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A motorist has this week been awarded £10,000 compensation after his beloved Ferrari was damaged by a pothole.
Scott Nicholas, 44, took legal action against Peterborough City Council after a wheel and other parts of the car were damaged after he inadvertently drove through the pothole.
His £150,000 Ferrari 458 was off the road for three months. Parts had to be ordered, the wheel cost £3,000 to replace and the suspension had to be realigned.
Scott said: “I thought I’d hit something. I couldn’t believe it was a pothole.”
The entrepreneur, of Great Casterton, near Peterborough, plans to donate the £10,000 to an accident charity.
He said: “All I claimed for was the damage and the repair costs, nothing else. I was very sensible about it. It was never about the money, it was the principle.”
It is the most the council has ever paid in compensation for pothole damage.
It costs an estimated £53 to fix a pothole, but councils have paid out £12million since 2012 in compensation for damage caused by our crumbling highways.
With 2.2 million potholes being repaired across 12 months at a total cost of almost £120 million, potholes are a big issue.
In a 2016 survey, 39% of the AA’s members claimed their cars had been damaged by potholes. Of this number, 28% said a wheel, its tyre and the car’s tracking had been damaged.
The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), whose members provide road maintenance services to local authorities, said its annual survey of local councils revealed a combination of bad weather, rising traffic levels and “decades of underfunding” were taking their toll on the nation’s roads.
AIA chairman Ian MacKenzie said: “Local roads are deteriorating at a faster rate than they can be repaired, and more significant problems for the future are building unseen below the surface.”
Local Government Association spokesman Peter Box said: “Councils fixed a pothole every 15 seconds last year, but they remain trapped in a cycle that will only ever leave them able to patch up deteriorating roads.”
It can be an expensive business taking legal action against a local authority in pursuit of a compensation claim but it’s a good idea to ensure your car is well insured in the first place.