It has been on the side of the road for the last few weeks. Just slowly growing larger and larger. This abyss which has been collecting broken wheels and discarded tyre rubber. Or as everyone else knows it, the pothole.

The one that has really caught my attention recently is on the inside of a lefthand bend. It’s right after the crest of a small, but also blind hill. The most annoying thing about this pothole is that you have to go over the other side of the road in order to safely avoid it.

It really caught my attention last week, when I was going over the crest of the hill and following the traffic in front of me. Annoyingly there was a stream of traffic coming along on the other side of the road, so we couldn’t pre-empt the pothole and move over. Instead, the car in front of me decided to swerve at the last minute and then reveal the gapping pothole just after it was too late to safely avoid.

The hole swallowed half of my wheel and made the loudest bang my car has ever heard. The bang was immediately followed by silence and then there was the disappointedly loud hiss of air rushing out of the tyre. I’d not only punctured, but I’d ripped the tyre apart.

Pulling over within seconds to the layby, the damage was immediately obvious. The alloy was dented and the tyre was ruined. My day was going to start off on my hands and knees changing a tyre, before heading into work late and with a slightly annoyed mindset.

The tyre and alloy would cost me a few hundred to replace and it was just after Christmas. This really wasn’t my ideal time to do this, but I knew I could claim compensation from the council. So I started to hunt online for any help. Then I found a very interesting article.

It only took a few clicks and this article from Lease Car was extremely enlightening. Who would have thought that you could see how many people have made claims for pothole damage?

A quick scan through the list and I find my council. We’re not at the top, but fortunately, we’re not at the bottom either. I couldn’t believe that the 38 people who claimed in Sutton were awarded a grand total of nothing. Or that on average from the thirty-seven thousand claims, only £3.5 million was paid out. That works out on average at under £100 a claim.

My tyre was going to cost more than that. I knew that because I had only fitted a new one two weeks ago. I suppose that was fortunate really. It meant that I had all the necessary paperwork and evidence I could possibly need when I went to the council website to make my claim.

I just hope that when it does come through, that I’m not one of the many unfortunate people who have their claim rejected.