How to Report Potholes and Damage

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An unfortunately-placed pothole can certainly ruin your day. If you’re unlucky enough to run over one, you could find yourself with a puncture or – worse – a bent wheel or suspension components.

Not only is this awfully inconvenient, it can be expensive too. Fortunately, it’s possible to report potholes and claim compensation for damages, providing you can evidence that the damage was caused by the pothole.

In this Go Learning article, we’re going to run through this process step-by-step:

  1. Document the pothole and its location: If you simply want to report the pothole, you’ll need to include precise details of its whereabouts (an address or description of a nearby reference point should suffice). If your car has been damaged by the pothole, and you’re looking to claim compensation, though, you’ll need a little more evidence. Photograph the pothole (with reference objects in the frame if you can to indicate its size) and the damage it did to your car.
  2. If you just want to report the pothole as opposed to claiming compensation, you can skip this step. If your car has been damaged, though, it’s worthwhile getting a quote to fix the damage to include in your report and subsequent claim.
  3. Visit the government’s pothole reporting webpage and enter the postcode of the road on which the pothole is located. The site will then guide you through the process of reporting the damaged road surface.
  4. Alternatively, you can go straight to the local council responsible for maintaining the road (or the Highways Agency if the pothole is located on an A-road or motorway) and include all the details and evidence you collected earlier. This may be the more straightforward route to take if you’re looking to claim compensation.
  5. If you decide to make a claim, it may still be rejected by the council or Highways Agency. All is not lost, though, as you can appeal it or even take your claim to the small claims court, though this should be a last resort, and you should seek legal advice first.

Potholes will always be around, so if you can avoid hitting them in the first place, then you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle. We recommend maintaining a safe distance from the car in front, so you can see them coming, and to try your best to position your car’s wheels either side of the pothole rather than ploughing through it – though of course this isn’t always possible.

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