How to give yourself a chance when claiming pothole compensation
Potholes – ever since the country was ravaged by Dame Winter a few months ago, they have been the scourge of the motorist, making a quick road trip to the chippy the equivalent of trying to drive straight up the White Cliffs of Dover. In fact, it is said that ‘Potholes!’ is the word screamed by Jeremy Clarkson more than any other whenever he wakes up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night (previously it was a tie between ‘Caravans!’ and ‘Modern music!’)
If your car is damaged by a pothole, you can try and claim compensation for said damage from the Highways Agency or your local council. But, you must be thorough – only one in ten claims are being paid out, with the Highways Agency insisting that if the pothole hasn’t been reported, it isn’t their problem.
Consumer car king Honest John told The Guardian: “Evidence suggests that cases are being rejected where a driver can't prove that a pothole was the source of the damage. Therefore, it is imperative that the driver goes through the proper channels to report the poor road conditions to the relevant council if they are going to be successful with their claim.”
You can help build up the national pothole database by reporting any you come across to fixmystreet.co.uk or potholes.co.uk (where you can find out more about the claims procedure). They should then inform the relevant local council, making it harder for the Highways Agency to wriggle out of paying out when you get chassis-knack from tearing over one of said potholes.
Come on - let's help Clarkson sleep better at night!