New research has revealed the 10 county councils to receive the most claims from car, van and motorbike owners after suffering pothole damage. Surrey comes out way ahead with 3,500 road users coming to grief on the county’s streets of shame. Thousands make claims after suffering pothole damage Hampshire came second with a thousand fewer claims and Hertfordshire and Kent came in third and fourth with more than 2,000 pothole damage claims each. The top 10 pothole damage league table is completed by Nottingham (5th), Essex, Suffolk, West Sussex, Derbyshire and Devon in 10th spot. Research from LeaseCar.uk has revealed there were 37,678 claims across England due to poorly maintained roads, with around £3.5m paid out in compensation during the period between January 2018 to October 2019. From burst tyres to mangled suspension and damaged steering arms, many motorists have fallen victim to pothole damage. But many suffered in silence. You don’t have to. Here is the Adrian Flux guide to making a claim against your local authority after suffering pothole damage. What can pothole damage do? You will notice some pothole damage straight away, especially if you hit a big one at speed. Other damage may only become apparent later, perhaps you will notice the ride is a little bumpier, the car pulls to one side or handling generally deteriorates. Tyre damage When you think about pothole damage you always think “are the tyres OK?” As well as punctures you could damage the tyre walls or suffer gouging, while, a big pothole could damage a rim which can in turn cause air leaks and flat tires later on. Wheel alignment Your garage uses a very sophisticated piece of kit to balance your tyres perfectly – pothole damage can easily knock it out of kilter. This can lead to vibrations, poor steering, the car drifting to one side and premature or irregular tyre wear. Suspension issues Jolts caused by potholes hasten wear and tear of your suspension’s components, such as springs, shock absorbers and linkages. The pothole damage may not be noticeable immediately but over time the car may start to drift or fail to negotiate bumps in the road comfortably. Bodywork damage If you hit a brutal pothole at speed the resulting compression of your suspension can cause your car to scrape the road surface. Damage could range from a scratched undercarriage to dents and any number of broken mechanical parts. Find out how some people are shaming local authorities to address the pothole problem afflicting the nation’s highways and byways. What if I am stranded after sustaining pothole damage? If you have decent breakdown cover your insurer will come to the rescue after sustaining pothole damage. Sterling Rescue breakdown cover, for example, costs from just £46.80 a year, which is cheaper than other major breakdown insurance firms and a fraction of the cost of regular garage call out and repair fees. The cost includes roadside assistance, a national recovery service, home service and costs towards your onward journey if your vehicle can’t be repaired at the roadside. Cover is available for the UK, EU and some non-EU countries and it is for the vehicle, so anyone driving it is protected. That means wherever your vehicle is incapacitated after sustaining pothole damage help will be at hand around the clock. It’s great to have breakdown insurance in advance of breaking down, but if you don’t have cover you can still rely on Sterling Rescue’s instant breakdown cover. Instant breakdown cover costs from £173.60 a year and it can be arranged with a short phone call – 0344 381 9959 – after your vehicle has broken down after sustaining pothole damage, or for any other reason, or it fails to start. When your problem is fixed, you will then have another 12 months of breakdown cover giving you total motoring peace of mind, no matter how deep the potholes you encounter. And if you live in a particular bad area for potholes, you could consider bespoke pothole damage insurance cover from Adrian Flux. It covers alloy wheels, tyres and suspension on the insured vehicle for up to £1,500 if they are damaged because of a pothole. (You must provide evidence of the pothole to be able to claim and there is a £75 excess). What should I do if I see a pothole? If you spot a pothole on a road in England or Wales you should log it on this Government website, in Scotland visit this site, and in Ireland visit this site. You can also find out how some people are shaming local authorities into addressing the pothole problem afflicting the nation’s highways and byways.