The crowded Indian metropolis of Mumbai has been ranked the worst place for driving on a list of 100 global cities, based on congestion, fatalities and affordability.
At the other end of the spectrum, the desirability of being on the road in oil-centric western Canada landed Calgary with the number-one spot.
Among the other cities in the top 10 were Dubai, Ottawa, El Paso, Gothenburg and Dusseldorf. Some of the worst-ranked included Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Karachi and Ulaanbaatar.
At number 69 overall, Brussels scored only slightly higher than Paris and Amsterdam, while Los Angeles, in 78th place, ranked just worse than Dublin and London, but higher than Rome, Naples and Milan.
New York City, at 87th out of 100, confirmed its international reputation for not being friendly to motorists.
Mister Auto, an online spare parts retailer based outside Lyon, France, ranked the worldwide locations in a comprehensive look at all aspects of the driving experience.
“Despite advances in the accessibility of [public] transportation, cars remain the most commonly used mode of transport,” said Sebastien Rohart, managing director of Mister Auto. “Whether running on fuel or electric power, cities will continue to have to make adjustments so that they can accommodate the flow of vehicles.”
“Our study shows that while many cities already have the infrastructure and legislation in place, there’s still a lot of work to be done towards making driving safe and affordable across the board,” Rohart added.
Globally, motorists spend approximately two years of their lives behind the wheel, and citizens everywhere are concerned with how to improve conditions for their vehicles.
However, many cities are making positive strides – for people and the planet – by investing in mass transit, bike lanes and pedestrian plazas that help counteract traffic, pollution and economic inequality.
The infrastructure factors covered by the study included the number of cars per capita, traffic congestion, road quality, driving speed, car age and air quality.
The best air quality was in Brisbane, Salvador and Stockholm. Beijing scored near the bottom of the pack.
“There are a number of cities in the world where you can’t even open the window while driving due to the amount of smog and pollution from cars, which make a huge impact on the health and safety of their drivers and inhabitants,” said Rohart of Mister Auto.
Athens and Seattle had among the most cars per capita, while Tel Aviv had nearly the fewest.
Malmo was tied for best daily average congestion score, as Geneva, Zurich and Basel shared the highest ranking for road quality.
The cities with the oldest cars had an average age of 15 years, while those with the youngest had an average age of six years.
Safety ratings hinged on two attributes. “Each location was analysed by the car accident fatality rate, as well as conducting a poll focusing on incidents of road rage, in order to paint a picture of the aggressiveness and general driving culture brought to the city by motorists,” said the report.
Osaka, Tokyo and Singapore – in the Asia Pacific region – had the fewest incidents of road rage, whereas Istanbul and Kolkata were among the places with the most driver stress and frustration.
Lagos and Orlando had the most deadly driving records. Manchester and Oslo had the lowest death rates.
Meanwhile, the costs section of the study encompassed the prices of parking, petrol and taxes – through which governments can try to regulate drivers.
Parking was rated as most expensive in Sydney and – perhaps unexpectedly – in the Big Apple. Utrecht and Rotterdam had among the most costly petrol, with San Antonio and Boston among the least.
Some of the cities with the most expensive annual road tax were Melbourne and Auckland.
At the outset, the study initially included a much larger quantity of locations, but the cities were narrowed down due to data availability and the reliability of statistics.
Report author Mister Auto is owned by the PSA Group – which makes and sells automobiles under the Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall brands. The firm is publicly traded on the Euronext Paris exchange.