You may have been driving down a road and all of a sudden hit a hidden pothole which has now caused damage to your car. In fact, this story is becoming more common as according to an article from The Independent in April 2019, drivers in the UK are spending £4.09bn a year on car repairs caused by potholes.
The government have pledged to fund an extra £500 million to the £2.5 billion budget 2020 for pothole repairs to local authorities. However, many roads may go amiss, which leads to eventual damage to cars.
Making a claim
If you have hit a pothole, and damaged your car, then you may be eligible to claim for repair costs. Authorities have a legal duty to maintain roads to a good standard and if they aren’t, authorities will need to pay for the damage caused. Follow our step by step guide below to build yourself a strong case when claiming:
Building a case – If you’ve decided to go ahead with making a claim, you’ll need to contact the same local council you reported the pothole to. Before you do so, you’ll also need to be aware of how often local authorities inspect and maintain the road. You can do this by submitting a Freedom of Information request. The local authority should supply the information within 20 days.
Once this is done, you can start your claim by sending a letter or email, which includes a full description of the incident, the location, date and time and all the evidence you collected, as mentioned above. Also include photos of the pothole, the damage to your car, and any copies of receipts and quotes from the repairing garage.
The result of your claim will depend on whether the local council has fulfilled their duty to maintain the road, in-line with Section 58 of Highways Act 1980.
If they offer a partial settlement figure, it is important for you to weigh up your options and take time to think about the offer. Court cases are very time consuming and although the fee they may have offered is lower than what you’ve asked for, continuing the case to court may get expensive and potentially leave you out of pocket.
If they reject your claim entirely, and you feel it was done so unfairly, then there’s an option to escalate the case to a small claims court. However, you will either have to do this yourself or hire a lawyer, which will of course increase the cost.
Invest in an Extended Warranty Policy
Potholes can cause damage to different parts of your car such as your suspension. Driving over a pothole, or poor road surfaces, doesn’t always cause damage initially. However, over a period of time it may contribute to increased wear and tear occurring on your vehicle’s components.
Protecting your vehicle with a Warranty may be a great option to safeguard yourself against unexpected, and sometimes expensive, motor repair bills.
Warranty Direct provides a warranty which includes damage caused by wear and tear*. You can obtain a quote from Warranty Direct following this link - https://www.warrantydirect.co.uk/
*Wear & tear benefit commences 90 days from a Warranty Direct policy starting or from day 1 if you renew your policy with us.