MOTORISTS are to be hit at the petrol pumps with fuel prices set to break the €1.50 a litre barrier in coming weeks.
Rising fuel prices for petrol and diesel mean commuters will be forced to pay more than €300 a year for their fuel bills.
The Automobile Association said that petrol and diesel costs continued to go from "bad to worse" with its latest monthly survey showing that a litre of petrol now costs an average of 142.6c, up by 2.5c on December.
The price of diesel is also up, by 1.9c on last month to a national average of 135.2c per litre.
"It is a shocking start to the year for drivers," director of policy at the AA, Conor Faughnan, said. "This time last year a litre of unleaded was 17.5c cheaper than it is today. A litre of diesel was 20c cheaper.
"On typical usage a normal family car will need 150 litres of fuel per month, based on 12,000 miles per year in a car that gets 30 miles per gallon.
"Petrol therefore costs €26.25 more per month now compared to 12 months ago."