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Annual TomTom Traffic Index: The cost of driving has reached new highs around the world

The average cost of driving increased 27% for a typical petrol car in 2022 vs 2021

TomTom (TOM2), the specialist in geolocation technologies, releases the 12th edition of its annual TomTom Traffic Index today, a report detailing traffic trends across 389 cities in 56 countries, throughout 2022. For the first time, TomTom has assessed traffic in each city and the cost of driving in terms of time, money as well as the environmental impact for a driven mile.

The rising cost of driving in 2022

Workers have increasingly been heading back to the office, with travel times seeing a rise across 62% of the cities (242 out of 389). With inflation spiking around the globe and the ongoing climate crisis, TomTom looked at the economic and environmental impact of the return to higher traffic levels. Interestingly, despite the rising costs of driving globally, it continues to be a major mode of transport in most cities.

2022 saw an increase in energy prices due to several factors (disrupted supply chains, bad weather, lower investments, etc.) – and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which greatly exacerbated the situation. With congestion, fuel consumption increased as well. Consequence: drivers around the world spent 27% more on average to fill up their petrol tanks than in 2021, while those driving diesel cars shelled out 48% more in 2022 than the year before. With fuel prices hitting the roof, Hong Kong became the costliest city to drive in, with more than US$1000 ($1023) spent by a driver commuting every day at rush hour*.

In major European cities, driving an electric vehicle proved to be an effective way of keeping travel costs lower and consistent – even more when charging at fast-charging DC stations. Data shows that in a city like London, EV drivers charging at a slow-charging point saved nearly half of what they would spend driving a combustion engine vehicle that relies on petrol. Moreover, the costs of driving an EV are significantly less volatile, as 2022 showed that prices of fuel can easily fluctuate within the course of a year, while electricity prices are less likely to change as frequently.

London, the slowest city center to drive in

In 2022, London (city center) emerged as the slowest city to drive in: on average, Londoners needed 35 minutes to drive 6 miles (11 mph). During rush hour, the average speed in London’s city center was only 9 mph.

New working patterns have little impact on the time and money lost in traffic

With the widespread adoption of flexible working arrangements, many workers now have the option to work remotely, adopt a hybrid work schedule or even work flexible hours. With fewer commuters driving to and from work during rush hour each day, one would expect that people spent less time and money stuck in rush-hour traffic. Surprisingly though, the time people lost in global cities to rush-hour traffic only increased over the past year, with as much as 140 hours lost to traffic in Dublin*. By teleworking one day a week, a commuter in Dublin would save 56 hours of their time*.

The cost of traffic jams on the driver’s wallet is also quite significant. In Paris, driving a petrol-powered car during rush hour increases the cost of driving by 40%, compared to driving during optimal times (when traffic is at its lowest). By teleworking one day a week, a Parisian driver would save US$170*.

The traffic index also allows us to determine the impact in CO2 emissions when we drive during rush hour. For example, a Londoner who uses their petrol car every day to go to work emits 1.1t (2412 lbs) of CO2 per year*. By working from home one day a week, that would be 219 kg (482 lbs) fewer emissions.

2023 TomTom Traffic Index: New year, new methodology

For this edition of its Traffic Index, TomTom has modified its approach to calculating the costs of driving. This year, we’re assessing the time per mile driven, and simulating how long it takes to complete a 6-mile journey within a city. For the first time, we also worked on 2 analysis zones: the metropolitan area of each city (varying according to the size of the agglomeration), and the city center which corresponds for all cities to the complete road network within a radius of 5 kilometers (ab. 3 miles) around the center.

This methodology gives TomTom a deeper insight into traffic that more closely represents real-world driving conditions. It also allows for a more accurate comparison of driving conditions between cities, as the new method also identifies cities where the infrastructure (ratio of express lanes, traffic lights, speed limits, etc.) supports a faster or slower base speed. This new method quantifies the time and money drivers lose to road traffic, serving as a foundation for them to reconsider their travel behavior and make informed choices that benefit them as well as the environment.

Find out more about the TomTom Traffic Index and discover how your home city fared in 2022 at


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