If you think driving in Australia’s capital cities is like a feverish dream, you aren’t too far off, according to new research.
The latest index from Mister Auto ranking the world’s best and worst cities for driving delivers some shocking results for Australia’s largest cities.
The study ranks cities based on several crucial metrics including cars per capita, congestion, road quality, average speed, car age and access to public transport. It also assesses safety and costs associated with driving, including fatalities, road rage incidents, fuel, parking and taxes.
Sydney ranks as the worst city in Australia and 15th in the world and does poorly for average city speeds, congestion and car age. It’s also the most expensive city in the world for parking at an average of $39.23 for two hours.
Among the surprising cities ranked better than Sydney are Beijing, Los Angeles, London and Paris.
Melbourne isn’t far behind at 18, performing better than Sydney in most metrics but being slammed for expensive road taxes and poor air quality. Melburnians have faster average speeds and far better access to public transport than those in Sydney.
Brisbane and Perth also made the top 100, respectively 35th and 88th. Brisbane residents have the right to complain about access to public transport and high parking costs and Perth’s failings are lack of public transport and a higher fatality rate.
Australian cities as a whole get marked down for our high rate of car ownership with those four capitals ranked in the top third in the world.
On the bright side most Australian cities fare well in air pollution scores — Brisbane is rated best city in the world for air quality while Sydney and Perth are in the top 20.
Spare a thought for drivers in some of the worst ranked cities.
Mister Auto boss Sebastien Rohart says cities will need to keep building road infrastructure for the foreseeable future as cars will likely remain the most used form of transport, whether with petrol or electric power.
“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,” says Rohart.
New York ranks one spot below Sydney. New Yorkers are cruelled by slow average speeds, high fatalities and expensive parking.
Fans of dashcam YouTube videos should be aware that St Petersburg and Moscow in Russia are among the worst cities in the world for road rage incidents and fatalities, though both benefit from low petrol prices.
Rohart cites road rage as “a measure of the aggressiveness of its drivers … it exposes the level of frustration experienced due to stressful city driving conditions like traffic and congestion”.
Mumbai in India and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia are ranked No.1 and No.2 respectively as worst cities in the world. Mumbai’s congestion is a fact of daily life and its tallies of older vehicles, road rage incidents and fatalities all rate among the worst in the world.
The Mongolian capital is also extremely dangerous and choked with traffic but cheap motoring are a plus.
Air pollution levels are immense in Lagos, Mumbai, Beijing, Karachi and Ulaanbaatar. Rohart says including air quality in the survey highlights the health risks associated with transport.
“There are a number of cities in the world where you can’t even open the window while driving,” he says, “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.”
But it isn’t all bad news, especially if you live in Canada and Switzerland, which hit the top 10 in multiple categories, even more in the top 20.
Dubai, despite its poor air quality, is a surprise inclusion as the second best city for drivers thanks to low rates of violence and cheap fuel and running costs.
Top 10 worst cities for drivers
1. Mumbai, India
2. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
3. Kolkata, India
4. Lagos, Nigeria
5. Karachi, Pakistan
6. Bogota, Colombia
7. Sao Paulo, Brazil
8. Mexico City, Mexico
9. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
10. Moscow, Russia
Top 10 best cities for drivers
1. Calgary, Canada
2. Dubai, UAE
3. Ottawa, Canada
4. Bern, Switzerland
5. El Paso, US
6. Vancouver, Canada
7. Gothenburg, Sweden
8. Dusseldorf, Germany
9. Basel, Switzerland
10. Dortmund, Germany
Originally published as Aussie cities slammed in world rankings