Pothole claims top £12m

Councils and road authorities across Britain paid more than £12m in compensation to motorists between 2018 and 2021 for damage caused by poor road surfaces and potholes,

This is according to research by What Car?.

It found that motorists logged more than 145,000 compensation claims for vehicle damage caused by potholes and poor road surfaces between January 2018 and October 2021. Of those claims, 37,366 were successful, representing a 25.72% success rate, averaging £347 per successful claim.

The research comes after The Asphalt Industry Alliance published its latest ALARM report, with local authorities in England and Wales facing a nine-year backlog of road repairs estimated to cost £12.64bn.

Highways England, which manages the Strategic Road Network, a 4,300-mile network of motorways, dual carriageways and other A-roads that link towns and cities across England, was found to have compensated drivers the most – totalling £865,254.75 between 2018 and October 2021.

As part of the investigation, What Car? also surveyed 470 motorists with 23.62% reporting they’ve damaged their vehicle in the past 18 months from hitting a pothole. Two-thirds of respondents were aware they could claim for the damage caused from their local roads authority, though just 10.16% had ever done so.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “The poor state of Britain’s roads is nothing new, but recently it’s been brought into greater focus by everything from reports of celebrities filling potholes on local roads to the most recent ALARM report highlighting the vast costs and resources needed to bring our network up to standard.

“Our investigation has shown the considerable number of claims motorists have submitted up and down the country for damage caused by poor road conditions and the significant outlay local authorities have to bear to compensate motorists. This is in addition to scheduled expenditure on maintaining and repairing roads.”