Bigger hole in the pocket from growing potholes for motorists
The pothole chequered highways of this country are costing British motorists an astonishing £1.2 billion per year. The costs of repairing or replacing suspension, steering and tires and wheel repairs have risen by a substantial 16% in just in only one year.
The last year which has seen very heavy levels of rain have added to the erosion of road surfaces across the country.
Halfords Autocentres have issued figures that seem to show that over 8.9 million vehicles have suffered damage to their suspension and – or steering directly because of the ever expanding pot hole problem.
Dangerous potholes reported to hard-up councils have increased by 18% over the past 12 months according to motoring and cycling websites monitoring this issue and estimates from the Asphalt Industry Alliance suggest that the UK’s roads are pitted with as many as 2 million craters .
Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres explained: “The surface of our roads is deteriorating to the point where drivers are now likely to encounter a potentially damaging pothole during most journeys – with rain-filled holes being harder to see and avoid.
“In a new car a small pothole can damage wheels, tyres and shock absorbers but with large numbers of drivers keeping their cars for longer and cutting back on routine maintenance older, less well maintained cars are even more vulnerable.”
Rectifying the damage caused by potholes can be unexpectedly costly, with an average repair bill of £140, and insurance companies attribute as many as one in five mechanical vehicle failures to pothole-related damage.
Halfords Autocentres’ figures reveal that some regions had far higher incidences of pothole damage than others – with drivers on the south coast collectively being hit hardest with an £85 million repair bill, closely followed by motorists in Kent and the East Midlands who pay around £78 million and £75 million respectively.
The Government and local authorities are now spending almost £1 billion a year on highway maintenance but, despite repairing more than 2.2 million potholes a year, experts believe that fixing the backlog could take more than 10 years.
Rory Carlin added: “Cutting back on maintenance is a false economy because it increases the risk of damage to a vehicle going unnoticed as well as the likely repair costs to rectify it.
“If you hit a pothole it is always worth getting an expert opinion – even if there are no immediate after-effects such as unexplained noises or wheel damage.”
To find your nearest Halfords Autocentre, find out more about our vehicle inspection services or make a booking online visit www.halfordsautocentres.com