Bad weather in recent years and cuts to local government budgets are being blamed by campaign groups for an ever increasing number of potholes on the UK roads. The Asphalt Alliance claims that £10.5 billion would be needed to bring the UK's roads up to scratch, which is a pretty staggering figure but is counterbalanced against similar estimates that UK businesses are losing £5bn every year in reduced productivity, increased fuel consumption, damage to vehicles and delayed deliveries.

Compensation claims from motorists for damage to their vehicles already cost over £32 million a year, and speaking as someone who had just had to replace the suspension to his car, my anecdotal experience suggests that many motorists are not even aware that damage caused in this way could give rise to compensation and simply foot the bill themselves.

Local councils say that they have a shortfall of almost £0.5bn a year in their roads maintenance budget.

Of course, this isn't just an issue in the UK, poorly maintained road surfaces can cause all sorts of damage particularly related to punctures, damaged wheels, broken suspension or steering parts as well as general damage to the undercarriage of the vehicle. With public money stretched across Europe it's entirely likely that this type of vehicle damage will increase in the coming years. This makes it particularly important for anyone hiring a vehicle to consider the risks of damage to those parts of the vehicle that are usually excluded by the rental companies excess waiver products, specifically the tyres, wheels and undercarriage that are likely to get damaged in this way. Of course, if you're an policy holder you already have the peace of mind that no matter how bad the roads are, your car hire excess insurance protects you for accidental damage caused to these parts of the vehicle for which you may be liable to the rental company even it it's not your fault.

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