How to claim money back if you hit a pothole – MoneyMagpie
Hit a bump in the road? Potholes can be a nuisance to drivers and pedestrians alike. They can result in accidents, make roads difficult to navigate, and worse still, cause damage to your car.
Yet pothole damage is at a ten-year high in the U.K with thirteen million cars damaged by last year, costing a total of £1.7bn to repair, according to Kwik Fit Repairs.
This common problem on many UK roads costs approximately £40 to fix each one but as well as causing damage to vehicles, it can pose a safety risk to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel if you have experienced damage to your vehicle due to a pothole, you may be entitled to compensation.
are you eligible for compensation?
Firstly, it is important to note that not all potholes will be eligible for compensation. The local authority is responsible for the road but must have had prior notice of the pothole and have failed to take reasonable steps to repair it.
Therefore, if you hit a pothole that has only just formed and there was no prior notice, you may not be eligible for compensation.
If you believe you are entitled, the first step is to gather evidence of the damage caused.
Take photographs of the pothole if you can do so as safely as possible, and also include damage to your vehicle, including any tyre damage, wheel damage, or suspension damage. It is also a good idea to get a quote from a reputable garage for the cost of repairs as this can be used as trusted evidence.
Next, you should report the pothole to the relevant local authority as soon as possible. This can usually be done online via the council’s website or by calling their customer service team. You will need to provide details of the location of the pothole and the damage it caused. If you have photos this can really help.
After reporting the pothole, you should receive a reference number and the council will begin an investigation. If they agree that the pothole was a hazard and that they failed to take reasonable steps to repair it, they will likely offer you compensation to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle.
what if your claim is denied?
If the council denies your claim, you can escalate the matter by submitting a formal complaint. This should be done in writing and should include all of the evidence you have gathered, including photographs and the garage repair quote. You should also include any correspondence you have had with the council regarding the matter.
If your complaint is still not resolved, you can take legal action against the local authority. However, this can be a lengthy and expensive process, so it is advisable to seek legal advice before pursuing this option.
There are some lawyers that will offer a no-win no-fee agreement for a claim but it is best to find out all terms and conditions prior to embarking on legal action as there may be some clauses depending on the law firm you use.
You could also make a claim on your comprehensive car insurance if all else fails but check that the claim is larger than the excess and you may lose some of your no-claims bonus.
Kwik Fit recommend keeping your car in tip-top condition and ensuring your tyres are correctly inflated which will act as protection should you hit a pothole or rock in the road and have regular checks on your car throughout the year.