Poorly maintained roads are accounting for one in five of all car failures in some parts of the country, according to a new study.

Warranty Direct shames Scotland as having some of the poorest quality roads in the UK, while just 8% of car breakdowns are related to potholes and cracks in the road in the West Midlands. Around 11% of failures in Greater London were blamed on poor-quality roads.

The estimated annual repair bill for British motorists caught out by sickly streets is put at £320million, while costs can vary between around £330 and £1000 for any single case.

Either continuous driving over cracked or uneven road surfaces, or the sudden jolting of a deep pothole can cause damage to shock absorbers, springs, upper and lower arms and stabiliser bars, said Warranty Direct. The latest ALARM (Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance) report claims engineers simply "patch up" roads rather than investing for the long-term, highlighting a £1.6billion shortfall in funding and a 10-year repair backlog.

“Suspension failure is now a real problem for the motorist”, said a spokesman. “It seems unfair that the public should be financially penalised once again for choosing to drive on our roads. Given the thousands of things that can go wrong with a modern car, suspension failure is almost reaching critical levels. Unfortunately, you really do risk the health of your car on certain roads.”