How do I make a claim against a pothole?

Posted on 20 April 2018 by CarTakeBack

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We reckon many of you out there will have experienced a nasty pothole when you're driving! You might not be aware that you could claim if hitting one causes damage to your car.

A pothole is known as a road defect that causes a risk or hazard. According to councils, to count as pothole it must be at least 40mm deep. If the hole wasn't that deep you can still try to claim, but it could a tough challenge!

Usual damage caused by hitting a pothole affects the tyres, wheels, or axles, and you will often notice straight away that something's wrong as these can cause a knocking sound or vibration through the steering wheel.

Whoops! Photo courtesy of Jurgen (300tdorg on Flickr), who came across a pothole on his trip around Bassari Country!

We hope you didn't end up like this chap!

Claiming money back for pothole damage

If you are unfortunate to have a hit a pothole that caused damage to your vehicle, make sure you take note of the location and road name or marker, date and time, the damage which was caused, and why you believe the authority is responsible. Photographs of the pothole will also help you build a solid case in your claim.

To claim for the damage repairs you will need it in writing from your mechanic that they have carried out the repairs, and that the damage was caused by an impact with a pothole.

When claiming for damage repairs due to a defect in the road, you are claiming against the authority that has failed to maintain the safety of the roads, under The Highways Act 1980 part 4, Maintenance of Highways. The authority you contact varies on the type of road, you can check who online via the Gov.uk website, but usually Highways England are responsible for A-roads and Motorways, and other roads are maintained by the local council.

The amount you can claim varies, but the typical amount claimed for is usually between £300 - £500 depending on the extent of the damage to your vehicle and the percentage of the costs that the authority are willing to pay. Some motorist have been successful in claiming the full amount for the repairs, but to the annoyance of some people, others have only received a partial offer.

If your car has hit too many potholes over the years and is ready to be recycled, see how much it's worth instantly with CarTakeBack!

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