Potholes have cost Surrey County Council £250,289 in the past financial year - with the highest number of claims of any English county.

Out of almost 50,000 drivers who made claims for damage to their vehicles to councils across Great Britain, Surrey topped the list with 3,912.

The 200 local highways authorities in England, Scotland and Wales that responded to the FOI requests by the RAC Foundation dealt with 48,668 compensation claims in the 2013-14 financial year.

Director Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "These figures are likely to be the tip of the iceberg. Many drivers will be put off by the time involved in claiming against a council, and many councils do their best to deter claimants coming forward.

"But the fundamental problem lies not at the doors of our town halls but with central Government. Despite occasional one off grants related to periods of harsh weather, they are simply not giving councils enough money to keep their road networks up to scratch.

"In England, local authorities themselves estimate the maintenance backlog to be about £12bn yet over the past five years spending on roads in real terms has dropped 22 per cent across England and Wales."

Compared with the last financial year, the costs of claims decreased by £218,185 in Surrey but the number of claims increased by 457.

A Surrey County Council spokesman said: "Our £100m Operation Horizon programme is rebuilding hundreds of miles of roads most in need of improvement over the next five years.

"Our main aim is to improve Surrey's roads as much as possible but this will be made harder after we learned that our funding for this is going to decrease year-on-year after 2015."