5 essential steps to making a pothole-related claim


Have you been victim to a pothole damaging your vehicle? Or perhaps you’d like to know what you should do if the situation arises.

We recently wrote an article detailing the rise of potholes in the UK and the dangers to vehicles, even more so with classic cars where repair costs can soar.

But fear not, making a pothole-related claim process doesn’t have to be daunting. Here’s five essential steps you should take when making a claim for pothole damage.


Can you claim for pothole damage?

First things first. Many people assume pothole-related claims are covered by insurance companies, but it’s actually the local councils as they are responsible for maintaining the roads.

If your car gets damaged by a pothole, you are eligible to make a claim and get the cost reimbursed from the relevant authority.

This process involves proving the damage was caused by a pothole – including where it happened and the cost incurred for repair.


A person on his phone documenting the damage from a pothole.

1. Document the damage

The first step is to document the damage caused by the pothole. Take clear and detailed photos of both the pothole itself and the damage made to your vehicle. Note down the date, time, and precise location of the incident.

This documentation will serve as crucial evidence when filing your claim.


Mechanic showing a customer an invoice.

2. Gather your evidence

Once you’ve documented the damage, gather any additional evidence to support your claim.

This may include repair quotes from mechanics, invoices for any repairs already carried out, and reports detailing the extent of the damage. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your claim will be.

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Reporting a pothole.

3. Reporting the pothole

It’s important to report the pothole to the relevant authority if it hasn’t already been done so. It can often be confusing regarding who you should report the pothole to.

By reporting the pothole, you not only alert the authorities to the issue but it also creates a record of its existence, which can strengthen your claim, and it helps others who may get their vehicle damaged.

If it hasn’t been reported, they might not be aware of it. But if they do know about it, they’re responsible for fixing it. So, you need to show that they didn’t do their job properly.

You should report the pothole and make your claim to the appropriate body responsible for the road’s maintenance. We have collated a list of these, and it all depends on the geographical location and the type of road it’s on. For:

Unsure which authority to report it to? You can check here.


A person using a laptop to submit a pothole claim.

4. Submit your claim

After contacting the authority responsible for the road where the pothole is, it’s time to submit your claim. You should have all the evidence you’ve gathered ready including your proof of reporting the pothole, and repair quotes or receipts.

The simplest and quickest way of doing this is normally just filling in an online claims form on the authority’s website.

You should consider including the following in your claim to strengthen your case:

  • Copies of receipts for repairs and proof that you paid for them.
  • Statements from your mechanic explaining what caused the damage.
  • A written note or map showing exactly where the pothole is.
  • The date and time when the damage happened.
  • Pictures of the damage to your vehicle.
  • Pictures of the pothole itself, if you are able to take them.
  • Any notes from people who witnessed the incident.


Making an appeal if a pothole claim is rejected.

5. Making an appeal, if your claim is unsuccessful

Not every authority will accept your claim, some will reject it in the hope that you’ll stop there. The next step is to make a full claim, but be aware that it’s not a simple process.

In short, you will want to make a Freedom of Information request to find out if the authority was inspecting and repairing the road as often as it was meant to.

If they didn’t do it enough and its proven, they may be liable to pay for your repairs.

Most times, they’ll pay if you prove they were careless. But sometimes, you might have to take it one step further by going to a small court to get the money.


Are you a Heritage customer? If so, feel free to give us a call if you would like any further advice about submitting a claim.

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