SCOTTISH councils are paying out £1400 a day on compensation for motorists whose cars have been damaged by potholes.

Research has revealed local authorities have been forced to pay out nearly £2.7 million in compensation over the five years since 2009.

Scottish Conservatives who believe the true figure will be much higher as some councils failed to respond to their Freedom of Information request.

In total, £358,750 was paid out in 2003/04 to drivers. That is a £236,327 less than the previous year and £54,757 more than five years ago.

Glasgow City Council had the highest amount of payouts, with a total bill of £230,026. That was £118,379 less than the previous year but £160,322 higher than in 2009/10.

The Scottish Conservatives repeated calls made in their 2011 manifesto to create an additional pothole fund to enable struggling councils to catch up with their long-standing road repairs.

The UK Government introduced such a fund in June 2014 and it included a condition where councils had to report quarterly on how the money was being used.

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Alex Johnstone said:"It is often a frustrating and lengthy process for motorists to claim compensation for damage caused to their cars on public roads.

"If roads were better maintained in the first place then this unnecessary cost to the public purse would be greatly minimised.

"Many of our roads are a national embarrassment and it's time the SNP ended its piecemeal approach to road maintenance and came up with a longer-term strategy.

"A pothole fund would be a major step forward in helping councils to finally get our roads up to a better standard to benefit motorists across the country.

"The UK Government has led the way with a dedicated pothole fund and there is no reason why it would not work in Scotland too."

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) said that due to the tremendous effort by councils, the condition of roads in Scotland is actually improving.

"And this is despite the perfect storm of recent harsh winters, budgets falling and the general state of public sector finances," said a Cosla spokesman.

"The bottom line is also, sadly, that in today's world there is far more of a compensation culture and people are often actively encouraged to pursue claims, but councils only pay compensation when instructed to do so by their lawyers."

But a Scottish Government spokeswoman said that despite UK Government cuts to the Scottish budget, they felt local government had been treated very fairly.

She said local government finance settlement now amounts to £10.8 billion in 2014-15 and, with extra money for additional responsibilities this will increase to almost £10.85 billion in 2015-16 with local councils "receiving their fair share which will allow them to provide the local services, including the maintenance of local roads, that people need and rely upon".

She added: "We have invested £6 billion into our trunk roads and motorways since 2007, which includes improvements across the country to routes like the M74, M73, M8, A9 and investment in the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. We are also aware of the need to work with road authorities to improve the condition of Scotland's roads and have established a Road Collaboration Board to help authorities work together more efficiently and effectively."

According to the research East Ayrshire has experience the biggest rise in compensation claims more than doubling from £3,963 in 2012/13 to £8,899 in 2013/14. In Dumfries and Galloway claims rose from £18,258 to £26,849 in the year.

Edinburgh's compensation bill has dropped from £29,145 in 2012/13 to just £4,701 in 2013/14.