Inflation jumped to 4.5% in April, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The UK Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained above analyst expectations last month, rising from the 4% recorded in March.
April’s 4.5% figure is the highest since October 2008.
The rise – which follows a surprise fall in March - was predominantly attributed to a sharp jump in transport costs, particularly Easter-holiday related rises in air and sea fares.
Alcoholic drinks and tobacco rose by a record 5.3% in April, while clothing and footwear prices rose by 1.3% between March and April this year compared with a 2.2% increase a year ago. However, the increase of 1.3% is still the second largest rise for a March to April period.
The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation - which includes mortgage interest payments - fell slightly to 5.2% from 5.3%in March.
April was the 17th month in a row that the CPI inflation rate was at least one percentage point above target and last week the Bank of England said it expected inflation to hit 5% later this year, largely due to higher utility bills.