Drivers pay out thousands for pothole damage

More than 31,000 claims were made against councils for pothole damage to cars in the last financial

More than 31,000 claims were made against councils for pothole damage to cars in the last financial year. - Credit: PA

Thousands of pounds are being paid out by motorists for car damage caused by potholes, new research has revealed.

The figures, released by the RAC Foundation, showed that at least 31,483 claims were made against councils for damage caused in the past financial year.

However, despite these numerous claims, councils paid out for only 26.9% of cases.

Data was collected from 204 out of the 207 councils in Britain, with the average value of a claim coming in at £432. In contrast, the average value of a successful claim was £306.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: 'These figures are symptomatic of the inadequate funding available for local road maintenance.

'Year in, year out, the backlog of work on local roads is estimated to run to several billion pounds.

'A pitted road surface isn't just a problem for motorists – for those on two wheels it can be life-threatening.

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'The chancellor acknowledged that there had been decades of underfunding in the nation's infrastructure and that he was keen to support targeted, value-for-money public investment. Providing funds to fix our roads would be a great place to start and would show rapid results.'

The council that received the highest number of claims was Hampshire, with 1,952, followed by Surrey and Hertfordshire with 1,412 and 1,369 respectively.

The government recently announced that the cost of fixing the UK's road network would be up to £8.6bn. However, a recent survey by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) showed that the true figure was around £11.8bn.

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