CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- AAA wants you to know that although our weather has been mild this winter, potholes are still a concern that can leave you with out-of-pocket expenses.

Potholes can hit our cars and our wallets hard. According to Morgan Dean with AAA, many people assume that they have a spare tire in their vehicle, but a third of drivers on the road don't have one. The damage from hitting a pothole can hurt more than just your tires, it can take a toll on your whole vehicle.

"So, if it's just a blow-out, you're probably looking at a few hundred dollars. But, if you're looking at damage to the suspension, if you're looking at getting an alignment because of other damage below the vehicle, if there's some damage to the muffler, any kid of body damage because of what you've gone through, you're looking at much higher prices. That can push that (repair) sometimes, over a $1,000,” AAA manager, public and government affairs, Morgan Dead said.

Dean says that there are a few ways that drivers can avoid potholes: Looking ahead, avoiding puddles, limiting distractions, slowing down, increasing the following distance between vehicles, inspecting tires for air pressure and wear, checking to see if there’s a spare tire in your car, and not ignoring the noise or vibrations that your vehicle makes if you hit a pothole. 

According to AAA, this year they've responded to nearly 30,000 tows and over 8,600 flat tire calls in Virginia.