WalletHub releases best and worst states to drive in

January 21, 2020

Tyson Fisher


Motorists often complain about traffic, but which state is the worst and which state is the best when it comes to driving? A new report from WalletHub crunches the numbers and ranks all 50 states’ driver friendliness.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, WalletHub released its 2020’s Best and Worst States to Drive In list. Using 31 factors of a positive commute, all 50 states were compared with one another to compile the list. The 10 best states for driving are:

  1. Iowa.
  2. Tennessee.
  3. North Carolina.
  4. Texas.
  5. Nebraska.
  6. Georgia.
  7. Virginia.
  8. Indiana.
  9. Arkansas.
  10. Alabama.

The 10 worst states for driving are:

  1. Hawaii.
  2. Rhode Island.
  3. Washington.
  4. California.
  5. Colorado.
  6. Maryland.
  7. West Virginia.
  8. New Jersey.
  9. Alaska.
  10. Montana.

Source: WalletHub

States were ranked by combining scores on four key categories: Cost of ownership/maintenance, traffic/infrastructure, safety and access to vehicles/maintenance.

Tennessee was ranked first in cost of ownership, with Hawaii in last.

Wyoming has the best traffic/infrastructure, according to WalletHub.

Massachusetts has the worst traffic. However, Massachusetts was also ranked first in safety, with Montana placing dead last for safety.  California ranked first in accessibility of vehicles/maintenance. Accessibility is worst in Alaska.

In terms of percentage of rush hour traffic congestion, there was a five times difference between the best state (Mississippi) and the worst state (California). With the highest car theft rate, Alaska has 14 times more thefts than Vermont, the state with the lowest car theft rate.

California did rank first in two categories: most auto repair shops per capita and most car washes per capita. Hawaii has the fewest repair shops per capita. Vermont has the fewest car washes per capita.

For the most part, vehicle-related costs are more expensive in Hawaii. The Aloha State has the highest average gas prices and the highest vehicle maintenance costs. Mississippi has the lowest average gas prices. Maintenance costs are cheapest in Montana.


Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.