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Pothole slaloming - a new sport?

Deep pothole in UK road

Despite the treasurer's recent commitment to invest a further £200m in UK road maintenance, potholes are becoming an increasingly common hazard. To put the government's financial pledge into some perspective, the Asphalt Industry Alliance's survey published in 2022 estimated a staggering £12bn and almost a decade would be required to complete the work.

Potholes are caused by a combination of factors, including weather, heavy traffic, and years of under funded road maintenance. They can form quickly, making them difficult to anticipate and avoid, even for regular road users. Impacting a pothole can cause significant damage to alloy wheels, tyres and in more extreme cases, vehicle steering geometry and suspension.

More typically, the force of the impact can cause tyres to bulge, split or puncture, and alloy wheels to crack or deform at the rim. In many cases, the damage may not be immediately apparent and if you are a victim, it's recommended you have your vehicle checked by a professional. Alloy wheel and tyre repairs or replacements can be expensive, and costs can add up over time if you encounter multiple potholes. Surveys tell us that nationally, less than 25% of motorists wheel or tyre repair claims are accepted and paid, and the process making a claim can be inconvenient and unreasonably protracted.

For those in the process of acquiring a new or used vehicle, or have recently done so, - some help may be at hand. Cambridgeshire-based specialist insurance people have recently launched a new product called 'Tyre & Alloy Wheel Insurance'. This insurance provides cover for alloy wheel and tyre repairs - or contributes toward the cost of replacements if repairs are not possible. Cover costs are the equivalent of (from) 28p per day for a three-year period of cover. Alloy wheel repairs are generally completed at your home or place of work and tyres can be repaired/replaced at your nearest or preferred tyre specialist. This insurance also covers alloy wheel and tyre damage caused by 'kerbing' and other forms of accidental and malicious damage. At less than the price of a daily newspaper, it's certainly well worth looking into, On the downside, it's only possible to buy cover if you've had your car for 30 days or less.

In conclusion, the state of the UK's roads is a problem that's unlikely to go away anytime soon. Meanwhile, for many motorists, avoiding these mini-craters will continue to be a challenging event as they weave like Olympic skiers on a downhill slalom. With each successful swerve, they avoid costly wheel and tyre damage and should be forgiven for performing a fist pump when they arrive safely at their destination. Who can blame them? after all, there's nothing quite like the rush of narrowly avoiding calamity while driving to the grocery store. Be vigilant and be prepared for the unexpected.


Click2protect UK Limited. 2023.


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