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The dangers of potholes, reporting the damage and claiming compensation

As the weather turns, we battle frost and fog with potholes usually to follow, so we have put together our top tips of how to deal with these pesky problems.

Driving on roads with potholes

  • When driving on roads that are not regularly maintained, you should be extra vigilant as potholes can often be hidden by dirt covering the road surface, or filled in with large puddles of water.
  • Keep your distance. Road users often see potholes when it is too late to avoid them and end up causing damage to their vehicle. When driving over a pothole, you should allow your wheel to freely roll into the hole; otherwise you will apply unnecessary pressure to your tyres and suspension.
  • Simply reducing your speed near pothole hotspots will reduce the likelihood of severe damage to your car. It may sound obvious but the faster you are travelling the more damage you will cause to your vehicle.

Reporting a pothole

  • Your first port of call when reporting a pothole is your local council’s website.
  • If you are unsure which council looks after any particular road, you can check using the government’s helpful online tool: https://www.gov.uk/report-pothole
  • There are now a multitude of apps available on all mobile platforms, which allow you to submit a photo and an exact location pinpointed by satellite, straight from your phone to the local council.

Making a claim for damage caused by potholes

  • Gather as much evidence as possible, take lots of photos, and measure the size of the pothole.
  • Make a note of the position of the pothole, which direction you approached it from and whether there were any obstacles in your line of sight.
  • Next you should identify the correct authority to submit a claim (see tool above), and submit all collected details along with your contact information.
  • If there is any damage to your vehicle, compile at least two quotes as evidence for the council to pay compensation.
  • If you receive a settlement letter from the council, check all of the details thoroughly and consider whether you have been offered a fair compensation. If you feel the cost of fixing the damage outweighs the settlement fee, consider a counter offer explaining the difference in cost.

Registered office: The WMS Group Ltd,
Oxford House, Oxford Road, Thame, Oxon OX9 2AH
01844 293 810