For most Americans a car is a necessity. For others it's a source of joy. Whatever your reason, these ten areas chosen by Jalopnik readers are the most tortuous places to try to keep a car.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Giacomo Carena
10.) Austin, TX
Suggested By: agjios
Why it's so bad: The Prius with the "Keep Austin Weird" sticker will plow into you because the driver was paying more attention to their double mocha latte than the road. You won't get anywhere because crosstown traffic takes the majority of the afternoon. It's a big city that still thinks it's a small town, with predictably bad results for car owners.
Vital Statistic: The third worst traffic in the country.
Photo Credit: Charles Stricklin
9.) Washington D.C.
Suggested By: Straightsix 9904
Why it's so bad: The roads of Washington D.C. seem to have been purposefully designed to confuse drivers and stop traffic. No one there knows how to drive, except for the cabbies, who operate on a completely different plane of existence than every other car in the metro area. The traffic is so bad that even the smallest distances are measured in time stuck in jams, not miles.
Vital Statistic: The fifth most expensive place to insure a car.
Photo Credit: Andrew Bossi
Suggested By: Viperfan1
Why it's so bad: If you live on the right island, you might be able to enjoy open, winding roads in a beautiful mid-Pacific island. If not, you're living in a the most expensive place for to own a car with heavy taxes on cars and gas.
Vital Statistic: The most expensive place in the US to own a car.
Photo Credit: slworking2
Suggested By: MKIV_GTI_Turbo
Why it's so bad: Chicago is the only city in America that can rival New York for the price of parking. Gas prices are higher than anywhere else in the county. You're likely to get ticketed multiple times a week. It's not the worst place to drive – the traffic isn't that bad - but it is one of the worst places to own a car.
Vital Statistic: The most expensive gas in America.
Photo Credit: Andre Alforque
6.) New Orleans
Suggested By: priapism
Why it's so bad: Many of the streets in New Orleans are below sea level. This poses two problems. Firstly, the roads are sinking, cracking, and falling apart. Second, there is flooding. Not just when there's a hurricane, but whenever there's heavy rain. Add to that the masses of wandering pedestrians, the tourist drivers, the swarms of taxis and the inevitable high insurance rates and you have a terrible place to own a car.
Vital Statistic: Hurricane Katrina totaled an estimated 200,000 vehicles.
Photo Credit: Casey Fox
Suggested By: Picklehaube
Why it's so bad:The Greek drama that was the Big Dig was completed over four years ago, but Boston is still a terrible place to own a car. New York drivers go there and are surprised by how poorly people drive, how beaten up the roads are, and how car-unfriendly the 18th-century city planning is.
Vital Statistic: Number four densest city.
Photo Credit: Rich Moffitt
Suggested By: analbumcover1
Why it's so bad: You don't get as much bumper-to-bumper traffic in Fresno as you do in the other places on this list. That's not Fresno's problem. Fresno is the auto theft capitol of the United States, and if you own a mid-90s sedan, it will be stolen.
The drivers, too, are some of the worst. The city has tons of recent immigrants, many of who are still learning how to drive, and are happy to go 70 mph in thick fog or heavy rain. When it's all said and done, you still have the California DMV to deal with, and, of course, you still live in the middle of nowhere in the Central Valley.
Vital Statistic: Number one highest auto theft.
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk
Suggested By: Charlie
Why it's so bad: Miami takes the key ingredients for a bad driving city (tons of traffic, poorly organized roads, sprawled-out city plan), and adds a heaping portion of terrible driving into the mix. Even if you come out unscathed, the insurance companies will price you out like you're living in a war zone.
Vital Statistic: Number three densest city.
Photo Credit: Phil Hilfiker
2.) New York City
Suggested By: For Sweden
Why it's so bad: Welcome to the five boroughs, please check your automobile at the door.
If the tolls on the bridges don't convince you to stay out, the rutted, potholed, hundred-year-old roads will. While Manhattan is filled delivery trucks, taxis, limos, and the locals crazy enough to drive, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are just as bad. Every throughway is packed daily. With tolls ranging from $9.20 to $13, no one has driven into Staten Island for years. And we haven't even mentioned parking.
Vital Statistic: The densest city in America.
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk
1.) San Francisco
Suggested By: Is that a rain coat?
Why it's so bad: The high cost of parking, the bumper cars approach to traffic, the clogged throughways, the endless one-way streets, and the hills. Old cars survive with big bumpers and little rust, but everything else gets smashed.
Vital Statistic: Number 7 densest city, number nine highest auto theft
Photo Credit: Toby Harriman