UK motorists claiming for pothole damage every 17 minutes

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A recent study has revealed that in 2015-2016, UK motorists claimed for pothole damage every 17 minutes.


In the last financial 31,483 claims were made against councils for vehicle damage caused by poor rad conditions. The RAC Foundation found that this was up 9% from the previous year.


Hampshire saw the biggest number of pothole related claims with 1952 recorded in the past year. Surrey followed closely with around 1,412 claims and Hertfordshire reported up to 1,369.


In Scotland, Glasgow claimed the highest figure with 794 pothole related issues. Edinburgh was a close second with 514, and in Wales, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan received 237 and 173 claims respectively.


However, there is no guarantee of the motorists being able to claim money back. Only one in four UK motorists are receiving compensation for their reported claims from councils. Admiral reported last year, that of the 29,000 drivers who filed complaints for pothole damage, only 25% were successful.


It has been stated that the average payout for a pothole claim is close to £306. This figure is significantly less than the average claim of £432.  The most common types of damage caused to cars due to potholes are punctures, damaged wheels and broken axles.


The backlog of road maintenance being experienced in the UK may also be a factor behind the large number of claims with motorists facing the consequence of damaged vehicles.


Government assessments have estimated the maintenance backlog to be around £8.6bn. The latest annual survey commissioned by the Asphalt Industry Alliance, found that the backlog is as high as £11.6bn and it is estimated that it could take up to 14 years to fix.


The director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding commented: “These figures are symptomatic of the inadequate funding available for local road maintenance. Year in, year out, the backlog of work on local roads is estimated to run to several billion pounds.”


With the backlog of maintenance not looking to be sorted in the near future, the number of claims may increase in the following months.

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