James McCay

May 3, 2023

For some people, driving a car is its own reward. The pleasure of driving isn’t dependent on getting you from point A to point B (though the freedom of mobility and utility a car provides cannot be understated), but it can be affected by multiple factors.

Beyond picturesque driving roads like Australia’s Great Ocean Road or along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, the joy of driving can hinge on a variety of things like road quality and congestion. As experts in car insurance, we also recognise that various motoring expenses can play a part in the car ownership experience, too.

Compare the Market has run the numbers across six different factors for 22 different countries to weigh up which ones are arguably the best overall for car owners, and which ones could be leaving drivers daydreaming of being anywhere else.

The best countries to be a car owner 2023

RankCountryMotoring Expenses to Income RatioAverage Congestions HoursRoad QualityRoad Mortality RatePetrol Price (USD/L)Vehicle Standard ScoreIndex Score
12Czech Republic17%1243.95.9$1.7583.89
14New Zealand14%1484.57.8$1.6473.49

Car insurance is one motoring expense you can influence

In a country like Australia, there’s not a lot we can do about motoring expenses like registration and taxes, but car insurance is one factor that we can influence ourselves. Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor, explains how.

“Car insurance is a pretty important purchase that helps give you financial security should your vehicle be damaged from certain events, and can help you cover your liability when you get behind the wheel,” Taylor begins. “There are a lot of car insurance brands out there, each offering a different price and cover.”

“By comparing your options, you can look for a deal that suits you, helping save money or getting more bang for your buck by finding something more appropriate,” Taylor explains. “Regularly comparing your options can help you minimise your car ownership expenses, while also providing peace of mind as you head out on the road.”


Compare the Market sourced multiple data points to create the index. To calculate an overall index score, each country was ranked with a score between 0 to 10 for each metric, with 10 representing the best score and 0 the worst score. All these scores were then averaged together to create an equally weighted index score out of 10.

To calculate the motoring expenses ratio, each country’s annual average car related expenses were converted from Euros to US dollars on 19/04/2023 using Google’s currency converter tool. These prices were then divided by the average annual income (in US dollars) to create a motoring expenses ratio, expressed as a percentage of income.

Average congestion hours used TomTom’s Traffic Index 2022 rankings. Using every city with data provided in TomTom’s index for each country we examined, we calculated an average annual number of hours spent in rush hour traffic.

Road quality was based on the 2019 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index report, where countries were given a score out of seven for road quality, with seven being the best possible score. Road mortality rates were based on World Health Organization data. Petrol prices were taken on 16/04/2023 but are subject to change. Vehicle standard scores were sourced from the World Health Organization and based out of a score of eight, where eight was the best possible score.

Here is how we scored each factor before calculating an equally weighted average of all scores:

  • Motoring expenses to income ratio: a higher ratio was given a lower score out of 10.
  • Average congestion hours: a higher number of hours was given a lower score out of 10.
  • Road quality: a higher road quality figure was given a higher score out of 10.
  • Road mortality rate: a higher mortality rate was given a lower score out of 10.
  • Petrol price (USD/L): a higher price per litre was given a lower score out of 10.
  • Vehicle standards score: a higher vehicle standards result was given a higher score out of 10.


1 TomTom Traffic Index: Ranking 2022. TomTom. 2023.

^ Petrol prices accurate as of 16/04/23 and subject to change