Potholes have damaged cars for one-third of UK drivers

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

Thirty-two per cent of drivers have had their car damaged by a pothole, according to new research.

The average repair cost for this damage was £141.95, but around 11 per cent of motorists say they have spent more than £251 on a pothole repair.

In the survey of 2,000 UK drivers by Citroen, almost a quarter of those whose car had been damaged by a pothole had tried to claim the repair cost back from the local council, while 42 per cent said they wished their car had better suspension to deal with cracks in the road.

Data from the Asphalt Industry Alliance reveals that local authorities in England and Wales paid out almost £6 million in pothole-related compensation in 2019/20.

Its report says that a pothole is repaired every 21 seconds in England Wales, but authorities face an annual budget fall of £826.6 million.

The result is that nine per cent of the road network is considered to be in bad condition and likely to require maintenance within 12 months.


In January, breakdown service the RAC released data that showed it attended almost 1,500 pothole-related breakdowns in the fourth quarter of 2020. It said this was concerning because the figures were similar to the same period in 2019, despite the fact the latest numbers were taken while the UK was affected by coronavirus-related travel restrictions and national lockdowns.

Speaking at the time, RAC head of road policy Nicholas Lyes called on the government to put aside 2p from the existing 58p-per-litre duty on the sale of petrol and diesel, which he said ‘would generate nearly £5bn of additional funds for local roads over five years’.

Lyes added: “The Government’s approach of allocating funding to councils from various pots on an annual basis means authorities are always having to play catch-up by fixing potholes rather than focusing on preventative maintenance.”