COSTLY: Drivers forking out a small fortune to repair tyres and wheels damaged caused by potholes
COSTLY: Drivers forking out a small fortune to repair tyres and wheels damaged caused by potholes

Hole in the ground

Its seems that the hole in the ground is leaving drivers with a hole in the pocket as a survey reveals that British motorists have had to fund repair bills to a tune of £684million as a result of damage caused by hitting potholes.

The poor condition of the nation’s roads has hit drivers’ finances hard over the last twelve months, but Yorkshire’s roads cause almost a third of the damage caused to vehicles nationally.

2015-16 saw the wettest November-January period on record, and surface water has been a significant factor in many drivers hitting potholes.  31% of motorists who hit a pothole in the last twelve months say they did so because it was hidden by water and they thought it was just a puddle.

Hitting a pothole is most likely to have caused damage in Yorkshire & Humber and London, where over a third (37% and 35% respectively) of drivers hitting a pothole had to make repairs.  Welsh drivers were most likely to be financially unscathed from the impact of a pothole, although even here, 17% faced repair bills.

Across the country, 6.3million drivers suffered damage from hitting potholes in their car, with motorists having to pay out an average of £108.60 for repairs to tyres, wheels, suspension, exhausts or other bodywork.

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The vast majority of this financial burden is falling on motorists – the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey said, revealing that only £13.5m has been paid out in compensation in England and Wales, just 2.1% of the total cost of damage.

Collectively, the greatest financial impact has been on drivers in the South East, who have had to pay a whopping £108,149,130 for repairs caused by potholes, followed by drivers in London, with the capital’s roads causing £91,368,450 worth of damage.

Per individual driver, the costliest damage was suffered in the east of England, where drivers had to pay an average of £163.68, nearly three times as much as drivers in Wales, where the average repair bill was £61.83.  Welsh drivers have collectively faced the lowest bill of all regions at £12.4million, less than half the cost to drivers in the north east of England, the second lowest region.

Kwik Fit found that nearly half (46%) of those hitting a pothole said they would have risked colliding with other traffic if they had swerved around it.  4% of those hitting a pothole were honest enough to admit that they were driving too fast, and couldn’t stop in time.

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