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Pothole Epidemic A Plague On UK Car Suspension

By Maddy Price
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 10:43

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With weather conditions like the Easter weekend’s Storm Katie creating the perfect conditions for the annual pothole epidemic, a new study of 3-8 year old cars from Warranty Direct reveals the Mercedes Benz R-Class (06-15)* and Saab 9-3 (04-12) are the cars most likely to suffer suspension damage.

Hyundai’s Santa Fe (06-12) and the Land Rover Discovery 3 (04-10) have the next most susceptible suspension, with 13.9 and 13.3 percent respectively of Warranty Direct customers claiming for axle & suspension damage annually.

Potholes are typically at their most prevalent on Britain’s underinvested road network between January and April, as heavy rainfall undermines the lower structural layers of roads, creating cracks then more potholes,** increasing the likelihood of suspension damage.

The recent Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey revealed that local authorities spent a total of £118.4m*** filling 2,190,026*** potholes across England and Wales in the last year, but also paid out an additional £13.5m*** in compensation claims.

With the average repair bill for pothole damage now £350,**** Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 live policies shows that the most vulnerable cars are more than 15 times worse than the most robust models.

At the opposite end of the scale, the Ford S-Max (06-15) and Nissan Qashqai (07-14) share top billing as the cars least likely to be affected***** by the UK’s pothole-ridden roads; both boast an impressive clean sheet when it comes to model claims relating to axle & suspension damage.

Top 10 cars with the highest % chance of an annual axle & 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%

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “The variation you see in suspension damage from one model to another is remarkable.

“Potholes are a major factor in causing axle & suspension failure and any vehicle regularly driven over impaired road surfaces or used for commuting over pothole-strewn routes will ultimately incur damage eventually.

If you have a pothole to report, please click here to let us know about it.

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