Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Drivers hit in the pocket as pothole breakdowns reach new record

Drivers hit in the pocket as pothole breakdowns reach new record
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Drivers have faced a ‘world of pain’ navigating through UK roads, in what is set to be the worst ever year for pothole-related breakdowns, a motoring service reveals.

From July to September, the RAC had to attend 5,978 motorists who’d broken down due to damage caused to their vehicles by potholes.

This was 580 more than the previous highest amount of 5,298 in 2013 and 1,893 more than at the same time last year – a 46% increase.

While being the worst ever amount of incidents for the three month period from July, it is not the worst quarter recorded by the repair company. During January to March in 2021 there were 14,827 breakdown due to potholes, with the cold and wet weather contributing to damaged roads.

It’s not just the roads and vehicles being hit by the dodgy conditions, but so are motorists’ pockets. On average, drivers pay up to £440 to repair the car after a pothole-related incident.

YourMoney.com has reported on the rise in pothole-problems drivers have faced this year, and the RAC wants the Government to distribute the repair funds wisely.

Government urged to allocate £8.3bn pothole fund carefully

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.”

He added: “Our message to Government is therefore not just to get the potholes fixed, but to get councils using surface dressing again as this helps seal roads which prevents water getting in cracking the asphalt when the temperature drops to freezing.

A team effort is required to combat the poor conditions of the UK’s roads, according to the RAC boss.

Williams continued: “We’ve also asked the Department for Transport to set out guidance for councils on how best to make use of their funding. Roads in better condition need to be kept that way through a combination of carrying out the most permanent pothole repairs possible, with those requiring more attention being surface dressed, while roads that are no longer fit for purpose must be fully resurfaced.

“If this approach is adopted, we believe we will eventually see lasting benefits and a welcome end to the pothole plague drivers have had to endure for far too many years.”