For most of us, owning a car is a necessity--not a luxury.
We need a car to get to work, transport the kids to soccer practice and haul the groceries home. But owning a car in a small, quiet town in Indiana is a very different experience than owning a car in San Francisco.
In fact, one could say it's downright torturous to own a car in San Francisco, New York City and eight other places across the United States.
Jalopnik.com did the research and identified the worst places to own a car due to clogged traffic, sky-high parking fees, expensive insurance rates, horrible drivers and high gas taxes.
The top 10 most torturous places in which to own a car:
1. San Francisco
In addition to outrageously expensive parking fees, the traffic resembles an amusement park bumper cars ride. The highways are clogged, there are endless one-way streets and the extremely steep hills will take a toll on your car's transmission. If you must drive in San Francisco, get an old car with big bumpers and no rust.
2. New York City
Why would anyone want to drive in New York City? Not only is it the densest U.S. city, but it boasts ridiculously high tolls, 100-year-old roads that are rutted and filled with potholes, throughways that are packed every day of the week and hard-to-find and expensive parking. Hail a taxi cab instead.
In addition to being the third-densest U.S. city, Miami has a lot of traffic, poorly organized roads and a sprawled-out city plan. But worst of all are the drivers. They're terrible! And the insurance rates prove it.
Fresno has the highest rate of auto theft in the country. Even old cars are at risk of being stolen. While the traffic isn't horrible, the drivers are some of the worst in the country, often speeding in thick fog or heavy rain.
Boston is not only the fourth densest U.S. city, but also its drivers are, well, dense, too. People just drive poorly in Boston!
6. New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina totaled about 200,000 vehicles, and herein lies the problem. Most of the city streets are below sea level. That not only causes the roads to sink, crack and fall apart, but also poses a high risk for flooding after just a heavy rain, not to mention a hurricane.
Chicago not only has the most expensive gasoline in the United States, but also rivals New York City for the price of parking. Odds are you will get a parking ticket--several times a week.
The entire state qualifies here--not just one city. Hawaii is the most expensive place in the United States to own a car, due in large part to sky-high taxes on vehicles and gasoline.
9. Washington, D.C.
The nation's capital is the fifth most expensive place to insure a car, and there is a good reason for that. The drivers are horrible! And it doesn't help that the roads appear to have been designed to confuse drivers and stop traffic.
With the third worst traffic in the country, this is a big Texas city that still thinks it's a small town. Just going across town takes most of the afternoon.
--From the Editors at Netscape