Price of pothole damage has risen to a record £1.2BILLION – costing the average motorist £110 a year
BRITAIN’S pothole crisis has reached a new high, with damage bills costing motorists well over £1billion in the last year.
And more than 11million drivers were forced to have their vehicle repaired due to pothole damage in the same period.
New research published by automotive servicing and repair company Kwik Fit found the cost of poor road conditions had risen to £1.21billion – up 32 per cent on the year before.
But compared to the year ending in March 2016 when the total bill was £684million, the financial burden on motorists has increased 77 per cent in just three years.
And while the average cost to the individual motorist of repairing damage has reduced slightly from £111 to £108.86, the number of motorists being affected has jumped.
An additional 2.9million drivers have suffered damage since last year, with the total cost likely to rise further as 1.4million drivers are yet to have their vehicle repaired.
HOW TO CLAIM COMPENSATION FOR POTHOLE DAMAGE
Pothole damage can be costly, but you might not always have to foot the bill:
- Compensation from the council or Highways England is possible although it’s not straightforward.
- First, you should ensure you take notes and photos at the scene and record the exact damage plus the size and shape of the pothole along with any contact details of witnesses.
- You’ll most likely need to get the damage repaired immediately but if you can, ring around for several quotes so you can provide evidence during a claim that you’ve searched for the best price.
- You should also flag up the pothole via the online service.
- Then, to submit your claim, write a letter to the council or Highways England (if it’s an A-road or motorway) outlining where the damage was caused, the extent of it and that you’re holding them liable.
- You’ll get a response, often within a couple of weeks and likely a refusal to pay under Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 – a one-size-fits-all defence that says all reasonable steps to maintain the road were taken, and all potholes were dealt with in a timely manner.
- Once this happens, you’ll need to determine if the council has fulfilled the Section 58 obligations by asking questions about the scheduling and quality of inspections and repairs on the road.
- If you believe you have a case write again outlining your findings. The council will either pay up or leave you with the choice of going to small claims court.
- Small claims court is fairly cheap and easy but you need to decide if it’ll really offset the cost of the repairs and time invested.
A Kwik Fit survey found one in three drivers who hit a potholed suffered damage to their car, with the most common repairs being to tyres, suspension, wheels and steering.
And around 17 per cent of drivers claim to hit at least one pothole almost every day they drive.
When it came to the worst hit areas, Londoners suffered the most.
Motorists in the capital were slapped with a repair bill of almost £205million, while those in Wales suffered the least damage with repair bills totalling £20.4million.
Roger Griggs, Communications Director at Kwik Fit, said: “The cost of damage from potholes is hitting more and more drivers who are continuing to see their cash being spent on issues that are not entirely their fault.
latest motors news
“Fortunately, this winter has not been as harsh as it has been in recent years, however as we know with the Great British weather, conditions which would further damage our road network could still be round the corner.
“It is worth noting that damage isn’t always immediately noticeable so motorists should give their car a thorough check when they do hit a pothole.
“Damage can also often be internal so anyone concerned about their car can take it to one of our centres so the staff can put it on the ramp for closer inspection.”
Source: The Sun Motors – Price of pothole damage has risen to a record £1.2BILLION – costing the average motorist £110 a year