Do Land Rovers really suffer more pothole damage than Fords?

This time of year is the season of maximum pothole damage, according to aftermarket warranty firm Warranty Direct, which released its annual league table of the ten cars most likely to suffer an axle or suspension related claim today.

Country road with potholes

Warrant Direct says that the average repair bill for pothole damage is £350. Today’s figures show that while local authorities in England and Wales spent £118.4m on filling in 2,190,026 potholes last year, they also paid out £13.5m in compensation claims.

The total cost of pothole damage for British motorists is massive. But according to Warranty Direct’s claims history, some cars are more likely to be damaged than others. Here are the top 10 cars most likely to make an axle or suspension-related claim:

Number Make Model Group Year % chance of an axle &
suspension related
claim annually
1 MERCEDES-BENZ R-Class (06-15) 15.82%
2 SAAB 9-3 (04-12) 15.05%
3 HYUNDAI SANTA FE (06-12) 13.98%
4 LAND ROVER DISCOVERY 3 (04-10) 13.37%
5 MERCEDES-BENZ GL-Class (06-15) 12.61%
6 VAUXHALL ASTRA (04-12) 11.56%
7 LANDROVER RANGE ROVER (02-13) 11.28%
8 BMW X5 (07-13) 11.27%
9 MERCEDES-BENZ E-Class (06-09) 11.17%
10 MERCEDES-BENZ CLS-Class (05-10) 11.15%

Source: Warranty Direct, April 2016

Of course, there may be some mitigating factors here. A number of these cars are large, luxury 4×4 models. Are drivers of these cars more likely to crash through potholes and over speed bumps without slowing down to taking avoiding action? We don’t know.

But what we do know is that the top 10 cars least likely to experience damage are mostly ordinary, mid-sized cars that fall firmly into the sensible category:

Number Make Model Group Year % Axle & Suspension
Claim of Policies
1 FORD S-MAX (06-15) 0.00%
1 NISSAN QASHQAI (07-14) 0.00%
3 BMW X5 (07-13) 0.60%
4 MINI COOPER (06-13) 0.64%
5 HONDA JAZZ (08-16) 0.69%
6 MERCEDES-BENZ C-Class (07-11) 0.72%
7 VAUXHALL CORSA (06-14) 0.74%
8 LAND ROVER FREELANDER (06-14) 0.78%
9 TOYOTA AVENSIS (03-09) 0.83%
10 NISSAN NOTE (06-13) 0.84%

Source: Warranty Direct, April 2016

You can read into this information as much or as little as you want. Bear in mind that these figures are based on the claims received from Warranty Direct policyholders, not a UK-wide survey of motorists. But we clearly have a problem with potholes in the UK.

This is probably in part because local councils simply don’t have the funds required to keep all their roads in good repair all the time. A compensation claim is a possibility, but it’s important to make sure you follow the right procedure.

If you’d like to know how to report potholes and whether you can claim for the cost of any repairs, you can find out more on potholes.co.uk, which is operated by Warranty Direct.

Disclosure: Simplemotoring.co.uk has no relationship with Warranty Direct or potholes.co.uk and was not paid or compensated for this article.

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