File picture: Henk Kruger/Cape Argus
File picture: Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

South Africa the fourth worst country in which to drive, study shows

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Dec 10, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG – A study carried out by an Australian insurance comparison website has found that South Africa is one of the worst countries in the world in which to be a motorist.

The research, conducted by Compare the Market Australia, analysed four key factors comprising not only road quality but also the average congestion level, road fatality rate and the expenses to disposable income ratio.

Of particular concern is that South Africa was ranked last among the 25 countries in the study for both road fatalities and motoring costs, which balanced annual operating costs with average disposable income as listed on the OECD Better Life Index.

However, compared to Russia, which was ranked as the worst country overall, South Africa did actually score fairly well when it came to road quality and congestion levels, with the latter score being among the best of the bunch – hard as it is to believe when you’re faced with a commute in Cape Town or Johannesburg! The congestion data was derived from the 2020 TomTom Traffic Index.

Brazil was ranked second worst overall, thanks to relatively poor scores in all four categories, while Mexico was third behind South Africa, with particularly high motoring costs and heavy congestion being the prime culprits.

But which countries are the best to drive in? Denmark takes top marks here, with its low mortality rate, good roads and low congestion levels counterbalancing its relatively high motoring costs.

The US came second, largely due to its low motoring costs and lack of congestion, while the Netherlands came third with an impressively low mortality rate.

Germany, which is often seen as something of a motoring nirvana with its derestricted autobahn sections, came ninth, with relatively high scores across the band.

“Regardless of where you may be travelling, it is always important to ensure you have the right insurance cover for you and your car, as you never know who or what is around the corner,” said car insurance expert Stephen Zeller.

“If you travel to a country where the road and driving conditions are poor, purchasing travel insurance before you go is very important in case you cause damage to your hire car due to different road rules or conditions that you may be used to.”

IOL Motoring

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