What to do if your car has pothole damage and how to make a claim

Potholes are a problem across the country, and especially in Mid Sussex.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 2:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 2:38 pm
Pothole in London Road, Burgess Hill on Friday, January 10
Pothole in London Road, Burgess Hill on Friday, January 10

They can be a safety risk and damage vehicles – and the RAC say it’s not just weather that is to blame for potholes forming, but councils reacting to potholes with temporary measures, sometimes in a hurry and in wet weather, rather than a full road resurfacing.

This leads to potholes reforming, meaning they need to be repaired again.

If your car has been damaged from a pothole, here’s what the RAC advise you do:

Take notes – when you’re safely parked, write down the key details including the pothole location, approximate size, shape and depth, and take a photo if it’s safe to do so.

Get the details of any witnesses who saw the incident – this may help with a claim.

Get quotes from the garage for all repairs that are needed, and make copies of quotes, bills and receipts.

Work out if it will be worthwhile making a claim for compensation, as if the amount is below a certain level it may not be worth it.

If you want to claim for compensation, the chances of success will depend on if the pothole has been reported or not.

Councils have a statutory defence as they cannot be held liable for a problem they are not aware of.

You can check if a pothole has been reported in Sussex via the Love West Sussex app.

To make a claim you must address it to the right authority.

If the pothole is on a major A-road or motorway in England, contact Highways England on 0300 123 5000 or by emailing [email protected]

If it is on a different type of road, contact the council that is responsible for the road - in Mid Sussex this is West Sussex County Council.

It might also be possible to make a claim via your insurer.

Don’t forget: do your research, and keep calm.

Is there a particular pothole you have to dodge on your commute? Has your car been damaged by crumbling roads? We want to hear from you.

Send details – and a picture if you can safely take one – to [email protected]