Recent data released by Kwik Fit's annual PIT Report (Pothole Impact Tracker) unveils the escalating financial toll inflicted upon the nation's motorists due to crumbling road surfaces. With tightening budgets hindering councils' ability to maintain road conditions, drivers across the United Kingdom are bearing the brunt of pothole-related damages, amounting to a staggering £1.48 billion in the past year alone.

The findings of Kwik Fit's report shed light on the enduring repercussions of inadequate road maintenance, echoing earlier research by the asphalt industry in 2018, which estimated a substantial £9.31 billion requirement to rectify the road network's deficiencies. Despite this, insufficient funding has left the infrastructure in disrepair, leading to a cascading impact on drivers' wallets.

The £1.48 billion pothole damage bill for the current year marks a concerning 61 per cent surge since 2018 when drivers incurred costs amounting to £915 million. While this represents a notable improvement from the previous year's total bill of £1.67 billion, it underscores the persistent strain inflicted upon motorists due to deteriorating road conditions.

From 2018 to 2024, motorists have collectively expended an eye-watering £9.5 billion on vehicle repairs stemming from pothole damage, closely mirroring the initial funding shortfall identified at the onset of this period. This stark reality underscores the adage that prevention is often more economical than cure, with the accumulated backlog for road repairs now reaching an estimated £16.3 billion.

Amidst the financial burden, drivers grappling with pothole-induced damages faced an average repair expense of £120 over the past year. Notably, for 660,000 car owners, costs soared beyond £300, with tyres, wheels, and suspension emerging as the most commonly affected components.

“Potholes are not just an issue because of the cost to drivers, they present a risk to people’s safety,” Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, commented. “Our research shows that in many cases, people are unaware of the damage their car has suffered. A tyre with a compromised inner sidewall or a wheel which has suffered cracking may not be obvious without a thorough check. Sometimes a pothole can result in a slow puncture, which only becomes critical a few days after the impact, often in the most inconvenient location.”

Alarmingly, Kwik Fit's research reveals that nearly half (45 per cent) of pothole-induced damages are not immediately apparent to drivers. While some individuals (26 per cent) identify issues themselves in the days following the impact, a significant proportion (19 per cent) only become aware of the damage when their vehicle is inspected by a professional.