7 in 10 drivers hit potholes - and how to claim

6 March 2015

pothole Potholes are the blight of anyone who uses the roads in the UK. According to a survey, 7 in 10 drivers have had problems with them, yet, only two-thirds of cars that have been damaged by them have successfully claimed some compensation.

Which!!! did some research and found that 4 out of every 10 drivers who had hit a pothole didn't bother claiming because they didn't know how to, while some said that they didn't bother because it wasn't worth the hassle.

However, 55% of satisfactorily resolved claims got some money, paying out an average of £188, which means drivers are missing out and should be submitting claims to the Highway Agency or local authority.

According to the research, successful claims usually depend on whether or not a pothole has already been reported. Local authorities have a statutory defence thanks to Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980, which basically says that, if an authority can show that reasonable care was taken to make the road safe and that it wasn't dangerous to drivers, they're covered. However, if a local authority knows about a pothole and hasn't repaired it, drivers could put a claim in.

Which!!! big cheese Richard Lloyd, said: "With so many drivers hitting potholes and damaging their cars it’s important that people know their rights. Our research shows it’s worthwhile making a claim. If you do need to make a claim, our advice is to find out if the pothole has been reported, collect photographic evidence and get receipts of any work to fix the damage."

If you want to put a claim in, then Which!!! have a step-by-step guide you can follow and guidance about the whole thing for both drivers and cyclists. Click here to have a look.

1 comment

  • SAM. b.
    Other tips - Previous repairs that have failed within 24months are an automatic payout . Use the Freedom of Information act to request records of inspections, repairs, complaints and other paperwork. Roads authorities will hide behind paperwork and withhold information that will show they are liable. Use google earth to view the scene of the pothole which can prove it was there during previous inspections. Over all, DO NOT BE FOBBED OFF BY CIVIL SERVANTS BEHIND A DESK .

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