Only One In Four Win Pothole Compensation

Thu 21st Apr 2022

Motorists who believe that they will be guaranteed a payout if a pothole damages their car might need to think again after new research showed how few complaints were actually successful.

Local councils and road authorities have paid out £13m in compensation over the last four years, but that’s only a fraction of what they might have paid, as from the 145,000 compensation claims made only 25 per cent have seen their repair costs reimbursed.

The analysis from WhatCar? found that Highways England were the biggest payers, shelling out a total payout of £865,255 from 2707 claims, the highest paying council was Lincolnshire, who had far more claims than anyone else (4313) and paid out £764,588 to unfortunate drivers.

For those that are successful, the average payout is £47, however further analysis from WhatCar? reveals that while 23.6 per cent of motorists had damaged their vehicle in a pothole, two thirds were aware they could claim, but only 10 per cent had ever done so - possibly put off by the low success rate for claims?

“The poor state of Britain’s roads is nothing new, but recently it’s been brought into greater focus by everything from reports of celebrities filling potholes on local roads to the most recent ALARM report highlighting the vast costs and resources needed to bring our network up to standard,” said Steve Huntingford from What Car? 

“Our investigation has shown the considerable number of claims motorists have submitted up and down the country for damage caused by poor road conditions and the significant outlay local authorities have to bear to compensate motorists. 

“This is in addition to scheduled expenditure on maintaining and repairing roads.”