How much are traffic jams costing you?

New data suggests that timing your travel to avoid peak times could save you a fortune.

Vehicles Stuck in London Traffic Jam

If we had a pound for every driver who returned their vehicle to us saying, “traffic’s a nightmare!” or similar, we probably wouldn’t need to run a car and van rental company. Rush hour delays are the bane of all our lives, and now INRIX has defined just how much they cost us.

The INRIX scorecard looks at the situation across the world to discover which cities have the most congested roads, how much time you can expect to lose on those roads if you travel at peak time, and what that equates to in terms of cost per driver.

As you might expect, London is the most congested UK city, and the only one to feature in the world top 10 (thankfully). But if we focus on those cities nearest our vehicle rental depots (in Leeds, Lincoln, Bolton, Rugby and Scunthorpe) there’s plenty to digest:

  • Birmingham is 2nd in terms of impact of congestion
  • In Manchester, the cost of congestion per driver per year is £1,157, 3rd behind London and Edinburgh. It’s £1,057 in Leeds and £994 in Birmingham.
  • Leeds (9th in the UK) will see you lose 143 hours per year in congestion. You’ll lose 134 hrs in Birmingham and 156 in Manchester.
  • Average speed over the last mile is just 10mph in Manchester, and a dizzying 12mph in Birmingham and Leeds.

Purpose in pain

That’s all very well, you might think, but how does that information help us, because if you have to drive your rental car on the road during peak times, it doesn’t really help to know that things would be worse in Bogota.

But as INRIX’s Trevor Reed notes, this is about planning for the future. “In order to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, it is increasingly obvious that authorities need to adapt. With the help of new and innovative intelligent transportation solutions, we can begin to tackle the mobility issues we face today.”

In the meantime, if you want to make the hours with your hire vehicle more productive, the stats show it’s worth trying to travel outside of rush hour.

Find out more about flexible car or van leasing.

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