What do potholes do to your car?

What do potholes do to your car?

Hit A Pothole? Here's The True Damage...

Potholes are a fact of life on the road. They can cause significant damage to your car, and it's important to know what happens when you hit one because in many cases, they’re unavoidable.

In this article, we’re exploring what potholes do to your car and what signs to look for that might indicate serious damage.

Potholes Cause Flat Tyres

A flat tyre is a problem you want to avoid at all costs. Potholes are one of the biggest risks when it comes to flat tyres, so it’s something to be mindful of.

If a pothole causes your tyre to go flat, you must get it fixed as soon as possible so that you don’t end up with an entirely new set of problems on top of the original one. Inflating a tyre is much cheaper than having to replace the whole thing, with average tyre prices running at an eye watering £110.

The best way to keep your tyres from getting punctured from potholes is by taking care of them properly and regularly inspecting them for damage before driving anywhere. You should also try avoiding areas with known issues like potholes or roads where construction is happening, as there might be loose gravel or other debris lying around that could damage your tyres when driving over them.

"Scratches are another common effect of hitting a pothole"

Potholes Damage Wheels

Wheels are surprisingly complex in their design, which unfortunately means that several issues can occur due to pothole damage. They're made up of several components that could be damaged by a pothole, including:

• The hub, which is the centre of the wheel and connects it to the axle.

• The rim, which is the outside edge of your wheels that you see when you look at them from above or below. It's also called an outer body or flange.

• The spokes connect rims with hubs, so they help keep your wheels together while turning corners at high speeds without falling off! Unfortunately, these delicate components can get damaged by potholes if hit hard enough.

Potholes Damage The Car's Suspension

The suspension is the system of springs, shocks and struts that helps keep your car steady and level. It's also a key part of handling, making sure your vehicle stays in control as you drive over bumps and potholes. When a car hits a pothole at high speed, it can result in damage to the suspension—which can cause poor handling or an uncomfortable ride.

In some cases this can cause MOT failures further down the line.

Potholes Can Ruin Your Paintwork & Finish

Paint chips are an obvious result of hitting a pothole, but they're not the only problem. Scratches are another common effect of hitting a pothole. Oxidation is yet another consequence that can lead to rust if left untreated, and oxidation may also cause paint peeling in areas that have been affected by potholes.

All told, potholes can cause some serious issues to the aesthetics of your car and also leave it prone to rusting.

Repairing paintwork can often be a costly job, with quotes for repair surprisingly higher than expected. It's worth considering Scratch and Dent Insurance (or SMART Cover) as it's sometimes known, which can reduce the need for claims and maintain your NCB.

Potholes Can Cause Wheel Alignment Problems

Wheel alignment issues can lead to other problems with your car, like premature tyre wear and poor handling. If you notice that your wheels aren't aligned after hitting a pothole, it's important to get them checked out immediately. An experienced technician will be able to identify the problem and offer solutions for correcting it.

If you've noticed any of these signs of misalignment, you should contact a mechanic right away:

• The vehicle pulls in one direction when driving straight (a sign of toe misalignment).

• There is uneven wear on the tyres (a sign of camber or caster misalignment).


The best way to avoid potholes is to keep an eye out for them and be prepared to slow down or swerve around them. Be vigilant in winter months, when 'freeze-thaw' can exacerbate pothole problems on the road.

If you have hit a pothole recently, have your car inspected immediately by a professional mechanic. If the damage is minor, you may be able to repair it yourself. However, if there are any serious issues with your suspension or wheels, it’s best to bring your car to a professional as soon as possible so that it can be properly assessed and repaired by people who know what they’re doing.

If you’re looking to protect your car from potholes, then getting the right insurance coverage ensures you won’t be out of pocket. At Direct Gap, we offer a number of policies such as scratch and dent insurance and tyre and alloy insurance.

To learn more, or receive a free quote, contact our team at Direct Gap today.

James Cartwright

James Cartwright

James is an innovator in the Gap Insurance market with a longstanding understanding of automotive and Gap Insurance and consumer trends. In authoring these articles he brings together over 20 years of industry experience and a lifetime as an automotive enthusiast.

You May Also Like

Are windscreen scratches covered by insurance? Industry News

Are windscreen scratches covered by insurance?

How to claim for damage to car from pothole Car Care and Tips

How to claim for damage to car from pothole

What should you do if a pothole damages your car? Car Care and Tips

What should you do if a pothole damages your car?