Pothole Breakdowns in the UK

The pothole situation in the UK has gotten steadily worse over the past few years.

Potholes are one of the biggest issues plaguing Britain's roads, causing thousands of incidents per year, and costing motorists hundreds of pounds in repair fees for damage sustained to their vehicles.

It costs councils around the country millions of pounds per year to get them fixed, and in turn, closes roads, which causes high levels of disruption, so there's no quick and easy fix here.

Breakdown company, RAC, received over 10,000 call-outs for pothole-related damage caused to vehicles in 2021, which is 19% up in 2020 and 10% in 2019.

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Broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers, and distorted wheels made up 1.5% of the calls in 2021, all of which could lead to a severe incident if not discovered or repaired.

It's been claimed that drivers are 1.5 times more likely to break down from pothole damage in 2022 than they were back in 2006 which indicates how poorly roads are maintained.

Nicholas Lyes, RAC's head of roads policy, said the issue was "ridiculous because it is almost entirely avoidable if roads were maintained properly.

"The rot appears to have well and truly set in when it comes to the country's roads, with our patrols going out to vast numbers of drivers who, through no fault of their own, are breaking down because of the wear and tear caused by potholes.

"With drivers contributing so much in terms of tax to the government, the very least they deserve are roads that are fit for purpose."

"Potholed roads are a menace, not a mere annoyance. They can cause thousands of pounds of unnecessary damage to drivers' vehicles, make using our roads uncomfortable, and can be a serious road safety hazard for anyone on two wheels."

Most potholes are caused by water which seeps into existing small cracks in the surface of the road caused by the wear and tear of traffic and deterioration over time.

During the colder months, this water can freeze and expand, causing the roads to erode further, resulting in bigger gaping holes that can cause problems for all road users.


The cost to fill all of the current potholes in England and Wales would cost local councils £10 billion, according to a report by the Asphalt Industry Alliance.

A member of the Department for Transport said: "The Government is providing over £5 billion of investment over this Parliament for highways maintenance to local highways authorities across England.

"This is enough to fill millions of potholes a year, repair dozens of bridges, and resurface roads up and down the country."

Let's hope they stick to this promise and give us the roads we deserve, considering all drivers are obliged to pay road tax which helps to preserve what we drive on each day.

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Am I able to claim for pothole damage?

If you are able to prove that any damage to your vehicle was caused by a pothole, then you could have a could make a claim.