Checkign tyre depth

Tyre Safety Guide

Every commercial fleet operating in the UK should have a robust and comprehensive policy for ensuring that their vehicles are only ever driven with safe tyres. What exactly constitutes a ‘safe’ tyre, though, can be a complex formula with many components.

Whether you’re operating with HGVs, LGVs, or standard estate and saloon cars, this article is designed to help you identify the key components of tyre safety and make you aware of the legal limits that drivers should be adhering to.

Why is tyre safety important?

Before we get started, though, here’s why meeting safe tyre standards matters. Firstly, the livelihood and wellbeing of your drivers should be paramount to any organisation. Having a happy and healthy workforce means you can take on more work, rather than having to plug the gaps caused by avoidable tyre accidents.

What’s more, proudly advertising your business as one that treats driver safety as a top priority could also make your organisation stand out from the crowd in the jobs marketplace; giving you an edge when prospective employees are looking for a new place of work.

Tyres themselves are tangential to vehicle safety, and worn out or old tyres directly limit the amount of control your drivers have over their vehicles. In fact, poor tyres can increase stopping distances, reduce fuel economy when tread is low, and become more prone to tyre blowouts.

Fundamentally, having drivers operate with tyres that are below safe standards can have a range of negative impacts on safety and cost, and the only real downside of replacing tyres is the initial cost of new tyres. This is well worth doing, especially considering there is a legal element to this equation.

Tyre safety laws

There are a few different important laws governing tyre safety for commercial vehicles in the UK. One crucial piece of guidance to be aware of is the official ‘vehicle safety and maintenance guidance’, which is frequently updated with information around conducting safety checks and MOT inspections.

There are also helpful guides around how drivers can carry out safety checks, which is essential given it’s a legal requirement that drivers conduct a walkaround check before setting off on any journey, which must include checking the:

  • Lights
  • Tyres
  • Wheel fixings
  • Bodywork
  • Trailer coupling
  • Load and other equipment

Beyond this, laws exist to ensure that individual drivers communicate with their employers around safety matters. Any defects should be communicated in writing, and many employers may look to use software to streamline this process.

At Fuel Card Services, part of our work is to empower fleet operators with software to achieve exactly this goal, and our MyDriveSafe.Expert service enables drivers to report any defects via a mobile phone app which links through to a central database that managers can access.

Tyre

What makes your tyres illegal?

Diving deeper into tyre safety, then, what are the key regulations to be aware of? Well, the main components of safe tyres are:

1. Tyre pressure

Tyre pressures make a difference to fuel economy as well as driver safety. If your driver’s tyres feature a pressure of around 30-40PSI, then they’re likely to run smoothly on the roads and require less power.

Conversely, low pressured tyres of anywhere downwards of 20PSI can be a genuine danger to the safety of your driver and other road users. These tyres are more susceptible to blowouts and can destabilise a vehicle.

The exact recommended limits for tyre pressure vary from vehicle to vehicle, and drivers should always have access to and check the manufacturer’s handbook to gauge recommended PSI levels. Conversely, over-pumping tyres can have a negative effect on performance by causing uneven tyre wear.

As a fleet operator, it’s key that you ensure drivers check tyre pressure frequently. Officially, this should be checked on a weekly basis. However, if this proves impractical, it’d be unwise to leave tyre pressure unchecked for any longer than one month.

2. Tread depth

The legal tread depth limit on any tyre in the UK is 1.6mm, control over the vehicle can be severely limited. Tread serves to grip the road as a wheel spins, thus making turning easier – and drivers can actually feel the difference between high and low levels of tread.

Fleet operators should ideally be advising drivers to change tyres when tread drops below 3mm, and failure to adhere to legal limits can result in substantial fines both for individual drivers (who can also incur points on their licences), and the organisation.

3. General tyre health

Through regular spot checks, drivers should be able to gauge whether tyres are in good condition. Any signs of tyre bulging should result in immediately replacing tyres, and this is also the case if the structural integrity of the tyre has been damaged through debris or vandalism.

It’s also a legal requirement of fleet operators that any non-roadworthy vehicles are taken out of service, and operators must implement a system to make this happen.

Taking tyre safety seriously

Ultimately, there’s no questioning that tyre safety should be a top priority for fleets, which is true both from a driver safety perspective and a cost-saving perspective. Newer tyres with better technology and safe pressure and tread levels require less fuel to power, and becoming a brand that showcases its good safety policies can stand individual operators out from the crowd in the eyes of potential new recruits.

How can Fuel Card Services help?

At Fuel Card Services, we take driver safety seriously. That’s why we offer a range of commercial fleet services that are designed to improve driver safety and provide cost savings. Services include:

  • Tele-Gence; a smart telematics system that’s tailored to your business’ unique needs. This software can improve safety for your drivers and security for your vehicles.
  • MyDriveSafe.Expert – which allows drivers to carry out vehicle checks on their mobile phones. This data then feeds back into a manager’s portal, enabling you to check that vehicles are safe to drive and that legal requirements are met.
  • MyService.Expert – we offer an online, pay-as-you-go system that gives you access to pre-negotiated repair and maintenance rates at thousands of UK garages, meaning any faults can be resolved quickly without breaking the bank.

If you think these services could benefit your operation, get in touch today and see how we could help you.

Petrol pouring into tank

Wrong fuel in car – what should I do?

So you’ve put the wrong fuel in your car. It’s a surprisingly easy mistake to make that plenty of drivers have made. In fact, What Car? suggests that someone puts the wrong fuel in their car every three and a half minutes in the UK!

If you have put the incorrect fuel in your tank, the next steps are vital to ensure you don’t cause any lasting damage.

What to do when you’ve put the wrong fuel in your car

The most important thing to do when you have misfuelled is to not start the engine under any circumstance. Starting the car when it has the incorrect fuel in the tank could cause lasting, costly damage. The AA suggests that you remove the keys from the ignition immediately.

If you haven’t started the engine, the cost of having a specialist drain the fuel tank will be around £190, but if the engine is ignited it could be closer to £5,000.

You should try and get the car to a safe spot if possible. At a petrol station, put the vehicle in neutral and push the car to a safe place; you should of course get someone to assist you.

Once your vehicle is in an appropriate location, call your breakdown provider immediately. They’ll have specialists available to drain your car’s system and make it safe to refuel again.

Petrol in a diesel car

It’s incredibly easy to put petrol into a diesel car due to the size of the nozzle. It is also more damaging to do this than to put diesel in a petrol car.

Again, it’s vital that you do not start the engine if you have done this. If you do, you’re likely to hear a loud knocking sound when accelerating. That’s if your vehicle even starts!

Diesel acts as a lubricant that helps the fuel pump work as it should. Petrol, however, will increase the friction in your diesel engine meaning the fuel pump is going to meet some heavy resistance and become damaged. You could be looking at having to replace the fuel pumps and other components, or even replacing the entire engine if the petrol is allowed to wreak enough havoc on your vehicle.

Diesel in a petrol car

You’ll struggle to fit the diesel nozzle into a petrol car, so the chances of this happening are much less likely. However, there are some instances where this accident can happen.

Putting diesel in a petrol car also causes less damage to your vehicle. The diesel fuel will actually just clog up the system rather than causing any lasting damage.

Of course, the vehicle won’t start. However, once the fuel is drained from the system, you can put petrol back in and everything should work as normal!

E10 in an incompatible vehicle

In 2021, the UK transitioned from E5 to E10 petrol. This fuel contains 10% renewable ethanol, whereas E5 only contains 5%. This has helped the country take steps towards reducing CO2 emissions – it’s the equivalent of removing all the petrol vehicles out of North Yorkshire!

However, some older cars are not compatible with E10. It’s estimated that around 600,000 cars on UK roads will not accept it.

Luckily, putting E10 in an incompatible vehicle shouldn’t cause too much damage. If you were to do this repeatedly, your vehicle’s internal structure could suffer due to the bioethanol’s corrosive properties.

You can also mix E10 and E5. Therefore, if you end up with E10 in your incompatible vehicle, get some E5 in there as quickly as possible.

Filling fuel tank with blue fuel can

How can drivers avoid misfuelling in future?

When drivers put the wrong fuel in their vehicle, it’s usually because they just aren’t paying attention! This is easily done after a long day of work or an early start to the day.

Remember that the colour of the hose and nozzle isn’t always consistent. If you’re at a fuelling station that you aren’t familiar with, don’t just pick up the hose that is the colour you are used to using. Be sure to read the signage properly – the pump should specify whether it is petrol, diesel or something else.

The AA suggests putting a reminder on the inside of the fuel cap to double check that you are using the correct pump.

As with driving, try and minimise distractions. It’s easy to be in autopilot whilst refuelling, but you don’t want to look up from your phone only to realise you’ve had the wrong hose inserted into your vehicle!

How can Fuel Card Services help?

You never know when an accident such as misfuelling is going to wreak havoc on your vehicles. It is therefore vital that you have some form of maintenance plan in place. That’s where MyService.Expert comes in.

With MyService.Expert, you can simplify your business’ vehicle maintenance with pre-negotiated rates at thousands of main dealer and independent garages, all across the UK.

A proper service plan means less downtime and simplified admin.

Get in touch today and find out what we could do for you.

managing fleet maintenance

The ultimate fleet maintenance guide

While it would be nice if commercial fleets could operate year-round without fault, that isn’t the core goal for experienced fleet operators. Instead, what’s useful is to understand the range of challenges your fleet is likely to encounter, and how to either take precautions to avoid them or prepare suitable countermeasures that can be used reactively to minimise downtime.

That’s why we’ve created this fleet maintenance guide, which will cover:

What is fleet maintenance management?

Fleet maintenance management describes the process of proactively and reactively resolving issues facing a commercial fleet, with a view to keeping vehicles operational. There are many reasons why this is important, including that:

  • Having more vehicles available for use could enable you to take on more contracts.
  • Driver safety is drastically improved by a proper fleet maintenance protocol.
  • Well-maintained fleets may prove less expensive to run in the long term, given they’re less likely to incur severe damage.

The person responsible for maintaining a fleet can vary from business to business. For larger companies, a senior role is normally allocated to overseeing this entire process. Most companies either build in-house teams to handle key aspects of the maintenance process or look to outsource specific services such as tyre repairs or MOT checks to external providers.

Overall, there are a range of different skills needed to maintain a fleet. Software innovations play a huge role in this dynamic industry, and so developers may be needed to code and improve systems, while logistics is obviously key – not to mention the practical skills needed to actually conduct routine maintenance work on expensive, complex LGVs.

Tips for managing fleet maintenance effectively

With this complexity in mind, here are our maintenance tips that we feel could really make a difference to operators.

1. Document the ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘how’ of fleet maintenance

It’s not only important, but a requirement of every fleet operation that you are able to resolve technical issues when they arise. A more effective approach to maintenance, however, could be to document virtually every issue that your vehicles are likely to face, as well as how to resolve them.

Lean on the internal expertise in your business to get a full picture of what is likely to go wrong with your vehicles. From more standard issues such as tyre punctures or diminishing tread depth, to the rarer, more expensive issues such as a vehicle totalling or a blown head gasket – you only stand to gain by documenting your business’ official approach to these challenges and conferring with your team.

In terms of how best to do this, a simple database of errors including fields such as the contact details of providers that can help, projected costs, and dated, historical records of similar issues could be game changing; improving your ability to react to new issues quickly.

2. Invest in the right fleet maintenance software

For many fleet operators, there is a lot of data to monitor at any one time. It’s useful not only to keep an eye on the maintenance of your vehicles, but also track their routes and mileage. While this could be done with manual methods, it’s often more cost-efficient and practical to invest in a software solution that can help your team focus on the more strategic elements, while automatically collecting data.

At Fuel Card Services, we have developed an answer for this problem. Our fleet services include:

  • MileageCount – a system for automatically recording and reporting on your vehicles’ mileage claims. This could remove some of the manual reporting tasks your drivers may be assigned with, meaning less admin work and more vehicle uptime whether you’re operating an owned, leased, or grey fleet.
  • Tele-Gence – our smart telematics solution. This fully customisable solution helps cover all key aspects of your fleet operation; monitoring driver performance, fuel cost management, and equipping your vehicles with the right cameras and equipment to improve safety.
  • Expert – an online vehicle repair and maintenance portal that can give you access to pre-negotiated maintenance rates at thousands of leading UK garage dealers and independent providers. This solution centralises the billing and cost-analysis process behind every maintenance operation; better equipping your team with the right insights to make strategic decisions.

Having the right technology stack in your business could not only help you save costs, but it could also prove to be an attractive prospect for drivers. Putting driver safety at the heart of your operation is key and combining this with tech that reduces each driver’s admin load could give you an edge over competitors.

Man managing fleet on tablet

3. Build a healthy relationship with your drivers

There’s no shortage of companies that will advocate building strong employee-employer relationships, but have you considered that strengthening relationships with your drivers could have knock-on benefits for vehicle maintenance?

If your drivers are proud of their vehicles, confident that you’re equipping them with the best-in-market technology to do their jobs effectively and feel that they’re able to communicate with you openly and honestly about issues facing their vehicles, then you’re increasing the chances of having issues flagged early on and resolved quickly.

For example, have you considered the potential benefits of equipping your drivers with an easy-to-use fuel finder app that can help speed up their search for a local filling station? Or even speeding up their routine safety checks with a similar type of app?

Making smart choices around improving your operation and sharing your thoughts and priorities with your drivers could help them feel more supported and emotionally invested in your company, which is likely to yield benefits in a variety of ways.

Why vehicle maintenance matters

Vehicle maintenance should be a top priority for your business, and the first and most obvious benefit of a good plan is vehicle and driver safety. Badly maintained cars may be more prone to failures on the road that could lead to serious accidents. Some areas to look out for include:

1. Using a vehicle maintenance planner

There are clear financial benefits to keeping your fleet well-maintained, and the best way to manage this at scale is with a robust maintenance schedule. Having a good schedule reduces the risk of breakdowns or other issues that can force a car off the road unexpectedly- and this type of unplanned downtime can be very costly for firms. It also may mean they have to alter schedules and risk disappointing customers.

So, taking the time to create a vehicle maintenance planner – preferably one that’s digital, features some level of automation, and can be shared with all relevant parties, could streamline your process in the long run.

2. Getting light vehicle maintenance right

Even simple things like making sure your tyres are the correct pressure can improve fuel economy, and therefore reduce running costs.

Therefore, you need a clear plan for what levels of fleet vehicle servicing you’ll look to conduct at different touchpoints with drivers. This must ensure that every vehicle you operate has its own service schedule that’s planned well in advance.

Don’t leave it to the last minute or arrange this on an ad-hoc basis. Factors to consider when creating a maintenance schedule include:

  • The vehicle’s age
  • Frequency of use
  • Mileage
  • Operating conditions

3. Stay up to date on the latest laws

It’s also essential to familiarise yourself with the current laws around vehicle maintenance, as employers may be liable for accidents that occur on the road if they fail to adequately protect drivers. Research suggests that some fleet operators may currently be at risk of incurring considerable fines due to inadequate maintenance programs.

With the importance of proper maintenance processes underlined, how should you actually go about implementing a maintenance program?

Testing vehicle fluid levels with dipstick

How to conduct service checks

We’ve touched on what vehicle maintenance is and why it matters – but what should a good maintenance programme look like on a day-to-day basis? There are a wide range of checks that need to be performed. Knowing what these are and how frequently they should be done is a vital step in keeping your fleet moving.

For everyday checks – remember FLOWER

Firstly, you must be performing a range of regular checks on your vehicles. Ideally, these should be done every day before setting off, but they should at least be done on a weekly basis or before any long journey. The best way of handling these is to have drivers take responsibility for their own vehicles, so it’s vital they’re trained on what to look for and how to report the results.

There are a few key areas that should be focused on here. The AA suggests these can be easily remembered with the acronym ‘FLOWER’, which consists of the following:

Fuel

Does the vehicle have enough fuel to make the journey? If not, make sure you know where you can use your fuel card to fill up. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked, and running dry can cause big problems – especially in the winter or for diesel vehicles.

Lights

Are all the bulbs working? Brake lights, indicators and headlights are especially vital. Therefore, have someone walk around the vehicle to make sure they not only work, but can be easily seen. This means clearing away any debris or mud that could obscure them.

Oil

Check your dipstick to ensure your oil level is between the minimum and maximum marks on the stick. If not, you could be running the risk of serious engine damage. This is also a very common problem, as the RAC notes one in three vehicles it’s called out to have dangerously low oil levels.

Water

Make sure your screen wash reservoir is topped up regularly. This is important year-round, but especially so in winter when grit, snow and mud can all smear your windscreen. Even in summer, bugs and pollen can hamper your view, so don’t run the risk of an empty water bottle.

Electrics

Aside from your lights, you should also check other electrics such as your battery. Make sure the connections are clean and tight and use a battery monitor to check its health. It’s a good idea to keep a set of jump leads in each vehicle – or at least on hand at your site – if you have a flat battery. The most common cause of this is leaving lights on, but this issue can also occur if the car hasn’t been used for a while or is used mainly for very short trips with lots of stopping and starting.

Rubber

Making sure your tyres are in good condition is also essential. This involves several steps. Firstly, make sure they’re set to the right pressure as specified in the vehicle manual. Using a pressure gauge is a good idea for this. Then, check the tread depth meets minimum requirements. The treads should be at least 1.6mm deep – that’s about the size of the rim on a 20p piece if you’re not sure. Finally, check the tyres for any other signs of wear or damage, such as cuts, splits, or bulges.

Check the tread depth of a tire

If the daily checks spot any issues with these components, they should be immediately flagged up for maintenance or repair before the car is sent out on to the road.

Conducting longer-term checks for vehicles

A timeframe should also be laid out for more comprehensive servicing, or this could be conducted once a vehicle surpasses a fixed number of miles. This should go into more depth on a range of maintenance issues, including:

  • Coolant
  • Air filter
  • Spark plugs (for petrol vehicles)
  • Brakes
  • Transmission fluid
  • Serpentine belt

Keeping your vehicles in good working order is an essential part of any fleet manager’s job. While some of the day-to-day work can be delegated to individual drivers, it’s still vital that you have a clear plan in place. This means undertaking frequent checks of key systems and a regular vehicle service schedule for more comprehensive car maintenance.

We hope this guide has helped to develop your understanding of fleet maintenance and give you some ideas around how you could fine tune your operation.

How can Fuel Card Services help?

At Fuel Card Services, we specialise in fleet maintenance and have developed a full suite of tools that you can use to become more cost-effective in your operations. Every good fleet management operation requires a desire to both protect drivers and profits, the right people in place, and the right technology to make an efficient operation possible.

To see how we can support you with the right technology, including advanced telematics, view our range of fleet services today, and get in touch with one of our friendly experts for a tailored quote.

Red lorry on country road

DVSA roadside vehicle checks for commercial vehicles

When driving a commercial vehicle, it is possible that you will be stopped for a roadside vehicle check. This could be by the police, or by an officer for the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

You are eligible to be stopped if you are driving a commercial van, lorry, bus or coach.

The DVSA officers wear a recognisable hi-vis jacket, and their vehicles are marked with a black and yellow print. Officers will also carry a warrant card, so you know that the check is a legitimate, legal operation.

Why are these roadside checks carried out?

These checks are carried out to determine whether the vehicle is breaking any rules or regulations. This is done to keep unsafe vehicles off the road.

Whilst most accidents are in fact caused by driver error, it is safer to ensure that all vehicles on the road are meeting a certain standard. Otherwise, the overall rate of accidents in the UK may rise further.

The following checks are likely to be made:

These checks will be carried out by DVSA officers by the side of the road or, in some circumstances, at dedicated testing sites.

If these checks are failed, your vehicle might be immobilised, and your business could be fined and even prosecuted for operating a dangerous vehicle.

What are some myths surrounding roadside checks?

According to the DVSA, there are some misconceptions around these roadside checks. Drivers may even be made to fear them unnecessarily.

Will cars also be checked?

Car drivers might be nervous to hear that officers are checking vehicles in their area. However, they need not be.

These roadside checks only target commercial vehicles. This is because they are typically larger, and therefore pose more of a risk to other road users.

Commercial vehicles also tend to be on the road for longer time periods than cars. These checks also ensure that drivers are taking breaks and not driving for longer than the law allows.

With HGV drivers in short supply, businesses may be encouraging their drivers to be on the road for longer to make up for this, so these checks are now more important than ever.

Will all commercial vehicles be pulled over?

These checks are aimed at businesses who are known to be non-compliant. Businesses that have passed checks before, or are part of the DVSA earned recognition scheme, are much less likely to be pulled over for a check.

Officers are able to check how compliant an operator is on their devices.

This is a great incentive to keep your vehicles in good condition, as passing these checks now will mean you won’t have to go through them again in the future.

Where does the money go from roadside fines?

If you are fined for failing these tests, you might be concerned about where that money is going.

According to the DVSA, all fines go straight to the government and used to fund vital public services. The fines are also used to fund the DVSA’s operations.

An exception to this rule is the £80 fee that the DVSA charge to free up an immobilised vehicle once a serious defect has been amended.

White van on road with lens flare

Why bother with these checks if most accidents are down to human error?

Only 2% of accidents on UK roads are a result of vehicle defects, so drivers might question whether the roadside checks are necessary.

However, the DVSA argue that it is because of these checks that faulty vehicles do not causes accidents. Annual MOTs and test for larger vehicles, in conjunction with these roadside checks, are helping to keep our roads safer.

These checks do also ensure that drivers are not on the road for an excessive amount of time. This keeps drivers off the road who might be feeling tired and not concentrating properly.

Will your business be massively fined for any vehicle defect?

The fine that your business might receive for running an unsafe vehicle will be proportionate to the severity of the defect.

Brakes that are heavily eroded for example might encourage a fairly hefty fine. On the other hand, if there are only minor faults, you might not be fined but will be issued an advisory notice that encourages you to get the fault fixed.

Whilst businesses might argue that they were unaware of the fault, this is uncommon. 85% of defects can be spotted during the driver’s walk-around check that they should carry out before each journey.

What happens if you don’t stop for a check?

You must safely stop your vehicle when signalled by a DVSA officer. To ignore the signal and continue driving is in fact a criminal offence.

If you do not stop, your vehicle details will be recorded so that you can be chased up later.

You might face court action, or have your operator’s licence suspended or revoked.

How can Fuel Card Services help?

As you can tell, it is worthwhile to make sure your commercial vehicles and drivers are prepared to pass a roadside vehicle check. Ensure that your vehicles are in prime condition and your drivers are doing their best to maintain the vehicle’s health.

With MyService.Expert, we make vehicle maintenance quick, easy and painless. We offer pre-negotiated rates at thousands of dealers and garages, with consolidated HMRC compliant invoices.

Get in touch today and see how we can help your businesses save time and money.

Car avoids large pothole which could cause vehicle damage

Can I claim for vehicle damage on poor quality roads?

Any form of vehicle damage can be awkward to deal with, potentially costly, and involves having a little debate with yourself over whether it’s worth claiming on your insurance or floating the cost out of your own accounts.

This is true both for individuals, and for businesses who may experience this challenge frequently when operating a commercial fleet. One important question to ask yourself, though, is ‘who is responsible for causing damage to my vehicle?’

Naturally, if either yourself, one of your drivers, or another road user is at fault, it’s easy to point the finger at who should be paying up. If, however, damage has been caused by the road itself what steps can you take? That’s exactly what we’re going to dive into in this article.

What is vehicle damage?

If you’re driving along and run into a pothole, there are a number of ways in which your vehicle could sustain damage. From puncturing your tyre to bumping the chassis of your car and causing serious damage to vital components, you could find yourself racking up quite an expensive bill.

After identifying the cause of this damage, you should ask whether it’s a fault of the road itself or another driver. If the organisation responsible for managing the road is at fault, you may have scope to claim. However, if your car is hit by debris from another vehicle, for example, then pursuing a claim from the perpetrator’s insurance is likely the best option.

What’s key is that you can evidence a clear link between the cause of damage in the road, and the damage actually done to your vehicle. Meaning it’s important to take photos if you’ve sustained damage from a pothole, although do take safety into consideration and be mindful of other road users when exiting your vehicle.

Similarly, if you’re operating a commercial fleet, ensure that your drivers exercise the same level of caution – and that they realise you cannot legally get out of your vehicle for this purpose on a motorway. With that in mind, how do you go about making a claim?

Car wheel avoiding small pothole

How to claim for pothole damage

Follow our step-by-step process for making a pothole-damage claim.

1. Identify who is responsible

The first step in making a claim is understanding who exactly you should be looking to contact; i.e., identifying which organisation is responsible for maintaining the road in question. In England;

  • London’s red routes are managed by Transport for London.
  • The majority of motorways and A-roads are managed by Highways England.
  • Any other English roads, as well as some A-roads, are managed by local council authorities.

You can check whether Highways England manages a road via their website.

2. Report the pothole to the organisation

You can make a claim for any damage caused to your vehicle by a pothole. That said, it’s also essential that you report a pothole to the organisation responsible for managing the specific road quickly – as they can be a genuine danger to human life if hit at high speeds.

If you’re operating a commercial fleet and haven’t done so already, then you may want to implement a process for reporting these in bulk. Naturally, if a pothole has been reported multiple times and not addressed, then this can only strengthen your claim for compensation.

When reporting a pothole, one useful tip is to drop an everyday item, such as your keys, into the pothole when you take a photograph. This can help the person receiving your claim understand the depth (and potential danger) of the hole.

The BBC estimate that councils in England and Wales fill in a pothole every 19 seconds, however 16% of roads in England are considered to be in a ‘poor’ state, so helping to report these is an important action to take.

3. Make your claim

Next, visit the website of the organisation responsible and follow their claims process. Generally, the organisation will want to understand:

  • What damage has been caused to your vehicle.
  • A rationale for the claim; how is this organisation responsible?
  • Details around the location of the incident, such as the road name and the exact date and time the damage was caused.

After submitting your claim, you’ll find it either to be accepted or rejected. In the case of the latter- it’s possible to actually appeal this ruling if you have a strong reason to believe that you’re owed compensation.
You can read more about the complete process for making a claim on the Government’s website.

So, can you claim for damaged tyres due to council roads?

Essentially, yes. Whether you’re representing a business or you’re driving for residential purposes, if a council road causes damage to your vehicle, then you can indeed make a claim for compensation.

We hope this article has helped answer your questions, and that it points you in the right direction in terms of making your claim.

How can Fuel Card Services help?

At Fuel Card Services, we know better than most how vehicle damage can hinder a commercial fleet operation. We’ve taken matters into our own hands, and developed a range of professional fleet services that are designed to make it easier for you, as an operator, to manage and overcome these challenges.

Our services include:

  • MyService.Expert – simplifying your vehicle maintenance and servicing. With our service, you can select from a range of garages near you and book in to gain access to our pre-negotiated servicing and maintenance rates.
  • MyDriveSafe.Expert – Our app which enables the quick and hassle-free reporting of vehicle defects, and allowing your drivers to run through a series of easy-to-follow checks.

If you think your business could benefit from our solutions, then feel welcome to contact our experts for advice on how we could work together – or check out how you could save money on fuel with our fantastic range of fuel cards.