Pothole damage tops

£3 billion

Pothole damage

DAMAGE to cars caused by potholes is now estimated to be costing motorists £3 billion a year with one in three drivers reporting incidents caused by crumbling roads.

The cost ranges from replacing individual tyres to fixing extensive damage to suspension systems.

In some cases cars have been left a total write-off, according to new research by online motor retail specialist BuyaCar.co.uk.

The figures come after national statistics were published showing that Britain's road repairs backlog continues to grow, despite local authorities fixing a record 1.86 million potholes in the year to March 2019.

The estimated total cost of repairing all road damage now stands at almost £10 billion.

BuyaCar asked more than 600 drivers in the UK if their car had been damaged by a pothole and how much any repairs had cost.

Reported damage ranged from around £40 for one new tyre or wheel realignment up to £2,000 for extensive damage to the suspension and exhaust system of one car.

A significant number of drivers also said that they had not fixed cosmetic damage to alloy wheels or trims - a cost that will eventually catch up with them when they come to trade in or sell their car.

If the figures are representative of the national total, one in three of Britain's cars has been damaged by potholes - meaning nearly 12 million incidents at an average cost of £260 and an estimated total cost of £3 billion.

Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: "Local authorities are doing their best to catch up with the pothole problem and the recent news that they had repaired 20 per cent more in the past 12 months than the previous year was certainly welcome.

"But that will be cold comfort for drivers, who are shelling out a staggering total for the damage to their cars caused by potholes.

"There is also no sign that the problem will improve anytime soon because the Local Government Association itself says councils are falling behind on repairs all the time, despite fixing a hole every 17 seconds."

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