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We’ve all cursed speed bumps and potholes as a nuisance and annoyance. But did you know they can inflict real damage on your car?
Around a third of drivers need their car suspension repaired every year, according to Warranty Direct. And yes, speed bumps and potholes are largely to blame.
Bump and grind
Some cars are more susceptible to damage than others. You might have previously envied the driver of the smartAudi RS6 or the flash Mercedes R-Class. But turns out they deserve our pity as they are more likely to suffer suspension damage than any other cars in the UK.
Fiat’s six-seater Multipla and the Jaguar XK sports car are also vulnerable, with 29% and 28.5% of Warranty Direct customers claiming for damage to axle and suspension components on their cars annually.
In fact, Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 live policies shows that the most vulnerable vehicles are up to 30 times more likely to claim for suspension damage than the most robust cars.
The repairs aren’t cheap, either. They cost on average £247, which proves that bumps in the road are also a pain in the pocket. Ouch!
So which are the robust models?
The Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107 - ostensibly the same car in a joint venture between the two companies - are seemingly impervious to the UK’s pothole-ridden roads.
The Honda S2000 sports car is also pretty tough.
Suspension of belief
David Gerrans, managing director of Warranty Direct, is surprised by the results of the survey: “It’s almost unbelievable how much variation there is from one model to another when it comes to suspension damage.
“Instead of cheap runabouts, luxury vehicles and stiffly-sprung sports cars are most prone to breakdowns – with the exception of the Honda S2000.”
A sturdy car is essential if you consider that almost 20% of roads in England are classed as in poor condition. The situation is also unlikely to improve anytime soon as there is a £12 billion – yes, £12 billion – backlog of road repairs.
So perhaps the best advice if you want a car that can withstand the potholes and speed bumps on the UK’s roads, is to buy Japanese.
Vehicles made by Honda, Isuzu and Toyota have the most robust suspension systems, with less than 3% suffering an annual failure.
A Bentley, on the other hand, is a costly but fragile thing: 28% will suffer suspension damage in a typical year.
Will you tell the Queen or should I?
Axle and suspension failure rates
Source: Warranty Direct