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Motorists face 1bn pothole damage bill

Motorists face 1bn pothole damage bill Image

Britain's motorists are paying out over £1 billion a year on repairs to rectify damage caused by potholes, according to a new survey, with one car affected every four seconds.

The figures, from Halfords Autocentres, reveal that as many as 8 million vehicles a year suffer damage attributed to poorly maintained road surfaces, which includes steering and suspension damage.

Not surprisingly, complaints relating to potholes have doubled in a year, with councils being notified at a rate of 54 a day in December, a massive 60% increase on the average for the year, according to www.fillthathole.org.uk

Such damage to vehicles can become unexpectedly costly, with the average repair bill coming in at £135, which is not usually covered by Vehicle Warranty policies, and comes on top of the normal motoring costs of fuel, tax, insurance and mechanical breakdown cover.

Halfords Autocentres have explained that even the smallest of potholes can cause significant damage, with wheels, tyres, steering alignment and suspension the most susceptible.

Rory Carlin, a spokesperson for Halfords, stated that there are three main factors making the current problems faced by motorists worse, these are the inability of councils to keep pace with highway maintenance, drivers keeping vehicles for longer and hence driving cars more prone to damage, and the increased complexity of components ramping up costs for individual repairs.

Mr Carlin explained that Halfords were currently looking into ways to help drivers who encounter pothole damage, as they acknowledge the funding gap hitting motorists is not sustainable and that the authorities currently remain unwilling or unable to act.

published: 07/01/2013 17:00:01

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