Potholes can damage our tyres, damage our wheels, knock out our tracking and cause minor and serious accidents. And at this time of year, after rain, frost, snow, more rain etc, they seem more prevalent than ever.

So if you’re unlucky enough to hit a pothole, here’s what you need to do:

Check for damage.

Pull over when it’s safe to do so and check for any obvious damage to tyres and wheels

Some damage may not be immediately obvious so as you continue to drive, keep an eye out for vibrations, your steering wheel not being centred or your car pulling to one side.

If any of these things are a concern, call into a specialist tyre and wheel centre as soon as you are able.

Take some notes / Collect evidence.

You may be able to get compensation from the council for repairs – but you’ll need to show evidence, and they won’t take your word for it. Take photographs of the pothole (including close-up images and images of its location on the road), the size and depth of the pothole (you can use something like a ruler or a drinks can, or shoe in the photograph to demonstrate this) – and the damage to your vehicle. Include information about time / date / weather conditions etc.

Report the Pothole.

Whether you intend to make a claim or not, you should report the pothole to your local authority. They can then arrange for repairs and prevent any other similar incidents. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REPORT ALL POTHOLES.

Repair your Car.

Don’t drive your car if it is damaged. This is a very dangerous thing to do. Get it repaired.

Make a Claim.

The council will review all the evidence you have provided and make an assessment as to their liability. The council are not necessarily liable – their statutory defence is that they cannot be held responsible for potholes they do not know about which is why it is so important for everyone to inform them about potholes whether they have suffered damage or not, and whether they are making a claim or not.

Some useful contact info:

This is the Government website which assists with claims:

https://www.gov.uk/claim-for-damage-to-your-vehicle

This is the Government website which allows you to report potholes:

https://www.gov.uk/report-pothole

This is an independent website which allows you to report a number of local issues:

https://www.fixmystreet.com/

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