Experts warn that drivers could soon see more potholes on local roads

Car next to a pothole on an open road

Fed up with potholes on local roads? We’ve got bad news for you unfortunately, as motoring experts warn that their numbers are likely to rise.

From January to March, more potholes are likely to open up, leading to an increase in the number of compensation claims.

Hitting the rocky road

Freezing weather conditions and insufficient road maintenance are both likely to increase the number of potholes in the first three months of the year, according to Admiral car insurance.

Admiral explained: “Driving over a deep pothole, even at a low speed, can cause damage to a vehicle’s tyres, alloy wheels, steering alignment, wheel tracking and balancing and suspension.

“When the steering is severely damaged, it can also make it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle, which could increase the risk of accidents.”

Damage to cars caused by potholes is a cause for concern. In November 2022, the AA attended an additional 225 breakdowns a day caused by the uneven road surfaces.

Since 2016, compensation claims have increased by 67%, with 931 claims reported in 2022.

Drivers taking action

Last year, What Car? revealed that British councils and road authorities paid nearly £13 million in pothole compensation between 2018 and 2021.

Motorists across England, Scotland and Wales submitted more than 145,000 compensation claims during this time — of which 37,366 paid out — with a success rate of just one in four, but an average successful claim of £347.

Admiral’s head of claims, Lorna Connelly, said: “Over the past seven years we’ve seen an average of over 700 pothole related claims a year.

“In years with extreme cold snaps we always see an increase. In 2018, when we had the Beast from the East, this increased to more than 1,000 claims.”

She added: “Keep a sharp eye and slow down — swerving can be more dangerous!

“If you think you’ve hit a humdinger, get out and check for damage at the safest opportunity.”

Want to repair your car yourself? Read our DYI guide for useful tips.

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