Drivers are two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer a pothole-related breakdown than in 2006, according to new figures.
The RAC said its patrols received 1,714 call-outs between October and December for problems usually caused by road defects, such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels.
These issues represented 0.8% of all RAC breakdown reports in that period, which is the lowest amount for the final three months of any year since 2013.
But the firm warned that the chance of a vehicle suffering pothole damage is still two-and-half times higher than it was 13 years ago.
RAC breakdown spokesman Simon Williams said: “Data gathered from the breakdowns RAC patrols attended in the final three months of 2018 shows a slightly more encouraging picture in relation to the quality of UK road surfaces.
“Unfortunately, while this is better news, we are far from having the beautifully smooth roads that motorists would like.
“Those responsible for our roads have much to do to restore drivers’ faith as too many suffer the consequences of potholes on a daily basis.
“The next two quarters will be particularly telling if temperatures plummet and water gets into road defects, freezes and expands causing further deterioration in surfaces.”
One in five local roads in England and Wales is in a poor condition and the frequency of road resurfacing has declined, according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance.
The AA has called for learner drivers to have to prove they can spot potholes to pass the driving test.
Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s transport spokesman, said: “Councils are fixing a pothole every 21 seconds but this report underlines the chronic need for more investment in existing local roads.
“The Government is spending 52 times per-mile more on maintaining our national roads – which make up just 3% of all roads – than on local roads, which are controlled by councils and make up 97% of England’s road network.”