Individual drivers can face a bill of hundreds or even thousands of pounds if they hit a pothole

Potholes in England are 15x deeper than the Grand Canyon

England’s potholes are almost 15 times deeper than the Grand Canyon, according to data obtained by the Federation of Small Businesses. The headline grabbing comparison used the combined depth of the 700,000 new potholes reported in 2018/19 to come up with the total of 28km, which is incidentally also three times greater than the height of Mount Everest.

While potholes are indeed an eyesore, in complete contrast to the aforementioned wonders of the world, they are also costing motorists millions. According to a study from Kwik Fit, potholes caused damage to vehicles costing a total of £915 million to repair in the year to March 2018.

What percentage of breakdowns are pothole related?

Breakdown firm the RAC maintains a pothole index, an indicator of the health of the UK’s roads, which suggests the number of pothole-related breakdowns was lowest in 2006, the first year they collected the data. Indeed, last year drivers were 1.7 times more likely to breakdown as a result of pothole-related damage than in 2006.

      • In the three months to the end of 2019, they attended more than 2,000 pothole-related breakdowns – 300 more than in the same period in 2018.
      • In total, they recorded just under 9,200 pothole-related faults in 2019, such as distorted wheels, broken suspensions springs and damaged shock absorbers.
      • This represents 1.1% of all breakdowns attended.

In the 2019 RAC Report on Motoring:

      • 49% of drivers said they think the condition and maintenance of local roads (not motorways or major A-roads) has got even worse over the past 12 months.
      • Only 10% said roads in their area had improved.
      • And 40% said there was no real change.

How can motorists protect their vehicles and their savings from potholes?

Individual drivers can face a bill of hundreds or even thousands of pounds if they hit a pothole. But there are motor add-on products that can safeguard their vehicles, such as Tyre Insurance, which provides accidental damage and puncture cover, including the spare and run-flats. It also covers the cost of replacement and includes fitting, subject to policy guidelines.

With modern car tyres becoming increasingly complex, and therefore costly to replace, specific cover can provide peace-of-mind for motorists. So next time they discover a puncture, they can rest assured that won’t have to worry about the repair bill.

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