Car breakdowns due to potholes soared in July as repairs slowed during one of the wettest months on record, figures show.
The AA motoring organisation said call-outs for car damage from potholes rose by almost 20% compared with last July.
Wet weather meant drivers often could not see the potholes while repair efforts by councils were affected, reports the BBC.
The AA said common incidents included damaged shock absorbers and dented wheels.
In total, the group said it had received 50,079 call-outs in July to assist vehicles stranded from an encounter with a pothole – the highest number for that month since 2018.
The AA added that so far, 2023 was the third “worst year” for pothole breakdowns. It said it had attended 362,172 incidents by the end of last month.
The problem could add more financial woes to drivers who are already suffering from record high car costs, including insurance, which is 21% higher than this time last year.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said councils will now be “under more pressure” to get planned repair work completed before winter.
“With 2023 looking to be one of the worst years on record for pothole damage, we need to see more investment in local roads maintenance funding,” Mr Cousens said.
The cost of bringing potholed roads in England and Wales up to scratch has been estimated at £14bn.
The government increased its Potholes Fund by £200m, to £709m for 2023.
Shaun Davies, who chairs the Local Government Association, said “decades” of reduced government funding has “left councils facing the biggest ever annual pothole repair backlog”.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “It’s for local authorities to maintain their highways.
“To help them do that we’re investing more than £5bn from 2020 to 2025, with an extra £200m announced at the Budget in March to resurface roads up and down the country.”