We all know that potholes are a common problem on UK roads and can cause serious damage to your car, from punctured tyres, to bent wheels and cracked alloys.
According to recent reports, pothole-related insurance claims are on the increase in the UK, as more drivers are facing the consequences of poor road conditions. For example, one report from Motor1.com UK says that pothole-related insurance claims have risen by almost a third since 2016, and that the value of those claims is increasing even more dramatically as vehicles become more complex and harder to repair.
Report a pothole online
Potholes are a serious issue for drivers around the world, and they can cost you a lot of money and hassle if you encounter them.
That’s why it’s important to report potholes that you might see to the authority responsible for the road, so they can repair potholes as soon as possible. Reporting a pothole online is free and easy, and you can do it in a few simple steps:
First, you need to find out who is responsible for the road where the pothole is located. If the pothole is on a major A-road or motorway in England, you need to contact Highways England. If it is on a major road or motorway in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you need to contact the relevant authority. If it is on any other road, you need to contact the local council, says Lancashire County Council.
Secondly, you need to provide some details about the pothole, such as its exact location, size, depth, and shape in as much detail as you can. You can also upload a photo of the pothole if you have one (but only if it is safe to do so). Some councils also have their own online reporting systems that you can use, such as Lancashire County Council or Buckinghamshire Council.
Thirdly, you need to submit your report and wait for a confirmation email. You can also track the status of your report and see if the pothole has been fixed or not. Some councils may take longer than others to fix reported potholes, depending on their resources and priorities.
By reporting a pothole online and road defects, you’re helping to improve the condition of the roads and make them safer for everyone. You’re also helping yourself and other drivers on the road to avoid potential damage and injury caused by potholes.
How do potholes form?
Potholes are formed by three elements: surface cracks, water and traffic. Small surface cracks form and expand over time with the action of traffic. According to Tensar, water then seeps through the surface of the cracked pavement, causing further deterioration – in cold climates, this can be exacerbated by freeze-thaw action.
When water freezes, it expands, acting like a jack that applies pressure against the pavement. When it melts, it leaves gaps and voids under the pavement. With the asphalt weakened and cracking, it becomes easier for water to penetrate the surface, leading to repeated freeze-thaw cycles and more structural damage. Eventually, what happens is chunks of pavement between the fatigue cracks gradually work loose, and may then be plucked or forced out of the surface by continued wheel loads to create a pothole.
Potholes can grow to several feet in width, though they usually only develop to depths of a few inches. If they become large enough, damage to tires, wheels, and vehicle suspensions is liable to occur. Serious road accidents can occur too as a direct result, especially on those roads where vehicle speeds are greater2
Making a pothole claim
Did you know you can claim compensation if you have hit a pothole and your car has been damaged? You might be able to claim compensation from the authority responsible for the road, such as the local council or Highways England. However, this is not always as easy as you might first think, as you need to prove that the authority was negligent and failed to maintain the road properly.
To make a successful pothole claim, you need to follow some steps and gather some evidence. Here is a summary of what you need to do:
Check for damage as soon as it is safe to do so. If you need to pull over and inspect your car for any visible damage caused by the pothole then feel free to do so. Look for any signs of tyre punctures, wheel dents, alloy cracks, or suspension issues. If you notice any problems, take photos of them and note down the details.
Take some notes so you have a record of information about the pothole itself, such as its location, size, depth, and shape. You should also note down the date and time of the incident, the weather conditions, and the traffic situation.
Report the pothole even if you’re unsure about whether to claim or not. you should report the pothole to the authority responsible for the road, so they can fix it and prevent further accidents. Some councils also have their own online reporting systems that you can use too.
Repair your car if needs be, and ensure to keep copies of all quotes, invoices, and receipts to support your claim.
Making your claim for compensation is simple. All you need to do is write to the authority responsible for the road with the pothole on. You should include all the evidence you have collected, such as photos of the damage and the pothole, notes of the incident details, witness statements, repair quotes and invoices, and any other relevant documents. It’s also a good idea to explain how much compensation you are asking for and why too.