In England and Wales, around 1.7 million potholes were reported between 2020-2021 with one repaired every 19 seconds. The sheer number of potholes means there’s a good chance you’ll come across one at some point, but what happens if your car is damaged as a result? With advice on how to make a claim for pothole damage, is comparison site mustard.co.uk, where you can also find a whole host of car related guides and top tips for keeping insurance costs down. For more, head to https://www.mustard.co.uk/car-insurance/.
Different authorities are responsible for maintaining and repairing roads in the UK, based on location and road type.
In Northern Ireland, the Department for Infrastructure is responsible for all roads, otherwise motorways and A-roads are managed by:
In London, red routes are maintained by Transport for London.
Yes, if your car has been damaged because of a pothole, you can make a claim to cover the cost of its repair. It’s up to each authority whether or not to uphold or reject your claim.
Typical examples of pothole damage can include ruined tyres, alloys and cracked bodywork. It can even throw off suspension and axle alignment.
If you make a claim for damage, there’ll be one of three outcomes:
- You’ll be fully compensated for the damage caused to your car.
- You’ll be offered partial compensation.
- Your claim will be rejected.
If you’re offered partial compensation or your claim is rejected, you can take it further and take it to a small claims court.
Each of the authorities with responsibility for roads will have their own claims process, this will usually be set out on their websites. If not, it’s best to put your claim in writing which could be either an email or letter.
To support your claim, it’s a good idea to have:
- Evidence – including photos of the pothole, along with measurements (make sure it’s safe to take pictures).
- Details of what happened – outline the incident, including the date, location and weather conditions.
- An account of the damage caused to your car – photos of the damage, a report from the garage plus receipts.
It’s also well worth reporting potholes to the relevant authority. Most will have a ‘report it’ tool which makes the process quick and easy.
If you have comprehensive car insurance which covers pothole damage, you can make a claim with your insurer instead of the authority that manages the road.
Bear in mind that if you make an insurance claim, it’s likely to be considered an ‘at-fault’ claim. This means it can affect your no claims bonus and increase your premium when you renew your policy.
Ultimately, whether you should make a claim really depends on your own circumstances. To help you decide, weigh up the cost of your excess compared to the cost of repairs. If the amounts are similar, you’ll need to think about whether that’s worth impacting your no claims and future premiums.
If you’re looking for ways to keep household costs down, comparing quotes really is a quick and easy way to help you do that.
At mustard.co.uk, not only can you compare car insurance deals from leading UK insurers, quotes also come with a Cheapest Price Guarantee*. To see what you could save, you can start a quote right now or speak to an expert on 0330 022 8812.
* T&Cs apply. See mustard.co.uk for details.