What happens if a pothole or roadworks damage your car?

By admin
29 August 2013

As a driver, do you have any recourse should roadworks or a pothole cause damage to your vehicle? Find out...

  • Q: If my car gets damaged while I’m driving due to roadworks/potholes, can I claim from the government?
  • A: Yes, however in order to establish who you can claim from for pothole damage/damage as a result of roadworks you need to establish if you’re driving on a national or municipal road.

National roads are commonly identified as N1, N2 and so forth. These roads are the responsibility of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), whereas municipal roads would fall under the authority of the various municipal districts or the department of public works where those roads are located.

SANRAL contracts with roadworks companies to maintain the national roads, and these companies have to provide proof they have an insurance policy in place to cover claims for liability from road users.

Claims for damages from potholes or roadworks on national roads are therefore directed to SANRAL and from there to the specific contractor on that stretch of road. SANRAL confirms claims are processed like any other vehicle insurance claim if it can be proved the damage occurred as a result of roadworks/pothole damage. On municipal roads road users would have to approach that specific municipal authority or department of public works and enquire from them which documentation to complete, and to whom to submit such a claim. Information required would include:

  • Your ID
  • Your driver’s license
  • The registration details of your vehicle
  • Three written quotes for repair
  • A declaration signed by the claimant
  • The AA suggests the vehicle owner also provide proof through pictures of the pothole and the damage to the vehicle.

Source: The Automobile Association of South Africa

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