Sussex in frontline of pothole problem with nearly one million holes reported in UK last year

The pothole problem appears to be reaching epidemic proportions with a staggering 905,000 potholes reported in 2017/18.

Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 1:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 2:26 pm

The combined holes are estimated to have a total depth of 33 kilometres - three times the depth of the Mariana Trench.

And the South East has the deepest pothole problem, stretching to almost 5km in depth.

Councils paid £2.8 million in compensation in 2017/18, as more than a third (34%) of UK drivers say they have had their car damaged by a pothole.

Pothole, Sedlescombe Road South. 10/2/14 ENGSUS00120141002134348

New Freedom of Information data obtained by reveals a whopping 905,172 potholes were flagged to councils across the UK in 2017/18, compared to 887,351 the previous year. This works out as almost 2,500 potholes reported per day that year to local authorities, on average.

The scale of the UK’s pothole problem has not gone unnoticed by motorists, as further research conducted by found more than a third (34%) of UK drivers have suffered damage to their vehicle as a result of poor road conditions.

And it seems February is the most prolific month for this, as more than one in seven (15%) incidents occurred during this time of year. Most of the damage reported was to the vehicle’s tyres (53%), while more than a quarter (26%) said hitting the pothole caused damaged to their suspension, which can be quite costly to fix.

This could explain why local authorities have had to fork out more than £2.8 million to compensate victims of pothole damage in one year (2017/18).

But not all motorists are turning to their local council to help pay for the repairs, as only one in five (23%) tried to claim compensation for the damage they received from hitting a pothole.

Instead, many motorists are most likely forking out to pay for the damage themselves, or not repairing it at all. Perhaps this is because more than a fifth (22%) of drivers are confused about their rights to claim for pothole damage.

To clear up this confusion, has created a guide for motorists to take them through the process and when they are able to make a legitimate claim.

If the council feels it has failed in its duty to maintain the road, they may be willing to cover the cost of repairing the damage, which in turn may save motorists potentially hundreds of pounds at a time when motoring is already very expensive.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, says: “Re-claiming the costs for pothole damage can be confusing for drivers. Many don’t know if it’s best to claim from your insurer, or from the council.

To help clear this confusion, drivers looking to claim for pothole damage can find all of the information they need to start the process in our guide.

“The number of potholes reported in the UK has increased by 2% in the last year, and it’s a battle councils continue to fight. If motorists come across a pothole they should report it to their local authority before it gets any worse.”

For more information on how to claim for damage visit