How to claim for pothole damage

Driving over potholes is a nuisance and can disrupt your smooth driving experience. There are many roads throughout the UK that are filled with them. In fact, in 2016 there were more than one million potholes on our roads causing over £3 million worth of damage to our cars. It is important to get your vehicle fixed as soon as any damages arise to help retain the value of your car. So, if you want to know how to claim for pothole damage, our guide will cover what happens when these potholes actually damage your car and how pothole damage claims work.


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What to do if your car is damaged by potholes


When making a claim for vehicle damage from potholes there are steps to follow to ensure a higher chance of winning the case.

  • Gather evidence

    If you believe your car has been damaged due to a pothole and you are eligible for compensation, the first thing you should do is gather evidence. Without any evidence, it will be hard for you to prove that the pothole was the cause and you could be refused the compensation.

    What evidence do you need to gather?

    • Photographs of the pothole emphasising the size of it
    • The time and date of the incident
    • The location of the incident so the pothole can be found
    • Photographs of the damage your car suffered
    • If possible, gather details from any witnesses

    However, it is crucially important that if the damage occurs on a motorway you must not stop to take photographs. Not only is this very dangerous to yourself and other driver’s, but it is also illegal.

  • Find out who’s responsible

    The quality of our roads across the UK should be maintained by the local authority in the area. Therefore, depending on which road the car was damaged on will change who is responsible for it. So, you will need to work this out before you make a claim.

    Other routes in England, Wales and Scotland: The local council for the road in question

    Other routes in Northern Ireland: Department for Infrastructure

  • Report the pothole

    Whether the car has been damaged or not, if anyone came across a dangerous pothole it is their duty to report it and prevent others from damaging their vehicles. If your car has been damaged, reporting the pothole may not be high on your priorities, you may want to focus on getting your car fixed and receiving your compensation. However, it is important that this step isn’t missed to protect other driver’s and to repair our roads.

  • Repair your car

    You don’t need to wait until after you’ve made your claim to fix the car. Retrieve a few quotes for the best deal, get the car repaired and ready to get back on the roads. Keep any receipts to support your case.

  • Make a claim

    Now, it’s time to make your case. Provide the all the evidence to the local authority, with a full statement of the incident and your repair receipts. You can get in touch with the local authority via letter or email.


However, even if all the steps are followed correctly, your case for pothole damage could still be rejected and no compensation will be paid out, or only half of the repair costs will be covered. This may seem unfair and there is the option to follow up the case in a small claims court, but this will cost more money and could be a risk.

If the repair bill is large, then there is also the option to claim through your car insurance if you have a comprehensive cover. This is also a risk as the excess will have to be paid and there’s the chance that your no claims bonus will be lost.

So, if you are not happy with the result, it could be worth weighing up your options between pursuing the case, or cutting your losses.


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