The bill to the UK motorist for repairing pothole damage has skyrocketed to a total of more than £1billion, reveals research published by Kwik Fit.
With more than 11 million drivers damaging their vehicle due to poor road conditions over the last year, the cost has reached a staggering £1.21billion – an increase of £296million (32%) compared to the year before.
This is continuing a worrying trend – in the year ending March 2016, the equivalent total bill was £684million, meaning that the cost of damage reported by motorists has risen by 77% in just three years.
The average cost to the individual motorist of repairing damage to components such as tyres, suspension and wheels has reduced slightly from £111 to £108.86, however, the number of motorists being affected has jumped by 2.9 million since last year. And the total cost is likely to rise even further as 1.4 million drivers say they have yet to have their vehicle repaired.
Almost a third of drivers who have hit a pothole in the last year had their car damaged by the impact, with the most common repairs being to tyres (5.9 million), suspension (3.8 million), wheels (3.7 million), steering (1.7 million), bodywork (1.3 million) and exhaust (1.2 million). 17% of motorists estimate they hit more than 30 potholes over the course of just one month – an average of one a day.
Regionally, Londoners’ wallets are being hit the hardest with an overall bill of £204,681,600, while in Wales the cost to motorists stands at £20,417,100 – a difference of £184,264,500.
More than half (51%) of people travelling on UK roads believe they are worse now compared to a year ago, with 60% saying they are in a poorer state when compared to 5 years ago. This mirrors the annual ALARM report published by the Asphalt Industry Alliance which states that while a 20% increase in funds for road networks is welcome and will halt further decline, the one-off catch-up cost to fix UK roads will only continue to rise.
The ALARM report also reveals that just £6.9million has been paid by local authorities to compensate those affected by potholes despite the bill to motorists topping more than £1billion. This is reflected in Kwik Fit’s research as it found less than a quarter (24%) of people have complained about potholes in their local area to their council.
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. Fortunately, this winter has not been as harsh as in previous years, but as we know with the Great British weather, conditions which would further damage our road network could still be round the corner.