RAC attends record-high pothole-related breakdowns

The RAC has attended the highest number of pothole-related breakdowns in any third quarter since it began recording this data in 2006.

RAC patrols went to 5,978 breakdowns caused by damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs or distorted wheels from July to September. This was 580 more than the previous third-quarter high of 5,398 recorded in 2013. It was also 1,893 more than the same period in 2022 when there were 4,085 – meaning this year has seen a 46% increase.

RAC’s figures don’t include the 101,000 call-outs for punctures which can be caused by nails and screws as well as poor road surfaces.

Garage repair data analysed by the RAC shows that drivers can expect to pay an average of up to £440 if their car needs fixing after hitting a pothole.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “Our analysis of pothole-related breakdowns is sadly once again showing that the sub-standard state of the country’s local roads is causing a world of pain for drivers, let alone those on two wheels.

“Fortunately, the government has promised £8.3bn for local highways authorities over a five-year period which should give them the certainty of funding they need to be able to plan longer term road maintenance work. We very much look forward to finding out exactly how the money will be allocated.

“We have long argued that it’s not just a question of filling potholes, it’s about getting the roads in the worst condition resurfaced. Then, it’s vital that more councils start to make greater use of surface treatments which can cost effectively extend the lives of these roads.”