How to give yourself a chance when claiming pothole compensation

9 June 2010 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 or (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!

TOPICS:   Motoring


  • PaulH
    I thought the only word in Jeremy Clarkson's vocabulary was "POWERRRR"
  • Wonky H.
    and "Hamster"
  • PaulH
    ...and to overemphasize the last few words of a sentence...
  • Rolly
    Clarkson has such depth to his character... "I like to DRIVE CARS, FAST"
  • evilnoodel
    and "teeth whitening"
  • PaulH
    Thanks for the links though BW - There is a pothole on the way to my local super market that always catches me out...CRRROOOOM!
  • Stuart b.
    Paul, why does a pothole continuously catch you out? Alzheimer's? If you continuously hit a pothole on a familiar stretch of road, then you shouldn't be driving.

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