The Best Cities In The UK To Be A Motorist

Whether it’s the roads, other drivers or parking, we always seem to find something to find to complain about when driving.

But which city is the best to drive in? And which are the worst? We decided to take a look at a number of factors, including vehicle crime levels, numbers of road accidents and the cheapest available city centre car parking in each of the cities in England, Wales and Scotland.

It might be no surprise that London fares the worst, with some of the highest rates of accidents and vehicle theft in the country, but who would have known that Bristol and Liverpool have the best maintained roads, or that Plymouth has the least stolen vehicles per 1,000 people?

You can see the full table below to see how your city fares!

City Accidents per 1k Population % A Roads Requiring Maintenance Vehicle Thefts per 1k Population Cheapest Available Parking (1 Hour) Total (Pts)
1. York 2.17 10% 3.71 £0.40 169
2. Sunderland 1.91 11% 7.36 £0.70 162
3. Chelmsford 1.83 12% 8.31 £0.00 161
4. Stoke-on-Trent 2.21 10% 5.35 £1.00 157
5. Gloucester 1.37 13% 7.21 £1.00 155
6. Plymouth 2.43 10% 3.40 £1.00 153
7. Bristol 2.08 4% 10.46 £1.00 144
8. Wolverhampton 2.06 14% 7.79 £0.70 143
9. Carlisle 2.16 17% 4.75 £1.00 142
10. Newcastle 2.62 10% 5.92 £0.70 141
11. Worcester 1.61 14% 5.08 £1.20 140
12=. Exeter 1.98 23% 4.06 £1.00 138
12=. Lichfield 1.96 11% 10.52 £1.00 138
14. Coventry 1.98 20% 7.93 £1.00 130
15. Leicester 2.47 10% 10.39 £1.00 123
16. Portsmouth 2.79 9% 8.84 £1.00 122
17. Salford 1.26 14% 8.82 £1.50 119
18. Hull 2.89 7% 9.98 £1.00 116
19. Bath 1.44 11% 10.45 £1.60 114
20. Lancaster* 2.35 11% 15.87 £1.00 112
21=. St Albans 2.24 17% 14.60 £0.00 111
21=. Liverpool 2.54 4% 9.00 £1.30 111
23=. Ely* 1.97 33% 11.06 £0.00 110
23=. Sheffield 2.05 37% 8.75 £1.00 110
25. Birmingham 2.41 12% 11.68 £1.00 108
26. Preston 2.68 11% 10.67 £1.00 103
27=. Norwich 2.41 22% 4.95 £1.30 98
27=. Truro* 2.12 8% 43.59 £1.40 98
29=. Bradford 2.70 12% 13.98 £0.50 97
29=. Brighton 2.64 28% 6.08 £1.00 97
31. Peterborough 2.82 16% 9.63 £1.00 96
32=. Wakefield 2.23 20% 34.93 £0.90 92
32=. Oxford 2.40 18% 5.56 £2.50 92
34. Winchester 2.25 16% 10.42 £1.30 91
35. Cambridge 2.63 33% 7.52 £1.00 90
36=. Hereford* 2.16 31% 8.95 £1.20 88
36=. Chester 2.48 7% 65.11 £1.20 88
38. Manchester 1.33 18% 11.56 £3.00 84
39. Canterbury 2.40 20% 9.81 £1.40 81
40. Salisbury 2.49 23% 39.58 £0.00 80
41. Derby 2.44 9% 15.21 £2.40 79
42. Durham 1.98 20% 38.26 £1.40 76
43. Southampton 2.60 20% 9.00 £1.60 67
44=. Ripon* 3.32 24% 20.18 £0.00 66
44=. Leeds 2.52 15% 10.23 £2.60 66
46. Wells* 2.39 19% 35.12 £1.40 64
47=. Chichester* 2.83 13% 12.76 £1.40 63
47=. Nottingham 3.00 19% 6.99 £2.50 63
48. Lincoln 2.93 30% 6.95 £1.60 58
50. London 2.94 24% 10.54 £2.00 34

 

Prior to compiling the above table, we worked out the individual rankings across accidents per thousand people, % of A roads requiring maintenance, vehicle thefts per thousand people and the cheapest price to park for an hour, giving each a score out of 50. We then combined these to give us the overall data to award the best city in the UK to be a motorist in to York. The higher the score, the better the city to be a motorist in.

To highlight the best cities for each of the individual areas we looked at:

  • The city with the lowest number of accidents per thousand people: Salford
  • The city with the lowest percentage of A roads requiring maintenance: Bristol
  • The city with the lowest number of vehicle thefts per thousand people: Plymouth
  • The city with the cheapest available council parking: Chelmsford

And at the other end of spectrum, the worst cities for each of the areas we looked at:

  • The city with the highest number of accidents per thousand people: Ripon
  • The city with the highest percentage of A roads requiring maintenance: Sheffield
  • The city with the highest number of vehicle thefts per thousand people: Chester
  • The city with the most expensive available council parking: Manchester

Notes

  • No data was available for cities in Northern Ireland
  • Data for car accidents is based upon parliamentary constituencies. For example, ‘York’ covers both ‘York Central’ and ‘York Outer’, while ‘Chester’ covers the wider ‘Cheshire West & Chester’ area.
  • Vehicle theft numbers are based upon data covering local councils.
  • Cheapest available parking refers to council car parks found within the city centre.

Sources

  • https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-annual-report-2015 
  • https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/parliamentaryconstituencymidyearpopulationestimates
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/road-conditions-in-england-2016
  • http://www.ukcrimestats.com/
  • Lancaster Volkswagen,
  • Mellishaw Lane,
  • Morecambe,
  • Lancashire,
  • LA3 3FB