costing drivers and their insurers at least £1 million per month due to massive
car repair bills, according to AA estimates.
Now the AA is
calling on the government to fund pothole repairs by ring-fencing 2p per litre
of current fuel duty to create a £1 billion fund, specifically for local
councils so they can get on top of their pothole problem.
The AA says it has
seen almost three times more pothole-related car insurance claims so far this
year than it did over the same period in 2017.
The number of
pothole claims made to the AA during the first four months of 2018 was more
than for the whole of 2017.
Based on the AA’s
share of the car insurance market, the broker estimates that there have been more
than 4,200 claims for pothole damage so far this year in the UK. With an
estimated average repair bill of around £1,000, that comes to an eye-watering
£4.2 million, or more than £1 million per month.
On top of that,
the number of breakdown call-outs for AA patrols to provide assistance following
pothole damage has doubled.
director of AA Insurance, said: “In most cases the damage caused by a pothole,
such as a ruined tyre or two and perhaps a wheel rim, doesn’t justify making an
insurance claim, due to the policy excess and the potential loss of your no
claims discount. So the claims we are seeing are clearly much worse than that.
hitting potholes and ruining their suspension, steering, the underbody of the
car or axles, and are occasionally being knocked off course and hitting other
vehicles, kerbs or a lamp posts.
“This year we’re
seeing a growing number of pothole claims described as ‘car severely damaged
and undriveable’, which didn't happen at all last year.
epidemic has become nothing short of a national disgrace. According to research
by the AA, almost nine out of 10 (88%) drivers say roads are in a worse state
now than 10 years ago. Our highways have become a national embarrassment.”
Commenting on the motoring
organisation’s idea to ring-fence 2p per litre of fuel duty for pothole
repairs, Ms Connor said: “With that funding, councils can then ‘fill
it’ and make their
local roads safe for all road users, whether on four wheels, two, or on foot.
That way compensation payments, which could otherwise be used to keep roads in
good repair, should dramatically fall.”