As we have seen, avoiding potholes is not always possible – no matter how careful and conscientious a driver is. A January 2013 study from Warranty Direct and potholes.co.uk indicated that the average cost of repairs to motorists suffering pothole damage was £257. For those considering the purchase of a new car or van, unfortunately, the capacity of vehicles to cope with poor, cratered road surfaces should be one of the many aspects to consider.
The same survey from Warranty Direct and potholes.co.uk contains an assessment of a number of marques' ability to withstand pothole damage. This is done through noting the percentage of cars from each manufacturer that report axle or suspension damage.
This method, of course, is by no means infallible. Land Rovers, for example, do quite poorly in the survey, but there is the obvious caveat that many cars from this marque drive on rougher roads (and off them altogether), meaning that they are in harm's way more than the passenger car brands that suffer the smallest amounts of crater damage on UK roads. Different model ranges, of course, also have different average mileages and are popular in certain areas of the country (which themselves vary with regard to road types and the quality of surfaces). Furthermore, only axle and suspension damage is included in the survey – rates of tyre or wheel damage may have made for different results.
The study is therefore not a definitive one. Nevertheless, it makes it possible to make a number of qualified statements about the differing pothole-resistance capabilities of certain car brands. One is that Japanese and Korean brands appear to perform consistently well. A very low percentage of Honda car owners, for example – just 1.4%, as opposed to the annual rate of 6% suffered by the motoring public in general - reported axle or suspension problems caused by potholes. The top five "most resilient" vehicle brands, according to the survey, also included Hyundai (1.7%), Nissan (2.0%) and Kia (2.1%).
With British roads unlikely to improve for some years, it is worthwhile for any car buyer to carefully consider the ability of prospective vehicles to maintain handling and composure on bad road surfaces. The more you travel on pitted and pockmarked roads, the more important it is that you make everyday journeys in a vehicle that can give you an acceptable amount of comfort and will be relatively unlikely to fall victim to pothole damage.
Analysis of the full results can be found here - http://www.lovemoney.com/news/cars-computers-and-s....