- September 13, 2018
- By Autocare Centre Chepstow
- In Tips & Guides
Damage to vehicles from potholes is a serious and growing issue in the UK. With research revealing over 6.3million drivers had their cars damaged by potholes throughout 2016 at an average cost of £108.60 per incident. Unfortunately, the UK’s roads are not being repaired fast enough, so drivers are at an increasing risk of damage to their vehicles.
In this blog, we’ll look at the damage potholes can cause, along with ways to report a pothole, and claim damage should your car be damaged by one.
Generally, a pothole can cause serious damage to a vehicle – particularly to the wheels and tyres, some of the most common forms of damage include:
In addition to these, hitting a pothole can also knock out a vehicle’s wheel alignment, which can reduce handling and control whilst increasing your vehicle’s fuel usage.
How To Report A Pothole
The best way to get rid of a pothole in your area is to report it to your local council. To do this, head to your council’s website, or the GOV.UK website which will direct you to the right place. The Council website will then require you to pinpoint the location of the pothole so they can do repair it.
Alternatively, there are a number of independent pothole reporting sites, that will deliver your inputted information directly to your local council to save you the hassle – one of the most popular sites currently is streetrepairs.co.uk which was developed by Street Repairs alongside the RAC.
If you do hit a pothole and your vehicle is damaged, you can contact your local Council to make an appeal to receive compensation for the damage – unfortunately, if a pothole has not been reported the council have the right to reject your claim. To attempt you make a claim you should first:
Once you have your photos, you are ready to try to make your claim:
Alternatively, the council rejects your appeal, you may be able to claim via your insurer if you have fully comprehensive insurance. Unfortunately, this will be recorded as an at-fault claim and thus will affect your no claims bonus.
Sometimes, avoiding a pothole is impossible – perhaps there is oncoming traffic and you are unable to move out of the way of the pothole, or perhaps the pothole is hidden by water. Here are a few tips to help you minimise the damage taken when driving through a pothole:
Try not to apply your brakes – when you brake, your vehicle tilts forward, this can put more pressure on the front suspension when you are driving over a pothole.
Check your tyre pressure – keeping your tyre pressure at the recommended pressure ensures your safety and minimises damage when driving over potholes.
Hold your steering wheel properly – if you are holding your steering wheel poorly and drive over a pothole, you could lose control of your vehicle.
Watch your speed – hitting a pothole at speed increase the amount of potential damage to your vehicle.
If you have any questions regarding what to do when you hit a pothole, or you need repairs carried out after hitting one, give one of our expert mechanics a call on 01291 627137.