National Pothole Day: Everything you need to know, plus alternative pothole uses

Image of Chris Evans
Author: | Updated: 15 Jan 2020 10:07

Potholes: the scourge of Britain’s roads, the bane of UK motorists, suspension saboteurs and renowned tyre trashers.

They’re responsible for one in ten mechanical failures, causing an estimated £730 million of damage to our cars every year. Experts reckon there is a pothole for every mile of road in the UK and if you combined surface area of all of Britain’s potholes, it’d be twice the size of the Isle of Wight.

They’re ugly, destructive, disruptive, and dangerous; yep, potholes have zero redeeming features. At least that was our understanding until we thought ‘could a pothole actually do something else apart from wreck our cars?’.

To mark National Pothole Day, here are just some things you could do with those colossal craters…

Alternative fish tank


Go sailing


Stage your own moon landing


Hook a duck


Find Nessy


How do potholes form?

Conspiracy theorists may claim that potholes are deliberately planted to drive car sales and generate revenue for local car garages. The truth is more innocuous though.

Water gathers in small cracks in the road surface and when temperatures plummets, the water freezes and expands, effectively prising open the road.

The hole grows larger the more the process is repeated and when cars drive through them, tearing away the weaker edges of the hole.

How can I get a pothole repaired?

Report it to your local council. You can do it online at

If you’re dissatisfied with the pace of progress, drawing rude graffiti (in non-permanent paint) has proved pretty effective in the past, although we can’t approve of this leftfield and ultimately illegal approach.

What if a pothole damages my lease car?

It depends if you opted to take out a maintenance contract when you completed you lease car agreement. A maintenance contract usually costs £20.00 + VAT a month and can cover servicing, replacement tyres and other repair costs. They can vary so it depends on the specific contract whether the damage will be cover. Maintenance contracts are advised for those driving more than 20,000 miles a year.

If you chose not to include a maintenance contract when leasing your car, contact the company providing the vehicle directly.

How can I combat potholes?

Of course, there is plenty motorists can do to make sure they never bear the brunt of a malicious pothole.

Keep your eyes peeled and scan the road ahead. Yes, it’s obvious but many motorists neglect this simple tactic. Keeping a safe distance away from the car in front too; this will give you more time to react if you do spot a pothole.

Should a pothole be unavoidable, keeping your speed down will limit any potential damage to your vehicle. Keeping your car’s tyres properly inflated to the recommended pressures is another way to avoid further damage.

Tyres are the most common victims of potholes, accounting for 43% of pothole-inflicted damage. Suspension damage make up 34% of pothole damage while wheel rims take up 26%.

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