TrafficThe main street running through Ulaanbaatar, in Mongolia, is called Peace Avenue. Don’t be fooled. This city of one-and-a-half million has the highest incidence of road rage of any major city in the world. If that scares you, you’ll be more comfortable in Osaka, Japan, which has the lowest. But you’ll find the traffic a great deal heavier.

For a clear run get yourself to Calgary in Canada, which is regarded as the best city for drivers with low congestion, low fatalities and low prices for petrol. The worst in these respects is Mumbai, in India, although the prize for highest petrol prizes is held by Oslo, in Norway, where you’ll pay $US1.91 a litre. That’s getting up around $3 Australian. There are cities where you’ll pay far less. Like 60 cents, for example. But seriously, Lagos in Nigeria is not exactly a tourism hotspot.

A European parts retailer based in Lyon, France and called Mister Auto has carried out a study of 100 of the world’s major cities that reveals the best and worst cities for drivers worldwide. It takes into account road quality, congestion, average speed, air quality, road rage, fatality rates, and the costs of parking, petrol and taxes.

The four biggest Australian cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, are included in the study, and in terms of getting around Perth takes the prize in this country finishing 13th in the world, followed by Brisbane (28th), Melbourne (43rd) and Sydney (66th). No surprises there, and no surprise that Sydney is the most expensive place to park in Australia. But here’s the thing; Sydney is the most expensive place to park in the world. Brisbane and Melbourne rank third and fourth, with New York second. Perth comes in at 62nd. The cheapest place to park is Mumbai.

But in Mumbai it will take you longer to get there. It has the slowest traffic in the world and Calgary the fastest. In Australia Perth is the fastest, and 11th in the world, followed by Brisbane (44th), Melbourne (58th) and Sydney (89th). Brisbane has the best air quality of all 100 cities, Lagos the worst. Second in Australia is Sydney (15th) followed by Perth (17th) and Melbourne (71st). Brisbane also wins on road rage (finishing 20th worldwide) followed by Perth (41st), Sydney (47th) and Melbourne (50th).

Perth has the cheapest fuel in Australia, finishing 20th, followed by Brisbane (21st), Melbourne (22nd) and Sydney (23rd), the results reflecting the stability of fuel prices across the continent. It’s much the same with road taxes. Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are all level pegging at 55th, 56th and 57th in the world. But Melbourne comes in at 99th place, only fractionally cheaper than the most expensive city in the world, Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The cheapest place is Lagos.

In terms of fatalities Manchester in England has the lowest, with 0.8 fatalities per 100,000 people and Lagos the highest, at 26.2. In Australia Melbourne has a rate of 2.7 fatalities per 100,000 to come 37th in the world, followed by Sydney (4.7, 60th) Brisbane (4.9, 62nd (and Perth (6.1, 67th).

If you feel like giving up and going by public transport Melbourne is the place to do it, coming in at 17th in the world., Sydney finished 41st, Brisbane was 80th and Perth 86th. The winner was New York, the lowest was Karachi in Pakistan.

Published December 2019.


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