Car Insurance News
Potholes 'are damaging many UK cars'
24 August 2012
Potholes continue to be a big worry for car insurance holders in the UK, new research has suggested.
Carried out by Britannia Rescue, the study revealed more than 54,000 compensation claims have been made to councils in the last two years as a result of vehicles being damaged by neglected roads.
Indeed, it was demonstrated that potholes in particular are posing problems for motorists, with the road divots puncturing tyres, damaging suspensions and ruining wheel trims.
According to the findings, local councils in England, Wales and Scotland forked out £4.8 million in compensation over the last two years due to road damage to vehicles.
Surrey County Council, one of the largest such bodies in England, paid out the largest sum in the period - a massive £630,000.
Road surfaces in the UK have been particularly affected by hazardous weather conditions in recent times, with cold winters and wet summers resulting in water seeping beneath the surface and freezing.
This action loosens the asphalt before thawing - and further rain and general road wear and tear results in pothole formations of all shapes and sizes.
Peter Horton, managing director of Britannia Rescue, noted: "The past two harsh winters caused significant damage to the UK's roads, which has not been fully repaired yet.
"Cuts in road maintenance funding mean that local authorities face very difficult choices on the roads they prioritise for repair."
Mr Horton advised drivers to lower their speed and keep their eyes peeled to reduce the risk of hitting a pothole - a likelihood that is increased during wet weather when the holes may fill with water and become less easy to spot.
It was noted that the pothole problem is not being resolved because road maintenance in the UK appears to be underfunded.
Just £17 per driver is spent on the upkeep of the surfaces, which equates to 11 per cent of the annual road tax bill - while the average cost to repair pothole-related damage amounts to £132 and can rise as high as £3,000 in some cases.
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