These are the UK’s best and worst cities for drivers

These are the UK’s best and worst cities for drivers
These are the UK’s best and worst cities for drivers

Birmingham has been named the UK’s best city for drivers in a new study ranking the world’s best and worst urban motoring environments.

Taking into account everything from safety to parking costs the global study featured 10 UK cities including Edinburgh, Leeds, Glasgow, Belfast and London.

London proved to be the country’s worst place to spend time behind the wheel, coming a lowly 76th worldwide compared to Birmingham’s 27th place.

The study by car parts firm Mister Auto covered the 100 cities with the most reliable and extensive data to create an accurate comparison. Calgary, in Canada, claimed the title of the best city in the world for motorists, while India’s Mumbai was ranked the worst.

Safety, costs and congestion

To come up with the rankings, researchers gave each city a score for infrastructure, safety and cost, taking into account everything from the number of cars per capita, average car age and road quality to pollution levels, road fatalities and the cost of parking and fuel.

London traffic
London’s congestion and parking costs helped make it the country’s worst city for drivers (Photo: Shuttestock)

Behind Birmingham, which scored 90.63 out of a potential 100, Glasgow was ranked the UK’s second most driver-friendly city (30th worldwide) with a score of 89.67. Liverpool was close behind (32nd globally) with a score of 89.33, ahead of Leeds (36th) with 87.76.

Edinburgh and London were the UK’s worst rated cities, with scores of 81 (67th globally) and 77.58 (76th).

UK’s top 10 cities for drivers

City UK rank Global rank
Birmingham 1 27
Glasgow 2 30
Liverpool 3 32
Leeds 4 36
Belfast 5 40
Manchester 6 43
Bristol 7 49
Brighton 8 63
Edinburgh 9 67
London 10 70

The data showed that London ranked worst in the country for congestion, average speed and parking costs but was among the best in terms of air quality and fatalities per capita. Drivers in Edinburgh are most likely to be involved in a road rage incident and, despite topping the overall UK rankings, Birmingham was the country’s worst city for pollution.

Global differences

While British drivers complain about the amount we spend on fuel, parking and other motoring-related costs, the data shows that we’re still better off than many other cities.

In Oslo, Norway, drivers pay £1.59 per litre for petrol, with Utrecht and Rotterdam in the Netherlands close behind at £1.52. In comparison, the UK average is £1.33.

And if you think London’s £10 per two hours’ parking is expensive spare a thought for driers in Sydney, New York and Brisbane, where it costs £32.64, £32.07 and £25.68 respectively.

At the opposite end of the price scale while Mumbai is the world’s worst city for drivers parking is at least cheap, at 37p for two hours, and petrol in fourth-ranked Lagos is just 34p per litre.

Sébastien Rohart, managing director of Mister Auto commented: “Despite advances in the accessibility of transportation, cars remain the most commonly used mode of transport in the world. 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.”

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