What Are the Worst US Cities for Driving?

August 27, 2018Fun Facts and Lists
Blake Shaw

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

If you’re moving and shipping a car cross-country, you’ll want to avoid settling in some of the worst US cities for driving. Being behind the wheel in them can be frustrating and costly due to heavy traffic and limited parking. Check out our list to see if your chosen destination is one of them. If it is, we will also provide you with an alternative location where being a driver won’t make you lose your mind.

Why Should You Avoid the Worst US Cities for Driving When Moving?

You might have numerous reasons to move, but there are more than a few why you might not want to live in the worst cities for drivers. For one, the cost of living can be higher in these areas since owning and maintaining a car is a necessity. Additionally, traffic can be extremely bad, making it difficult to get around town. Finally, parking can be difficult to find and expensive to rent.

All of these can cause driving anxiety, especially if you are prone to stress or even road rage while behind the wheel. That’s why look for the best cities for drivers. However, when making a decision about where you should move, consider factors like commute time, congestion, and parking. To help you make a move easier, we made a list of cities you should avoid as a driver and those you would enjoy being behind the wheel in.

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Los Angeles Is Notorious for Its Traffic Jams

Nobody would blame you if you are dreaming about moving to Los Angeles. After all the city is world-famous for its sandy beaches, streets lined with palm trees, and car culture. Also, another thing newcomers should be aware about driving in LA is the fact that the city is huge, and because of it navigating around can be challenging.

Furthermore, driving in LA involves considerable traffic on the freeways during the morning and evening commutes. The rush hours are from 7 to 10 in the morning and from 4 until 7 in the evening. The average commute time here is 30.9 minutes (the US average is 26.4 minutes). Also, you should know that traffic entering or leaving Downtown and Hollywood can be heavy even on weekends.

If you want to virtually experience driving through LA, check out the video below.

YouTube video

Finding Parking Can Be Tricky

When you are house-hunting in LA, you’ll probably look for a home with a place for your car, since you are planning on shipping it here. However, having a place to park in your street doesn’t resolve the problem of parking around the city.  So, if you are attending an event, or just having a quiet night out, you have a few options for parking:

  • Valet – the rates are mostly like in garages,
  • Free Street Parking,
  • Meter Parking – between $0.50 and $6 an hour for metered spaces.

Overall, keep in mind that there are more than 6.5 million registered vehicles in the metropolis, according to the data from the WhereIPark website. The number of cars means that finding a parking spot is tricky, and the data shows that residents spend 85 hours per year searching for it.

Los Angeles street
LA is a beautiful city but driving in it can be quite challenging

Boston Is Not Very Car-Friendly

Many Bostonians choose not to buy a car because the city is known for being easy to navigate on foot. However, when you are moving to Boston you don’t have to walk between locations. Boston’s public transportation system is amazing, not only it is well organized but it is simple to use, and it is available everywhere.

One of the main downfalls of driving here is the frequent road congestion. Also, if you rely on GPS know that it doesn’t always estimate the correct arrival time. On weekdays, rush hour typically starts at 4 p.m. and lasts until 7 p.m. The worst times of the week are by far Friday afternoons when visitors headed to the lakes, mountains, and beaches cause traffic to snarl up in both the north and south lanes.

If you want to experience driving through Boston streets, check out the video below.

YouTube video

You’ll Have a Problem Finding a Parking Spot

Depending on the location you’re visiting, the time of day, or even the season, finding parking in Boston might be difficult. Knowing the many parking alternatives available can you in your exploration of the city.  The city offers:

  • Parking Garages
  • Reservation Services
  • Valet
  • Metter Parking

Keep in mind that the average cost of parking in Boston is roughly $255 per month, or a little more than $8.50 per day.

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Washington DC Is Not a Great Place to Drive Around

Are you considering moving to Washington DC? If so know that this busy political district attracts a lot of people from Virginia and Maryland daily. Their daily work commutes only increase the traffic jams making the country’s capital one of the worst cities for drivers.

Here the streets downtown are organized in a grid with diagonal avenues. Although it is pretty simple to use this system, traffic jams and congestion nevertheless happen frequently and these are the worst times to drive:

  • From 6:00 am till 9:30 am,
  • From 3:30 to 6:30 pm
  • Also, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the worst days when it comes to rush hours.

If you want to experience driving through Washington DC during the rush hour, check out the video below.

YouTube video

It Is Insanely Hard to Find Parking

If you need to park in Washington, DC, you’ll probably hunt for a spot on the street or in a parking garage. Both of these possibilities are merely hypothetical, though, as finding available parking will be your top concern, particularly close to the landmarks. Parking on the street will cost you between $4.60 and $5.10 per hour.

A garage will cost you between $10 and $30. Valet services are provided by some businesses at various parking garages throughout the city, including Colonial Parking and Laz Parking. Plan ahead for your parking needs because it will fill up quickly downtown, especially before important events.

Prepare for a Long Commute if You Move to Philadelphia

Philadelphia is one of the nation’s oldest cities, and it is a great spot for people relocating with kids, and those looking for an affordable but exciting place to call home. However, those that are thinking about hiring a USA auto transport company to ship their four-wheeler should know that the city is not the most car-friendly one.

Traffic delays cost local drivers $1,404 annually, which is half more than the national average. Furthermore, those moving to Philadelphia should know that on average commuters spend 90 hours a year just sitting in traffic.

Check out the video below if you want to see exactly what a traffic rush in Philadelphia looks like.

YouTube video

Strict Rules Make Finding Parking Hard

Parking in Philadelphia is a challenge. There are tight guidelines dictating where and how long you are permitted to park in each area. Even the restrictions for residents and non-residents are different. To avoid breaching any rules that could result in you receiving a ticket, it is crucial to read and comprehend all signs in the location where you choose to park your car.

Although there are some neighborhoods that offer up to two hours of free parking, you are more likely to look for paid spots around the city. Phila parking, for example, would cost you around $18 for 12 hours and $20 for 24 hours.

Philadelphia area
Finding parking spot in Philly will be hard

It Is Hard to Get Used to Driving in Seattle

Driving in Seattle can be difficult because of the rush-hour traffic, downtown streets that are only one way, difficult-to-navigate hills, and unexpected toll highways. The city’s geography, which includes hills, lakes, and a Puget Sound boundary, presents particular driving difficulties. You have some serious navigational difficulties when you factor in rush hour traffic, as well as unique complications including buses, pedestrians, and bike riders.

When moving to Seattle know that the rush hours start at 6 am and extend up until 9 am. Also, evening rush hours are between 5 and 6, but they can extend up until 7. Furthermore, there are a lot of bicyclists that are not required to use bike lanes, so avoiding them on the road will become your daily occurrence.

If you want to get a better vibe about driving here, check out the video below.

YouTube video

You’ll Need a Lot of Money for Parking

In Seattle, almost all parking is paid for, including on-street parking and parking lots. On Sundays, street parking is free if you go downtown. On weekdays after 6 o’clock, several lots have reduced prices. When parking in lots without attendants or credit card machines, it’s a good idea to have modest bills of cash on hand.

Seattle streets
Seattle's geography makes driving hard

Alternatives to the Worst Cities to Drive in America

If you can avoid a common moving mistake such as relocating to a city that is not suitable for drivers, wouldn’t you? To help you make a decision easier we are providing you with alternatives to Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Seattle.

Orlando in Florida

The roads and bridges in the city are in decent shape. Also, the wonderful weather in the Sunshine State makes for better driving conditions. Gas prices, car insurance deductibles, parking fees, and maintenance expenditures are all below the national average. The combination of these money-saving products with the accessibility of vehicle dealerships and auto maintenance facilities provides Orlando drivers with the ideal environment.

Corpus Christi in Texas

Beach lovers will enjoy Corpus Christi. What’s not to love about 255 days of sunlight and an average temperature of 70 degrees? This city has many lovely areas to roll down the window and take in the scenery. The major advantages to driving in Corpus Christi are the traffic and infrastructure.

Raleigh in North Carolina

On WalletHub’s ranking of the greatest US cities for driving is Raleigh. The second-most populous city in North Carolina rose to the top of the list due to its affordable vehicle ownership. Furthermore, because of the well-kept road system, it received top marks for infrastructure.

Boise in Idaho

With more than 120,000 cars using it daily, Interstate 84 is regarded as the main route through Boise. This city is among the finest for driving because of its excellent traffic and infrastructure scores, as well as its high safety rating. Furthermore, according to America’s Best Drivers Report, residents are the second safest drivers in the country since it takes them 13.7 years on average between crashes.

No Matter Where You Relocate Owning a Car Is a Must in This Day and Age

Living without a car in this day and age is almost impossible, especially if you are relocating to a bustling metropolis that stretches on more than a few square miles. That’s why even if you opt for settling in a place that is not the best for drivers, you should still hire a car shipping company to transport your vehicle.

Luckily, you can even choose open or enclosed auto transport, so no matter what kind of a four-wheeler you have they will be safely delivered. Finally, with the best company, you’ll be able to choose between door-to-door auto transport and terminal-to-terminal car shipping, and the decision can save you time and money.

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