In Leicestershire, road managers expect this year's bill to be up on the usual £300,000.
In April, the Asphalt Industry Alliance said in a report there was a pothole for every 120 yards of road in England and Wales and that it would take 13 years to clear the backlog of repairs.
Prof Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Potholes are not just about inconvenience. They damage vehicles and cause accidents. It is wrong to think doing nothing is the easy option.
"In previous years councils have spent almost as much money dealing with compensation claims as fixing the problem."
The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, calculates its members spent more than £60m filling in around 970,000 potholes last year.
Its transport board chairman David Sparks said: "The latest cold weather means they are working flat out to fill in the ones created during the last month of freezing weather."
Paul Butcher, whose firm Instarmac supplied one million kits containing pothole-filling material to road repair teams last year, said he expected sales to double or even triple.
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After last February's two-week cold snap, there was a 40% increase in road damage, according to the AA.
It pushed the number of potholes up to 1.5m - and the number of insurance claims it received almost trebled from 700 the February before to 2,000 as a result, it said.
AA head of roads policy Paul Watters said it would be "much worse" because of cold weather which had been more widespread this winter.
He said councils were too focused on "patching up" road surfaces, rather than rebuilding highways to correct structural faults.
"As a result, in cold spells, whole lengths of road can sag, expand, break up or start to undulate," Mr Watters added.
Many roads may have to be dug up as water firms get to grips with leaks in the wake of the Arctic conditions.
Freezing conditions forced water firms to carry out emergency repairs
Water supplier United Utilities is taking more than 7,200 calls per day from its customers in north-west England - 10 times more than the winter average.
The main complaint has been frozen pipes leading to homes, although the firm also wants customers to report low water pressure - often an indication of a leak caused by a mains pipe joint cracking as ice thaws.
About 15,000 of its customers in south Warrington are receiving water from boreholes as engineers try to plug underground leaks.
Yorkshire Water has been handling about 150 calls a day - four times the norm - and Southern Water reported 73 leaks across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent in the first week of the new year.
Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors chief executive Clive Dickin said its members have been busy.
"It will have been a costly time for homes and businesses... with unexpected costs, often at emergency call-out rates," he said.
"Most of the work, however, should be covered by insurance."
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