Make sure you claim if a pothole damages your vehicle

Whilst I accept we had an exceptionally severe cold snap in January 2010, I was dismayed by the apparent lack of urgency in repairing the dangerous potholes that exist on our roads (and getting worse the longer they go unattended). Even weeks later the main roads where I live and work in Beaconsfield and High Wycombe were littered with hundreds of potholes that can seriously damage vehicles and must be a severe danger to cyclists?

I can only hope that all the Council Tax we pay to South Bucks District Council and Wycombe District Council will get them to liaise with the Buckinghamshire County Council Highways Agency to make resolving this totally unacceptable situation an absolute priority. The suspension to my own car had to be fixed recently, so I know what is is like to hit a deep pothole in the dark, partcularly where there is no street lighting and the headlights of the car coming towards you masks your view of the road infront of your vehicle!

Consequently, I decided to see what I/we could do about it and went on to Google and typed in “Potholes Compensation”. The top two generic links that came up were for “What Car?” and “”. Both these landing pages are worth a visit if you want to know how to claim compensation if your vehicle has been damaged by a pothole?

The website offers drivers a step by step guide to potholes, contact details for your local council, how to claim, find potholes, report a pothole, ask advice and the facts about potholes.

The What Car? website has a very helpful brief summary of “what you should do if your car has been damaged by poor-quality roads, here’s what you need to do to claim compensation.

• Take a picture of the pothole, including something which shows the size of the damage to the carriageway.

• Take pictures of the surrounding area to show that there’s no warning of the damaged road (such as warning signs, cones or bollards), and take pictures of the damage to your car.

• Get a garage to prepare a quote for the repair work and, hopefully, corroborate your claim that the damage was caused by a pothole.

• Report the road and car damage to your local authority’s highways department, and submit a claim for compensation covering the cost of repairs.

• Ask the highways department if the carriageway damage has been reported before and, if so, when. Ask why it has not been repaired” (Source an article dated 23rd March 2007 on the News page of the What Car? website)

So to ensure Buckinghamshire County Council’s Highways Agency, Wycombe District Council and South Bucks District Council all work together to repair our roads, make sure you claim if a pothole damages your vehicle. And in the ironies to end all ironies Bucks “council chief responsible for roads suffered two burst tyres after driving through a pothole. Buckinghamshire County Council leader Councillor David Shakespeare lost two tyres on his BMW while driving along Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield as the recent snow began to thaw.” (post by Oliver Evans on BFP Website 10/2/10)

Vote in our pothole poll about how many potholes you pass on your way to work!


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