Vehicle breakdowns caused by potholes increased by a fifth during the last three months of 2019, new figures suggest.
The RAC received more than 2,000 call-outs for problems such as distorted wheels, broken suspension springs and damaged shock absorbers between October and December, an increase of around 300 compared with the same period in 2018.
Pothole-related faults represented 1.1% of all breakdowns attended by the company last year. Drivers are 1.7 times more likely to break down as a result of a pothole than they were in 2006, the RAC said.
Hit a pothole? You may be able to claim for damage.
If you hit a pothole you may be able to claim compensation. But your chances of success depend on whether the pothole has already been reported.
According to the RAC councils have a statutory defence that they cannot be held liable for a defect they are not aware of either because it has not been reported to them or it has not been picked up their own system of inspection and maintenance.
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. If the pothole:
- Is on a major A-road or motorway in England, contact Highways England on 0300 123 5000 or by emailing email@example.com
- Is on any other road, contact the council that is responsible for the road. You can look up the relevant council at the GOV.UK website
You'll need to provide as much evidence as possible on the damage eport form.
- Copies of estimates or invoices for repairs to your vehicle
- A current MOT certificate
- Photos of the damage if you have them
And if you have fully comprehensive insurance your insurer may payout.
- Take notes of the location of the pothole.
- Have witnesses
- Get garage repair quotes
- Be willing to negotiate
- Consider the small claims court
More information from the RAC about the claims process here.