Inflation has reached its highest rate for two-and-a-half years, mainly as a result of the rising price of fuel.
Annual inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) reached 1.8% last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, up from a rate of 1.6% in December.
It is the fourth consecutive month that the rate has risen and takes inflation to its highest since June 2014.
Fuel prices hit a two-year high in early February, according to the RAC.
As well as fuel, the ONS said food prices also contributed to the rise in inflation, as prices were unchanged between December and January, having fallen a year ago.
Offsetting these factors, the prices of clothing and footwear fell by more than they did 12 months ago.
The increase in the inflation rate takes it closer to the Bank of England’s target rate of 2%, which was last seen in December 2013.
Inflation is widely expected to pick up this year as a result of the weaker pound, which is making imported goods more expensive.
Earlier this month, the Bank of England said it expected the inflation rate to hit 2.7% next year.