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The road to ruin


More pothole shockers as claims rise by up to 750%

Submerged pothole2

Councils in the areas worst hit by the winter storms are now facing a different kind of flood with a rising swell of automotive compensation claims according to campaign website Potholes.co.uk. In deluged Somerset claims spiked to 204 in January / February from just 24 in November / December making a massive 750% increase in cases.

This certainly chimes with our experience; after last week’s pothole shocker story on Garage Wire we received details from one motorist who’d hit the submerged pothole pictured. The damage bill totaled over £500 but the driver was forced to pay after the local council initially denied liability on the basis that they were not aware. Even when shown that they knew about the pothole they continued to deny liability and the matter was dropped after they threatened to seek extensive costs if the matter was taken to court.

Pothole damage to cars in the UK creates an estimated annual repair bill of £730million and continues to increase each year, according to research by Potholes.co.uk and Warranty Direct. As a result of the heavy rainfall damaging roads, campaign website Potholes.co.uk had more than 1,500 potholes reported across the UK in January and February alone, by motorists who had either damaged their vehicles or were trying to warn others of the hazards.

Warranty Direct found that claims for axle and suspension damage, a common result of hitting potholes at speed, increased 22% between 2012 and 2013. Axle and suspension faults currently represent around 10.1% of all claims handled by the company - the average repair bill for pothole-induced axle or suspension damage is £247.

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