Japanese car maker Honda has created a special test track to replicate the terrible conditions on the UK's roads, it was revealed today.
The company has created a track complete with potholes and cracks at its Takasu test-facility in Hokkaido, because Japanese roads are too good to mimic the conditions in Britain.
Honda has claimed British roads are more absorbent than surfaces used in the rest of Europe, leading to damage as water which has seeped in freezes in cold weather and expands.
Agencies responsible for roads in the UK are said to be embarrassed by the move, which was revealed by the investigative news website Exaro.
Honda, which is the world's eighth largest maker of cars and trucks, has built the track to ensure cars intended for the UK market are robust enough - and have enough sound-proofing.
Poor road surfaces have often been blamed for hefty repair bills and last year local councils in Britain had to pay out nearly £23million in compensation to drivers whose cars have been damaged by potholes.
But, Honda says, the main reason for building their four-and-a-quarter mile track - which is so realistic it even includes UK road signs - is to mimic the soft road surfaces of British roads.