A pothole damaged my car's wheel and now I can't fit replacements. What can I do?

Your motoring problems solved

Fiat 500 C replacement wheels

Q. Our Fiat 500C hit a pothole so bad that two wheels need replacing. I’ve had trouble fitting aftermarket wheels because of a pin sticking out on each hub. What can I do?
TC, Tunbridge Wells

A. The protrusion is a locating pin, designed to make it easier to position. It also prevents the fitment of any wheels not approved by Fiat. The pin can be removed but check with your insurer first. Be advised that non-standard replacements will make your car harder to sell or trade in.

So it’s best to fit Fiat-approved wheels, but first make a claim for the replacements. If the problem occurred on a main trunk road such as a motorway, dual carriageway or major A-road you’ll need to contact the Highways Agency. Other routes are the responsibility of the local council — find out which one at gov.uk/find-your-local-council. Many local authority websites now have a dedicated pothole section, sometimes with a damages form to complete.

Make sure you give the exact location of the pothole, the date and time of the incident and — if it’s safe to measure it — the size and depth of the hole, taking photos of it as well as of your damaged wheels.

Include a written quote from your Fiat dealer for the cost of replacing the two wheels and a statement from the garage as to why this action is required.

Sunday Times Driving Car Clinic: Dave Pollard, car accessory advice

Dave Pollard has written several Haynes manuals and has tested just about every car-related accessory – read more from Dave here.

Email your question to carclinic@sunday-times.co.uk or write to Car Clinic, Driving, The Sunday Times, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF, with a daytime phone number,
your address and as much detail about your car as possible. We can’t reply in person, so don’t send original documents or SAEs. Advice is given without legal responsibility.