Britain now has a pothole for every mile of road according to new research.
Official council data obtained under a Freedom of Information request by breakdown service Britannia Rescue showed a 79% increase in compensation claims in the past financial year from motorists as a result of pothole damage.
Potholes now take up a total area of 295 square miles (764 square km) in Britain – more than twice the size of the Isle of Wight.
Among the other statistics revealed by the research are:
Local authorities have paid out £2.5m in compensation to motorists in the past financial year.
UK councils have received 32,600 compensation claims over the same period – a 79% increase over the previous year.
The most common problems are tyre damage (43%), damaged suspension (34%) and damaged wheel rims (26%).
Britannia Rescue said: “Short-term fixes are often chosen over longer term solutions, with close to a quarter (23%) of councils admitting they usually temporarily fix potholes rather than resurface the area.
“The average cost of repairing a pothole is around £50, meaning the amount paid out by councils in compensation could have been used to repair more than 50,000 potholes.”
The company’s managing director, Peter Horton, said: “Britain’s pothole epidemic has resulted from years of under-investment … we now have around 200,000 potholes on UK roads.
“Motorists should protect themselves and their vehicles by reducing their speed on potholed roads, and also reporting damaged roads to their local council.”