Millions of pounds have been spent in just two years repairing the potholes blighting roads across the north and north-east.
New Freedom of Information statistics figures have revealed a bill in excess of £13.65 million in the wake of tens of thousands of complaints.
But despite that investment, there remains a “huge backlog” of repairs needed and roads campaigners have said action is needed “before it is too late”.
Aberdeenshire Council has received 12,025 complaints relating to potholes since 2017, with action to repair 35,425 defects costing £9,544,069.
The authority’s head of roads, landscape and waste services, Philip McKay said: “Since 2017, we have received just over 12,000 reports of potholes, but our roads teams have actually repaired more than 35,000.
“With more than 3,500 miles of road to maintain in Aberdeenshire that equates to around 3.33 potholes requiring repair per mile per year.”
In Aberdeen, meanwhile, there have been 41,907 potholes filled since 2017, costing the council £1,264,415.
Neil Greig, of IAM Roadsmart, said it was encouraging that drivers were taking the time to report the matter.
He said: “This means that councils really have to deal with them or risk being sued if damage is caused in the future.
“Its impossible to know how many crashes, collapsed suspensions or worn out tyres are cause by potholes but it does nothing to help the economy or encourage walking and cycling if our roads look scruffy.
“Unfortunately we are still seeing traffic growth in Scotland and that is putting even more pressure on our already worn out roads.
“There is a huge backlog of road repairs across Scotland and the north and north-east is not immune from this.”
Mr Greig added that a Scottish Parliament committee was holding an inquiry into potholes before “it is too late.”
While Shetland’s number of potholes were too small to count over the period, Orkney Council spent £675,603 and Western Isles Council £792,000.
In the Highlands, potholes are not individually recorded, but instead included in overall road surfacing costs.
However, there have been at least 9,000 fixed since 2017.
In Moray, potholes are not individually recorded but there have been 11,978 works to fix “carriageway defects” costing £1,380,609.
RAC Breakdown spokesperson Simon Williams said: “While resurfacing will undoubtedly cost more initially, it will lead to savings in the long run.
“We realise in recent times councils have had to make some tough decisions over where they spend their money, but roads are vitally important to the economy and people’s lives.
“It should also not be forgotten that potholes not only cause expensive damage to vehicles, they are a road safety danger that can very easily lead to loss of life, particularly for those on two wheels.”
Highland Council’s transport committee chairman Allan Henderson calculated that it would take £176m to get its roads up to scratch.
He said close to £20m was already spent each year to deal with the council’s “crumbling” roads network.
“That’s for the repairs, which takes in the whole infrastructure bridges, ditches and everything associated with roads,” he said.
“It also has to pay for pay for all the staff and the lorries. The government will always say we are adequately funded, but like most councils we are strapped for cash. Spending the money we are spending we are only going south.”
Mr Henderson added that he thought a tax would be “too unwieldy” to administer, adding: “What we really need is some available funding to make proper repairs to our roads.”