But there is hope that February will be better...

Average fuel prices rose for the third consecutive month in January, hitting their highest point since the dying months of 2014.

Since October 2017, the cost of an average litre of diesel has risen by 5p to 125.04p, while the average litre of petrol will set you back 122.24p – an increase of 4p on October 2017.

As a result, filling a typical family car’s 55-litre tank with petrol will cost £67.23 – an increase of more than £4 on the cheapest point in 2017. Diesel drivers are even worse off, with a 55-litre fill now costing £68.77 – up more than £5.50 on the lowest costs of last year.

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According to the RAC, rising oil prices have sparked the price hikes, but the damage would have been worse were it not for the strengthening performance of the pound against the dollar – the currency in which oil is traded.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘The start of 2018 hasn’t been good for motorists as they’ve had to endure their third consecutive monthly increase at the pumps. Both petrol and diesel are now at their highest points for more than three years which is bound to be making a dent in household budgets.’

However, Williams added that the RAC thinks prices may fall slightly in February, easing the pressure on families’ purse strings.

‘There is a glimmer of hope that some of the heat in the forecourt price of fuel could cool in February as our current two-week forecast shows reductions of a penny for petrol and two pence for diesel,’ he said. ‘Whether this will filter through at the pumps is questionable as retailers are generally loath to pass on wholesale savings when they consider them to be marginal.’