Is NZ one of the worst countries in the world to drive in?

Dyers Pass Rd. Photo: Supplied
Dyers Pass Rd. Photo: Supplied
A UK survey rating New Zealand among the worst countries in the world to drive in has been ridiculed by Kiwi road safety organisations, who have scorned the methodology.

The study released by vehicle rental company AllCarLeasing claimed New Zealand was “officially the third worst country in the world to drive in” and should be avoided when borders reopen.

The Automobile Association and the Rental Vehicle Association was bemused when confronted with statistics that rated Mexico as the best place for domestic and international motorists.

Using a process that weighed a number of factors including fuel prices, road quality, motor vehicles per 1000 people and the number of accidents per 100,000 vehicles, only Iceland and

Italy scored lower than New Zealand in The 2020 Motoring Index.

Figures cited by AllCarLeasing claimed fuel cost $US1.46 per litre, road quality was 4.5/7 and there were a “whopping” 860 cars per 1000 people. There were also 276.81 accidents per 100,000 vehicles.

The fuel price and number of vehicles per 1000 people appears to have counted against New Zealand’s rating.

The AA was baffled with spokesman Dylan Thomsen responding: “This isn’t a robust scientific analysis. People who have spent time driving in chaotic congestion in places like Mexico and Chile may find them being ranked first and third as a bit of a joke.

“The reason it works well as clickbait is because people in all countries have strong feelings about the state of their roads and how good or bad they are to drive on,” he said.

“The quality of the roads matter to people and, while this material isn’t something to take seriously, we do actually have a genuine issue in New Zealand where our roads are not getting the maintenance funding they need to be kept in good condition.”

The Rental Vehicle Association was also perplexed.

“The report only looks at the quantitative data to determine a country’s ranking, it doesn’t take into account a country’s geographics, nor does it explain the weighting of each scoring category,” said spokesman Oliver Elms.

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