If you’ve been unfortunate enough to incur pothole damage to your car, you’ll know how frustrating it is to have to fork out for repairs for damage caused by poor quality roads. Sometimes, even seemingly minor holes can cause damage to your tyres, wheels, suspension or steering. Hit one at speed and the damage can be severe. Besides being very cautious and keeping a lookout, there’s little you can do to avoid potholes all the time and eventually, you’ll hit one that you just couldn’t avoid.
Making a claim
With the average pothole damage repair bill costing £157.75, it probably doesn’t make sense to make a claim through your own vehicle insurer – as this can lead to increased premiums and a loss of NDC (No Claims Discount). Many people decide to just accept the cost and pay it, but in many cases, these costs could be claimed back from the authority responsible for maintaining the road. In order to do this, it is important to ensure that you gather evidence and follow the correct process. Please read on for more on how to do this.
1. Check for damage
If you hit a pothole, pull over as soon as is safe and check your vehicle for damage. A visual inspection will allow you to see dented wheels or damaged tyres. If the vehicle is parked on level ground, check to see if it is sitting level. If there were any witnesses, ensure you get their details.
Other damage may not be immediately obvious, so drive on carefully and pay close attention for any unusual sounds, vibration or shaking, the car not driving straight when the steering is centred, or the car pulling to one side. If you identify any damage, get your vehicle to a garage as soon as possible.
2. Record information
Write down everything you can about the incident – exact location (road name/number/landmarks), and add these to the contact details of any witnesses if you have them. If it is safe to do so, take photos of the pothole. Use a familiar object for scale, such as a credit card (for depth) or a shoe (for length). Do not put yourself in danger to do this, and remember it is a criminal offence to trespass on the motorway.