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Potholes - watch out for them!


We've all seen them, but have you ever wondered what causes pot holes? They develop when snow and ice melt. The water seeps beneath the road through cracks by the wear and tear of traffic. When the temperature drops below freezing again, the ice expands, and causes cavities to appear. The holes get bigger because of the damage caused by numerous vehicles driving over the hole.


Check your vehicle for damage 

Check to see if there is any physical or cosmetic damage. The other thing to watch out for, which may not be immediately apparent, are non immediate signs of damage such as vibrations, the car pulling to one side or the steering wheel not being aligned properly. 

Make notes and take pictures

Take pictures and measurements of any damage, the pothole and make notes about what damage has occurred. Including something with a sense of scale in a picture could also help. 

Report the pothole

Report the pothole to the local county, city or borough council so that they can arrange repairs. 

Get quotes

When getting your car repaired, get multiple quotes and keep all of them along with invoices and receipts. 

Making a claim

Make a claim to the responsible council with all your evidence as this will help support your claim. 

One thing drivers making a claim should be aware of, however, is that under section 58 of the Highways Act 1980, councils have a defence against claims. 

In section 58 it details that if a council failed to maintain or repair a pothole they were aware of or hasn’t followed maintenance guidelines then a driver may be able to claim compensation. 

Motorists can also make a claim against their car insurance, however, this may impact premium costs and no claims bonuses.


So, as you can see, potholes can cause an awful lot of damage. The best advice is to avoid driving over them if at all possible. If you have no choice but to drive over them, then you should go as slowly as possible…around 15-20mph.

Watch this space for more driving advice! 

Helen Adams ADI

Purple Driving

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Purple Driving - Manual Driver Training in & around Bognor Regis & Chichester, West Sussex