Škoda system warns of potential potholes as research finds more than a quarter of UK drivers have damaged their car on an undetected pothole

Škoda UK research has revealed more than a quarter (27%) of British motorists have had their car damaged by potholes, on the day the Asphalt Industry Alliance’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance report reveals the extent of pothole problems in England and Wales.

Škoda research revealed the average overall repair cost for a damaged vehicle as a result of a pothole exceeds £200. For drivers looking to avoid damaged roads and potential damage to their car, Škoda offers assistance with its Local Hazard Information Service. The advanced system – a feature of Škoda Connect online services – warns of poor road conditions ahead, and could potentially save drivers money on costly repairs.

Of the UK drivers who have experienced damage from a pothole, the most common issues were punctures (47%), followed by tracking misalignment (26%) and a cracked spring (22%). The regions encountering the most damage were the North East and South West of England, while the region in which the fewest vehicle repairs needed to be carried out was the East Midlands. The top issues drivers face by potholes are:

  1. Tyre puncture
  2. Tracking misalignment
  3. Cracked spring / broken shock absorber
  4. Buckled / bent wheel
  5. Damaged alloy wheel

= Damaged exhaust / catalytic converter

  1. Tyre sidewall bulge
  2. Broken power steering
  3. Lost hubcap

Škoda technology can help drivers avoid costly repairs by providing alerts when they are approaching or within an area with bad road surfaces via the Local Hazard Information Service. A feature of Škoda Connect, it can provide drivers with hazard warnings along their journey and is available in all current Škoda models.

The ALARM survey details that in the 2022-2023 financial year, 1.4 million potholes were filled in, the equivalent to one every 22 seconds*, however 72% of claims against authorities from motorists were pothole related.

Overall, £93.7 million was spent filling in potholes in 2022/23, but the report also found that one in every nine miles of the local road network in England and Wales is likely to require maintenance in the next 12 months.

More on Škoda Local Hazard Information Service
Škoda Connect collects anonymised data from millions of Volkswagen Group vehicles across the UK and Europe – a number that is continuously growing – through three-point sensor technology. Road information is gathered for the duration of each journey from accelerometers, the ABS, and the friction sensors. Between them they measure the acceleration and braking patterns of the car, and virtually calculate friction between the tyres and the road surface based on wheel slip.

The aggregated information is transmitted and stored in the cloud from all connected vehicles through Škoda Connect and paired with metadata, such as weather information or previous measurements. A precise three-dimensional map is generated with alerts sent to vehicles via the central infotainment display when drivers are approaching an area with bad road surfaces. This swarm intelligence enables precise analysis, helping to build the self-learning system, and potentially averting damage such as tyre punctures and tracking misalignment.

Škoda Connect is available across the model range, for the Enyaq iV, Fabia, Kamiq, Karoq, Kodiaq, Octavia, Scala and Superb, with Local Hazard Information Services provided to the driver via the infotainment screen.