Drivers are being warned to expect a surge in potholes due to the large amount of rain that fell either side of December’s freezing temperatures.
The RAC warned that the weather has created “the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads”.
Water which has entered cracks expands when frozen, causing road surfaces to crumble.
Pothole-related vehicle breakdowns are already on the rise.
The RAC responded to an average of 20 call-outs a day for faults such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels between October and December last year.
That was up from 16 a day during the previous three months.
The figures were released to mark Sunday’s National Pothole Day.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The wet weather we’ve had both before and after the coldest start to winter in 12 years in December is the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads.
“We fear that by the spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills.
“It’s also important to remember that potholes are so much more than just an annoyance, they are a true road safety danger, especially for those on two wheels as they represent a huge risk to their personal safety.
“There are too many occasions where potholes have been poorly patched up by cash-strapped councils which then return all too quickly.
“It’s frankly absurd that, as a country, we seem unable to get on top of such an age-old problem when roads play such an important role in people’s everyday lives.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We are investing more than £5 billion from 2020 to 2025 into local highways maintenance – including the Potholes Fund announced at the 2020 Budget.
“This will fill millions of potholes a year, repair dozens of bridges, and resurface roads up and down the country.”