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How to report a pothole



How to report a pothole

As well as helping you find cheap car insurance, is also a great place to find advice on a whole host of car related topics. Here, they fill us in on how to report a pothole and whether or not you can try and claim compensation if your car’s been damaged by one.

What counts as a pothole?

Surprisingly, there’s no official definition of what a pothole actually is and different authorities work to their own measurements. Generally though, road defects that are at least 4 cm deep and 20 cm wide will be labelled as potholes.

Who should I report a pothole to?

Roads are managed by various authorities depending on where you live and what type of road it is. To report a pothole, you’ll need to find out who is responsible for maintaining that particular road.

Motorways and main A-roads are managed by:

  • National Highways (previously Highways England)
  • Traffic Wales
  • Transport Scotland
  • Department for Infrastructure (for all roads in Northern Ireland)

All other roads are managed by the relevant local council, which you can find at:

  • GOV.UK for roads in England and Wales
  • MyGovScot for Scotland
  • Transport for London (red routes only)

All these sites should also let you either report a pothole or redirect you to where you can. If you already know the road is managed by your council (for example), you can of course head directly to their website where there should be a ‘report a problem’ page.

Can I claim compensation for pothole damage to my car?

If your car’s been damaged by a pothole, you can certainly make a claim for compensation from the relevant authority. Whether they’ll pay out is another matter. To make your case more compelling, it’s a good idea to:

Gather evidence

Take photos of the pothole, along with measurements (needless to say, make sure it’s safe to do so). Note down the date and time of the incident and weather conditions.

Report the pothole

Find out who is responsible for the road and report it. It’s worth doing this even if you decide not to make a claim.

Submit a claim

Some authorities will have a claims procedure that you can follow. If there isn’t one, it’s best to submit your claim in writing (email or letter). If you can, you should include:

  • An account describing the incident (along with the location of the pothole, the date and weather conditions).
  • Any photo evidence you have.
  • Any statements by witnesses who can support your claim.
  • A report or statement from a garage that describes the damage, along with the cost and receipts as proof.

What are my chances of getting compensation for pothole damage?

This really depends on the circumstances and whatever evidence you’re able to gather but there are three potential outcomes:

  1. You’ll be fully compensated for the damage caused to your car.
  2. You’ll be partially compensated for damage.
  3. Your claim will be rejected.

If the outcome is either scenario two or three, you can take your case to the small claims court. However, bear in mind the amount of time and effort this might take.

Alternatively, if you have comprehensive car insurance that covers pothole damage, you can make a claim with your insurer. Remember though – this is likely to count as an ‘at-fault’ claim and affect your no claims bonus. As a result, you could also see your premium increase when you come to renew your policy.

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