Considering our nation's capital covers just 68 square miles, it begs the question, what is going on in D.C.?
Why is driving to work so bad in Washington D.C.?
One of the main problems with driving to work in D.C. is the financial cost.
We analyzed vehicle maintenance costs, gas expenditure, and car insurance to determine how much the average driver spends commuting to work, and in D.C., it comes to $5,302.10 each year!
That’s almost $1,000 more than the national average, mostly because of D.C.’s sky-high car insurance rates.
Making matters worse, despite D.C.’s small geographical area, the average commute time is one of the worst in the country.
Residents spend over an hour a day driving to and from work, almost 12 minutes longer than the U.S. average. Over the course of a year, this is equivalent to 11 whole days behind the wheel.
This is surprising, because in terms of distance traveled, D.C. residents have one of the shortest commutes (just over 15 miles each way), but with heavily congested roads due to tourists—and thousands of commuter vehicles pouring into the city from Virginia and Maryland each day—getting around takes an inordinate amount of time.
While all of this makes for quite a depressing read, there are ways you can save money.
Following the pandemic, many D.C. area employers have switched to remote working, or “working from home.”
According to researchers, if you can get rid of your car altogether and get paid to work the hours you would've spent commuting, you’d have an additional $9,256.25 each year.
Failing that, carpooling can also save you a lot of cash, and it seems many D.C. residents have already caught on. In fact, only 34.07% of D.C. drivers commute to work alone. This is lower than any individual state, and way lower than the national average of 77.29%.
Finally, the easiest way to save on your commute is to find a cheap
Alex is a versatile writer and editor. He has been writing about car insurance and other personal finance topics for several years. In his free time, Alex enjoys watching "Jeopardy!" and going to the park with his kids.