally, because of the shorter commute, it is considerably less stressful to be behind the wheel in Jacksonville than in other communities. And if you want to avoid rush hour, you can plan the routes around the city in advance. For example, try to avoid hitting the major I-95, and I-295 roads between 7 am and 8 am.

Tampa Is Also a Good Choice for Those Who Want to Live in Florida

Before you sit behind the wheel in Tampa, check out its weird driving laws because some will surprise you. For starters, cruising is illegal, and you need to keep at least ten feet of roadways free when stopping in a traffic lane.

However, don’t mind these strange laws. Owning a four-wheeler in Tampa actually is a good thing. There are three motor vehicle bridges within the Tampa city limits. Also, there are several freeways spread throughout the location, as well as two tolled freeways. All of these ensure you don’t spend a lot of time stuck in traffic.

Downtown Jacksonville
There are few bridges over the St. Johns River that allow smooth drive throughout Jacksonville

Vehicle Theft Rates in Lincoln, Nebraska Are Low

If you want to avoid learning what to do in case of a stolen vehicle, consider settling in a safe area with low auto theft rates. That’s the thing that puts Lincoln in Nebraska on the map of the best places for drivers. The rate of vehicle theft is almost twice lower than the national one, which is to be expected since Lincoln is overall safer than 24% of the cities in the US.

Another thing that comes as a bonus for those who settle in Lincoln is the fact that Nebraska has really affordable fees when it comes to vehicle registration. For example, (according to the website WorldPopulationReview) here, you can register the four-wheeler for $36, but you would need $195 in neighboring Iowa.

DMV website
You can save up by relocating to Nebraska

Drivers in Boise, Idaho Are Not Prone to Accidents

The capital and the most populous city in the state of Idaho can be a great next location for people that want to live in one of the fastest-growing areas in the US. The influx of people doesn’t mean that Boise is becoming overcrowded. On the contrary, the city is adapting to its resident’s needs.

This means you don’t have to worry about congestion and long and tedious traffic jams. I-84, a major interstate, serves Boise. And in addition, there are interstate 184 and Highway 55 that connect different parts of Boise. The network of bike paths lowers the number of bikes on the streets, making the drive faster and safer.

America’s Best Drivers Report shows that Boise residents are the second safest in the US because they have on average 13.7 years between collisions. This is impressive if we take into consideration that residents of Baltimore get in collisions every 4.2 years.

Boise, Idaho at night
Being behind the wheel in Boise will be a stress-free experience

Insurance Prices Are Affordable in Scottsdale, Arizona

Does living in a place with warm and sunny weather where almost 32% of the population are people between the ages of 25 and 50 seem interesting to you? Then Scottsdale might be the location you are looking for. With its booming economy, low crime rates, and abundance of entertainment opportunities, this area in Arizona attracts more and more newcomers each year.

Another thing to look forward to, as a vehicle owner, is more affordable insurance prices because rates here are almost 8% lower than the state average. Also, since Scottsdale is not a huge urban jungle (although it is part of the Greater Phoenix Area), there won’t be some neverending congestion while you are trying to reach the office.

So, consider settling in Scottsdale if you don’t want to move to Phoenix but still want to be close to it. It is connected to the metropolis via State Route 101, so even if you work there, it will be a short drive away.

a car insurance policy
Vicinity to Phoenix and affordable insurance are just some of the benefits of settling in Scottsdale

Birmingham in Alabama Is One of Least Expensive Places to Own a Vehicle

Alabama is known to be one of the most affordable states in the US for people with four-wheelers, and the GoBanking report only confirms that. The data shows that the three-year cost of owning a vehicle is around $10,200. This includes insurance, annual fuel cost, sales taxes, and other fees.

With all of this in mind settling in Birmingham seems like a smart decision. The location is not only affordable, but it is served by four interstate highways – 20, 22, 59, and Interstate 65. With this huge network of roads, commute time and congestion are not nearly as bad as in some bigger metropolitan areas.

Pro-tip for navigating Birmingham streets – avoid cruising around the streets from 5 pm to 6 pm because that’s when the congestion is the worst.

Daylight Aerial View Downtown Urban Metro Area of Birmingham Alabama
Wednesday morning is one of the busiest times of the streets of Birmingham

Settling in a Vehicle Friendly City Will Be Worth the Trouble of Relocating

There you have it! List of all the great places for vehicle owners. Now all you have to do is make a decision. Choose the location that fits not only your driving but other needs as well, and get on with the moving process. Pick up the phone, call professionals, schedule door-to-door auto transport service, or use terminal to terminal car shipping. Let the equipped car shipping company handle your precious machine while you are preparing for a stress-free and smooth cruising around the new destination.

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