MOTORISTS face rising petrol and diesel prices for the first time in four months.
Prices peaked in September at over €1.70 per litre and gradually fell due to the strength of the euro against the dollar.
However, a litre of petrol has just gone up in price again - to an average of 159.4 cent, up 1.5 cent since January.
And a litre of diesel costs 153.7 cent, up 2.9 cent on the figure for January, according to the latest Automobile Association ( AA ) fuel price survey.
The association has branded the increase at the pumps “surprising and very disappointing” because of the stable price of oil on world markets.
AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said: “2012 was an appalling year for fuel prices, the worst we have ever had.”
“It was the number one issue for motorists last year. This was why we were so strong in our arguments to government not to increase fuel taxes even more in the December budget.
“We succeeded in persuading them, although they did increase car tax which was frustrating.”
While the price of oil on world markets has been relatively stable in recent weeks, the cost of Brent Crude has crept upwards from just over $110 per barrel at the start of the year to $118 now.
Irish consumers did not really feel this initially because the euro crept upwards against the US dollar at the same time.
Prices have increased even further in the UK because of the weakness of sterling against the dollar.
Faughnan added: “Internationally, it is hard to fathom the reasons for a rise right now.” “Forecasts for oil demand in 2013 are quite weak, mirroring economic data, and we even had a relatively mild winter. For the price of fuel to be rising now is surprising and very disappointing.”
The AA survey says the the key reason for high prices continues to be high taxes, accounting for 55pc of the retail price of petrol is tax.
Various tax increases since October 2008 have added 23 cent per litre to the retail price of petrol.