Vehicle breakdowns increasing due to ‘pothole epidemic’

Poor weather in the UK, emphasised during the ‘beast from the east’ conditions, has contributed to the highest number of vehicle breakdown callouts in 15 years.

The AA, who have endured a 65 per cent decline in pre-tax profit as a result of increased expenditure and higher costs because of rising callouts, have labelled the current situation on UK roads as a ‘pothole epidemic’. The recovery and insurance firm has previously warned that drivers and insurers were losing £1 million a month repairing damage caused by potholes.

According to the company’s figures, the number of breakdowns between January and July this year increased by eight per cent to 1.9 million and to meet demand, the company had to call on third-party patrols.

Simon Breakwell, chief executive of the AA, said: “The first half of [the financial year] has seen exceptional weather conditions, from extreme cold and snow in February and March to the hottest summer in recent memory, with the severe winter also creating a pothole ‘epidemic’ on the UK’s roads. All this led to a 15-year high in the number of breakdowns we serviced. Against this backdrop, I am extremely proud of our achievements and to be reporting results in line with our guidance as we continue to build resilience throughout the business.”