Winter is coming and along with it, those pesky potholes…

The summer of 2018 marked one of the hottest in the UK since records began. However, since the lengthy heatwave has ended, World Cup fever has faded and shirtless middle-aged men have been forced to cover up once again, it comes as no surprise that shorter, colder winter days are creeping in.

Not only will temperatures drop and heating bills rise, the cold weather brings with it one of many nightmares for motorists… potholes.

What are potholes?

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Potholes are the real-life villains of the modern world, they seem to come out of nowhere and often disguise themselves as small puddles until an unfortunate driver dips into one, which can cause all sorts of damage to your beloved vehicle.

They start off as small cracks in the road which are often caused by unstable foundations. During a typical cold, rainy day in the UK, these cracks will start to fill up with water and as night draws in and the temperature drops, the water freezes and turns to ice which expands. The expanding ice causes the cracks to get larger and larger until they form a pothole.

Damage from potholes can be aggravating and costly but it’s easy to protect your vehicle this winter with a car or van warranty. Our sponsor, MotorEasy, specialises in warranty cover, which means pothole protection all round! You can save £50 on a 12-month warranty policy when you use our promo code ‘MV50’ at the checkouts. Click here to get a free warranty quote.

How to report a pothole

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The Government have made it even easier for motorists to report potholes. You no longer need to write a passive-aggressive letter to your local council, you can now report pothole sightings online via their website by clicking here.

However, it’s probably worth a mention that potholes on major roads such as motorways and A roads need to be reported to ‘Highways England’ by email or phone and you can find out more by clicking here.

If you live in Northern Ireland or Scotland, you can report those pesky potholes online by clicking here.

How to claim for vehicle damages caused by potholes

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It is likely that motorists will hit a pothole at some point in their driving life, which can cause all sorts of damage to their vehicle, costing them a lot of money in repair costs. However, you might be able to claim compensation from your local council if you can prove the damages inflicted on your vehicle are the direct cause of a pothole.

To put a claim forward to your local council, you will need to do the following:

  • Take a photograph of the pothole and the damages to your vehicle.
  • Note down the location of pothole/incident
  • Note down the size of the pothole (you can use a tape measure or a ruler, if you do not have access to this, you can use an object for an ideal of scale such as a bottle or a pen).
  • Note down contact details from any witnesses.
  • Note down the weather conditions at the time (rainy, sunny, clear etc)

Please note, only do this if it is safe to do so and NEVER attempt this on a motorway, its highly illegal and extremely unsafe!

Sometimes, regardless of the evidence provided, your local council may still reject your claim for several reasons. For example, if they were not aware of the pothole before the incident, they may not feel liable for the damages and may refuse to pay out. This highlights just how important it is to report potholes to the Government/local council.

If your claim is rejected by your local council, a small claims court action is a possibility if the damages are £1000 or more. Alternatively, you will still have the option of claiming on your comprehensive insurance or warranty cover if you have it.

Our sponsor MotorEasy can offer affordable warranty cover which can protect your vehicle from future pothole damages. You can save £50 on a 12-month warranty policy when you use our promo code ‘MV50’ at the checkouts! Click here to get a free warranty quote today and put some protection in place against those troublesome potholes.

Have potholes damaged your pride and joy? Did you successfully claim back the repair costs? Let us know in the comments below!

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