Home Finance What’s the Real Financial Cost of Potholes to Drivers?

What’s the Real Financial Cost of Potholes to Drivers?


Potholes can be a real pain to all drivers, whether you’re behind the wheel of a taxi, private car, motorbike or most other vehicles. On your daily commute it’s easy to spot where they are, remember and avoid in the future, but when driving a different route, you can get caught out and suffer minor to severe damage.

The costs can soon add up for drivers and with potholes seemingly becoming a lot more common, it’s having a real economic impact. Claims have soared and repairs are costly and the real financial effect for drivers is eye-opening.

The Repair Costs for Pothole Damage

A combination of bad weather, especially during a freakishly cold winter last year, and poor road conditions, have created more potholes on our roads. These in turn have increased the rate of breakdowns and vehicle damage, which has resulted in large costs for both motorists and insurers.

According to research, drivers and insurers are losing £1 million a month due to the current pothole epidemic. Of course, this varies on an individual basis, depending on the severity of damage. The same research claims that the estimated average repair bill is £1,000 due to pothole damage.

Compensation and Claims

In many cases pothole damage can just be a burst tyre or two, maybe the wheel rim as well. This isn’t usually worth the hassle of making a claim, so many drivers won’t bother unless the damage is quite severe.

For insurers there has been a real cost thanks to the increase in potholes. The AA claims that a pothole epidemic saw breakdown callouts reach a 15-year high, which in turn resulted in its pre-tax profits declining by 65% and shares in the company drop by more than 12%. This could have a further impact on drivers as the AA and other insurers may then have to increase their breakdown cover costs to make up for this.

How Much is Spent Fixing Potholes?

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport announced in March that another £100 million was being allocated to the Pothole Action Fund. This will be used to help repair around two million potholes and prevent more from being created due to extreme weather in the future.

It is on top of £75 million that was given to councils earlier in 2018 and a £46 million boost before the previous Christmas. In total, close to seven million potholes should be filled thanks to this action and reduce the amount of damage and money spent on repairs in the future.

Potholes can cost drivers and insurers a lot of money but if this funding is used well then hopefully the financial impact of potholes will greatly reduce in the coming years.