Has your taxi been damaged by potholes?

Pothole damage

Potholes are a real problem on our roads, and for professionals such as taxi drivers, damage to their cabs is not just an inconvenience, it stops them earning money.

You don’t have to go too far today to find a pothole – in fact, drivers are spending more time trying to avoid them, with the RAC reporting that the final three months of 2022 saw 1,800 call-outs for damage caused by potholes. That works out at 20 call-outs a day – an increase on 16 for pothole damage reported in the previous quarter.

The RAC says we have had the perfect conditions for creating potholes, as water makes its way into cracks which then expand when it freezes, causing the road surface to crumble.

Potholes can cause serious and expensive damage to cars, especially if drivers aren’t aware of them and can’t avoid them or slow down in time. While 86% of drivers surveyed said they had to steer around potholes, typical damage includes damaged shock absorbers and suspension springs, as well as damaged wheels and tyres.

Repairs such as these can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds and in the case of a taxi, the vehicle being off the road for repairs not only costs the driver, they also lose out in lost fares for as long as the cab is off the road.

While many drivers will claim in their taxi insurance to cover large bills such as these, if the damage has been caused by potholes, the RAC suggests drivers claim compensation from the organisation responsible for road maintenance in the area.

In order to make a claim, the driver must contact the council or agency responsible to tell them about the damage to their vehicle and why they believe they are to blame. They must also report the specific location where the damage took place, as well as the date and time of the incident.

This means that taxi drivers will not be out of pocket for expensive repairs to their vehicles which they need to earn a living.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The wet weather we’ve had both before and after the coldest start to winter in 12 years in December is the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads.

“We fear that by the Spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills – the last thing anyone wants in a cost-of-living crisis. It’s also important to remember that potholes are so much more than just an annoyance, they are a true road safety danger, especially for those on two wheels as they represent a huge risk to their personal safety.

“As many drivers will no doubt testify, there are too many occasions where potholes have been poorly patched up by cash-strapped councils which then return all too quickly.

“It’s frankly absurd that, as a country, we seem unable to get on top of such an age-old problem when roads play such an important role in people’s everyday lives – and are vital to moving goods and businesses delivering services.”

What’s the worst pothole you’ve seen?

Information correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.