Cost of potholes rises to £1.25 billion

UK motorists spent a total of £1.25 billion repairing pothole damage to their vehicles over the last year, reveals research published today by Kwik Fit1, the UK’s largest automotive servicing and repair company. With more than 10.8 million drivers damaging their vehicle due to poor road conditions over the last 12 months, the cost over the last three years totals an astonishing £3.4 billion.

The average bill for each of those motorists affected over the last year was £115, covering repairs to components such as tyres, suspension and wheels. Kwik Fit believes that the total cost identified by the research is likely to rise even further as 13% of drivers who suffered damage (some 1.4 million motorists) say they have not yet had the damage repaired. With the coronavirus causing financial uncertainty for many, it is likely that those repairs will be put off for a lot longer yet.

More than a quarter (26%) of motorists say they hit more than 30 potholes over the course of a month – an average of one a day. A third (32%) of the drivers who have hit a pothole in the last year say it caused damage, with the most common items needing repair being tyres (5.8 million drivers), wheels (4.2 million), suspension and steering (3.8 million and 1.7 million respectively).

Almost the entire cost of those repairs has had to be borne by motorists or their insurers as a mere £8.1 million (0.7% of the total) has been refunded to drivers in compensation from local authorities (England and Wales figures).4 While responding to coronavirus is going to be a huge drain on public resources, it is interesting to note that in the longer term, many drivers say they would be prepared to pay higher council taxes if it guaranteed improved road conditions.

Kwik Fit found that a majority (55%) of drivers who have suffered damage would be prepared to pay more council tax, with the average driver willing to stump up 12.5% more. Those who haven’t suffered pothole damage in the last year would be less willing, with only a third (34%) happy to pay more council tax to fund road repairs, with the average acceptable increase just 4.8% on top of their current bill.

Of all drivers, Londoners would be willing to pay the highest increase in council tax. This is likely to be a result of the capital’s drivers being hit with the largest bill for repairs. Last year, London motorists had to cover a cost of £307,231,000 for pothole damage, a rise of 50% on the previous year. Other regions which have seen rises are the South East, and South West, while the total cost to drivers in the North West, Eastern, East Midlands regions and Wales have remained relatively static year on year.

The Kwik Fit study has some comparatively good news for drivers in Scotland, the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and the North East, where the total cost has decreased from last year, but even here, drivers were still faced with a collective bill of £360 million.

Source: Research for Kwik Fit 2019, 2020.

56% of people travelling on UK roads believe they are in worse condition now compared to a year ago, up from 51% of people who were asked the same question last year. And the majority of road users in the country don’t feel that there will be significant improvement any time soon. When asked about the Government’s recently announced £2.5bn five year pothole fund, 56% said that this would have a slight or no impact on the number of potholes. The experience of drivers reflect the latest ALARM report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance, which highlights that a one-off spend in excess of £11 billion is needed to bring the network back up to scratch.

Covid 19 – Update

We understand that the current times are uncertain and worrying due to the Coronavirus outbreak and so we wanted to let you know that our business is still open. With immediate effect all staff will be working from home. Daily despatch will continue from our secured unit whilst adhering to the UK Government advice on social distancing to minimise further spreading of the virus.

However, if we are obliged to change this due to updated advice from the Government, we will keep you all updated as soon as possible.

We would like to thank all our customers for their continued support during these unprecedented times. Thank you for your patience whilst we adapt to this new situation.

Stay safe.

Air-Seal Products

New Team Member for Sales Support

Air-Seal Products tyre sealant admin team member

We are delighted to welcome our newest staff member Claire Lock to the Air-Seal Products team.

Claire has previous experience in retail management and will be working alongside Suzy in our Sales Support team.

We wish Claire all the best in her new role. Welcome to the team!

Air-Seal Products Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

Air-Seal Products tyre sealant 20 years in business logo

Global tyre sealant distributor Air-Seal Products is celebrating its 20th year in business.

Somerset based company Air-Seal Products started two decades ago in the year 2000 and since that time has helped companies save money on puncture costs and downtime all over the world.

It has come a long way in contrast from its humble beginnings as a one-person operation to where it is now, the company currently employs ten staff members at its offices and warehouse on the Somerset/Devon border.

The business has flourished over the years by sticking to its clear business objectives and from the input of knowledgeable dynamic team members that are experts in their field, many of whom have worked for the company for over 14 years.

Company founder and Managing Director Alex Burnand said “Over the last twenty years our distribution has grown steadily by reputation and we are happy to now be operating on a global scale. We have built long term relationships with many companies such as the likes of the Royal Mail, the British Armed Services and other government departments. However, we also enjoy solving the tyre related problems for many different types of business and individuals whatever size and however quirky they maybe – ranging from the lawnmowers at Buckingham Palace to a Bugatti Veyron competing in the Gumball Rally!”

With visits to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Chile and Mongolia last year there can’t be many single product companies that can boast quite the same reach and have the unparalleled knowledge in this sector.

With elevated focus on the further expansion of their export business with visits to Australia, South Africa and Kazakhstan along with further trips overseas to support established distributors and continued growth in the UK.

This looks like it could prove to be another exciting year for Air-Seal Products.