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UK Councils Pay Less Than a Third of Pothole Damage Claims

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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 were compensated.

Forty-three thousand nine hundred forty-seven damage claims were made across the UK between April 2018 and June 2021; 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%).

Motorists are advised to write to the council for compensation if they believe potholes damaged their vehicle.

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 the data revealed how unlikely drivers in some parts of the country would be compensated for damage caused by potholes.

He said: “Potholes are one of the biggest causes of vehicle damage, which means lots of repair bills that someone must pay.

“With another cold snap on the way and UK road conditions showing no improvement, more drivers will likely be damaging their vehicles driving over potholes.

“We understand that it is expensive for local councils to compensate pothole damage claims, so tackling the problem should be a priority for many boards.

“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.

“If you’ve driven over a pothole, pull up as soon as it’s safe to ensure no severe damage has been done to the car.

 “If your car is no longer road worthy, 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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