Honolulu among the nation’s worst cities for drivers

Photo courtesy Nerd Wallet
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Photo courtesy Nerd Wallet
Photo courtesy Nerd Wallet
A recent NerdWallet study that found Honolulu among the nation’s worst cities for drivers, taking into account the number of hours of traffic delay per commuter, the population density, gas prices, insurance prices and precipitation rates.
Here is a list of the top 10 worst cities including Honolulu and the reason behind the ratings;

10 Worst Cities for Car Drivers:

1. New York City, New York

With more than 27,000 people per square mile, the Big Apple is the most densely populated city in the U.S. The average driver in New York also pays a whopping $1,614.71 per year for car insurance. Driving can be a hassle in New York, so it’s no surprise that 55% of New Yorkers take public transportation to work.


2. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is known as the car manufacturing capital of the country, but it’s extremely expensive to own and operate a car in the city. Drivers in Detroit pay the most for car insurance – nearly $5,000 per year for the average driver. Complicated car insurance laws and a high rate of motor vehicle theft make car insurance premiums in the city the most expensive in the U.S.

3. San Francisco, California

With almost 10,000 registered cars per square mile, San Francisco’s dense car population makes it more difficult for residents to get around the city, much less find a parking space. In addition to congestion, San Francisco residents have to deal with high car costs. Gas averages about $4.23 a gallon, which is almost $0.60 more per gallon than the national average.

4. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago’s expensive parking is well documented, but the city’s drivers also have to deal with bad weather and high gas prices. Chicago averages 119 days with rain or snow per year. And when Chicagoans finally do dig their cars out from under the snow, they have to pay more than $4 per gallon for gas.

5. Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital is also the city with the longest traffic delays; each year, Washington, D.C., drivers will spend an average of 67 hours stopped in traffic on top of their regular commutes. In Autovantage’s 2014 In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey, Washington, D.C., also ranked as the fourth least courteous city for drivers.

6. Seattle, Washington

Precipitation can cause many difficult weather-related road conditions, including slick roads and poor visibility, and Seattle averages 150 days with either rain or snow per year. Because weather and traffic can make maneuvering through the city in a car challenging, many Seattle locals choose to ride bikes instead – 4.1% of Seattle residents commute to work by bike, much more than the 1.16% national average.

7. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston drivers have to deal with a lot. The city is one of the densest cities in the United States, and its drivers spend more than two full days a year in extra traffic delays – 53 hours. Bostonians also have to deal with bad weather; it averages 120 days of either rain or snow per year. The pain doesn’t just end with bad weather and congestion. Boston drivers who receive points on their driving records from moving violations will likely see insurance increases for six years, which can cost them upward of a thousand dollars.

8. Miami, Florida

Florida is often thought of as a sunny escape, but its residents know that it rains a lot in Miami. It averages 126 days of precipitation per year. Besides dealing with weather-related road conditions, Miami drivers have to deal with high car insurance prices. The average Miami driver pays a whopping $1,750.10 for car insurance each year.

9. Honolulu, Hawaii

Besides having the highest gas prices in the country at $4.35, Honolulu drivers also have to deal with Hawaii’s expensive car registration fees. Hawaii is 1 of 13 states that collect registration taxes based on vehicle weight, which means that drivers with trucks or vans end up paying far higher fees than drivers with sports cars.

10. Oakland, California

Oakland drivers spend 61 hours a year in traffic. Luckily, for Oakland drivers, they can enjoy good weather while they are stuck in traffic. It only averages 66 days of precipitation per year. But when commuters finally do reach their destination, they can expect to pay a lot for parking. Both San Francisco and Oakland were rated as some of the worst cities in the United States for parking.





  1. You say that in Honolulu registration fees are based on vehicle weight. What is wrong with heavy vehicle owners paying more fees that owners of lighter cars? Heavier vehicles cause heavier damage to the highways. In fact, they pay much less than the relative damage they cause. Ask your "experts.," if you have access to any.

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