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UK councils pay less than a third of pothole damage claims

News / Fri 3rd Mar 2023 at 05:55pm



UK councils pay less than a third of pothole damage claims Drivers across the UK are being left out of pocket with councils paying less than a third of pothole damage claims. Motoring experts LeaseCar.uk have analysed the latest data to uncover which councils received the most pothole damage claims and how many of those claims were compensated. A total of 43,947 damage claims were made across the UK between April 2018 and June 2021 and of these, less than a third (13,187)  were compensated. 

Glasgow received the highest number of pothole damage claims (3,678) but only 3% (121) were settled in the driver’s favour. Following behind are Shropshire (2,246) and Cheshire East (2,200) who placed second and third on the list for damage claims. 

Only 7% of motorists in Cheshire East received compensation while those in Shropshire fared slightly better at around the national average (34%). A picture containing car, ground, outdoor, parkedDescription automatically generated
Credit: Shutterstock 

Motorists are advised to write to the council if they believe their vehicle has been damaged because of potholes in order to receive compensation. However, compensation is only payable if a pothole has been reported and not subsequently fixed by the council in their set timescale leaving many drivers to foot the bill themselves. 

Damage from potholes can cost UK motorists hundreds if tyres need replacing and thousands if the suspension needs replacing. Potholes are caused by water that seeps into the tarmac and then expands as temperatures drop below freezing during the winter, cracking the road surface. This makes winter the most likely time for motorists to damage their vehicles on potholes as the roads break up in cold conditions. 

Driving over one can puncture or burst tyres, affect the condition of wheels, damage bodywork, and in extreme cases even damage a vehicle’s suspension. And the problem doesn’t appear to be going away as the latest data from the Department for Transport found that there has been no improvement in the condition of UK roads over recent years. 

Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said that the data revealed how unlikely it was for drivers in some parts of the country to be compensated for damage caused by potholes. He said: “Potholes are one of the biggest causes of damage to vehicles which means lots of repair bills that someone needs to pay for. 

“With another cold snap on the way and UK road conditions showing no signs of improvement, more drivers are likely to be damaging their vehicles driving over potholes. “We understand that it is expensive for local councils to compensate pothole damage claims which is why tackling the pothole problem should be a priority for many councils. “But with less than a third of claims being compensated, motorists are being left out of pocket for hundreds or thousands of pounds at a time when budgets are tight. 

“Taking further measures to repair and prevent potholes would significantly improve safety for road users and reduce the likelihood of accidents from occurring. “If you’ve driven over a pothole, make sure to pull up as soon as it’s safe to do so to make sure no serious damage has been done to the car. 

“If your car is no longer roadworthy then do not try to limp home or to a garage as this can be a risk to both yourself and other road users.” 
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2 Comments for UK councils pay less than a third of pothole damage claims:

RayMo
2023-03-03 22:23:01

Only fair, seeing as its our cars that cause the damage.

Nostradamus
2023-03-04 11:01:26

RayMo: the damage is caused by water expanding when it freezes, this could be avoided if roads were better built and or if Councils filled gaps and cracks with tar: as once was common practice!

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