Martin Lewis' website has urged drivers to make claims on the damage potholes have done to their cars.

Potholes are common on roads across the country and many drivers have to work hard to avoid them whilst driving nowadays.

The UK is more susceptible to potholes because of its climate - cold and wet weather means water can get into cracks in the road and then freeze, eventually leading to potholes which can become particularly bad for heavily used roads.

Lack of funding to local councils to fix the issue is also a factor.

Alongside being frustrating, the damage caused by potholes can also be financially draining as repairs to tyres, wheels, suspension and steering could cost a few hundred pounds - and in some cases thousands.

Many are not aware that they can claim for damage caused to their cars by potholes and the recent MSE newsletter reported that £22.7million was paid out to Brits for pothole damage last year.

According to Martin Lewis’ MSE team, drivers can appeal to their local authority to try and get money back for any repairs made to their car after driving over a pothole.

This is because the authority is responsible for maintaining the road has "failed to do so properly, it's possible to successfully claim for repairs in full".

However, you should be aware that the damage needs to be proven that it was done by a pothole and this pothole needs to be deep enough to be recognised as such.

Most councils accept a pothole as being 40mm deep - so if the hole in the road was only 10mm deep then you may not have a case.

These claims in particular are compensation claims and can end up being a lengthy process - with some lasting as long as eight months.

The official limit for retrospective claims is six years or five in Scotland.

When commenting on the issue, Martin Lewis said: “A compensation culture is dangerous and we need be wary of this, especially when taxpayers are footing the bill.

“Yet the authorities have a legal duty to maintain roads so they're safe for everyone to use. If they don't and your car's damaged, they should help pay the costs to repair it.”

"Even if you are eligible to claim, you have a decision to make. Some argue that compensation deprives authorities of much-needed cash to fix roads – others that the more people pursue their rights, the more incentive there is for authorities to improve the roads to avoid dealing with claims."

How to claim compensation for damage made by potholes

To begin the process of a compensation claim, it's always worth reporting the pothole to your local authority and you can do this by visiting the specific page on GOV.UK here.

The chances of being successful in claiming compensation will significantly depend on whether the pothole has already been reported.

To make a claim you must address it to the right authority - sending it to the wrong place could mean your claim is delayed or doesn't get looked at.

Each council will have a specific procedure for compensation claims, so make sure you check your local council’s website for specific information.

The MSE website says it's vital to collect as much evidence as possible to prove the damages were made by the pothole.

This can include:

  • Copies of repair invoices
  • Proof of payments
  • Copies of your mechanic's statement on the cause of the damage
  • The potholes location
  • The date and time when the damage occured
  • Photos of the damage.
  • Photos of the pothole if possible
  • Notes from anyone who saw the incident

If your claim is rejected, then the MSE website says you should not be put off.

The MSE says: "It's a lot easier for organisations to reject people now, even those who will succeed at the next stage."

2023-06-01T12:36:47Z dg43tfdfdgfd