Our Drivers cover more than 2.5 million miles every year. They tackle adverse weather conditions, heavy traffic, road works and unsociable hours. But the one thing that gives them nightmares - are potholes!
The cost of potholes
Some statistics claim that road maintenance in England and Wales is underfunded by around £1 billion every year. Even if local authorities were provided with the budget to fix their roads, it would still take 12 years to catch up with the current backlog. No wonder the pothole epidemic is spreading and supposedly causing 1 in 10 mechanical failures in the UK at a cost to motorists of an estimated £730 million every year, almost the amount of the current under-funding! So, if you have hit a pothole, should you try to claim?
To claim or not to claim?
If you have ever hit a pothole and heard that nasty clunk, you will have felt that sinking feeling immediately after! You know that there is likely damage and it is going to cost you. The last pothole I hit actually cracked my alloy wheel, a replacement of which was a tidy £1,000! At least my suspension survived, I was lucky though. Looking back I should have claimed, or at least reported the incident to ensure the pot hole was highlighted as damaging. What would you do?
Some argue that if a successful claim is made, then the resource to actually pay the claim, comes out of the same budget that is meant to repair the pot hole in the first place. This will cause an even greater deficit in the already lack lustre budget. Others will say that whoever controls the road has a legal duty to maintain it to a fit standard. If it isn’t, and a car is damaged because of it, then they should pay for the repairs, that is the law none the less.
What constitutes a pothole?
Many councils state that for a pot hole to actually be counted as a pothole it must be at least 40mm deep, that is about the height of two 20p coins.
What to do if you hit a pothole?
Whether you intend to make a claim or not, the least you should do is report it and gov.uk have the very page set up to make this process easy for you www.gov.uk/report-pothole.
What do you need to claim?
You will need to prove that the pothole was the cause of the damage to the car. Photographic evidence is essential. If it is safe, take a photo of the pothole showing the width and depth. Take some photos at a mid range distance showing the position in the road from different angles and which lane it is in. Try and photograph where the pothole is, if there are any landmarks that will help pinpoint the spot. You will also need to show the damage caused to your car with confirmation from a qualified mechanic stating that the repairs required were caused by your impact with a pothole.
For more detailed advice on how to claim, moneysaveingexpert.com have some very useful information on what you need if you are going to claim and who you can make the claim too, you visit their site by clicking here.
Avoiding the hazard
Potholes are unfortunately a hazard our drivers have to navigate every day. For them, it isn’t just the cost of repairs to the car, it is also the down time they can suffer if their car is out of action, which impacts on their earning potential. Many routes they take, they will know every lump and bump in the road, and can take the necessary action to avoid and minimise any potential incident. But sometimes, just sometimes, another of these pesky holes appears to take us by surprise!
If you have an important meeting to get to or perhaps are travelling abroad and don’t want to risk taking your own vehicle, then book one of our executive car services.
Let us use our knowledge and experience of the roads to get you to where you need to be safely and on time.