Help for people whose cars have been damaged by potholes
In this article Ray Franklin explains the process and some things to consider that will support your claim.
Also a template letter which can be downloaded & used as a covering letter to accompany your official claim form.
Pot Holes - A guide
- In order to count as a pothole the hole must be at least 40mm deep - about the height of two 20p coins. If it's less than 40mm, it's worth continuing but you might not get the full cost of the repairs back.
- You must prove the pothole caused it, i.e. the repairs were specifically caused from your impact with the pothole.
- Your mechanic should be able to put this in writing.
- As soon as you've hit a pothole, warn other drivers by calling it in.
- This will help to keep the roads safe (and if you do make a claim further down the line, it's important to show you did your civic duty).
- Call the council or report it via their website. For England and Wales you can find the council by postcode on the Gov.uk website.
- Britain's highway authorities and agencies are legally obliged (England and Wales S42-58 of the Highways Act 1980) to maintain roads to a safe standard including fixing potholes.
- If it is safe, measure and note the pothole's depth and width.
- Take a note of its position and the time the incident occurred. Take photos of the pothole, stretch of road, nearby road signs and the damage to your car.
- Make a sketch of the road.
- Keep a detailed account of any costs.
- When your car is repaired, identify all damage, itemise all costs and date it!
- Now it's time to claim. The fastest way is by using the authority's own claims process and filling in a form.
- Not every authority lets you do this but it's always worth trying first.
The Template for a letter can be downloaded here - please read instructions carefully.