Published Friday, 06 September 2013
More people in NI are relying on their overdrafts to pay for fuel. (© Getty)
The AA/Populus survey found that out of just over 23,000 respondents, 4% of 18-24 year olds had pawned their belongings for fuel money.
A fifth have had their budget close to breaking point at times, while 13% have had to dip into their savings and a tenth have gone into overdraft at least once.
Northern Irish and Welsh drivers went into their overdraft the most while in the north east of England people relied most on their savings.
Some motorists have driven until they ran out of petrol or borrowed money from friends and family to pay for fuel.
One per cent of people took out a high interest pay-day loan and another 1% went to their bank for a loan.
Prices for petrol and diesel in Northern Ireland are the highest in the UK.
AA president Edmund King said: "Fuel price desperation has created a new and sinister twist to the phrase 'driven into debt'.
"Our survey has exposed the heavy impact of fuel price surges and which groups of drivers are particularly vulnerable."
Mr King continued: "Last week, we laid bare the consumer backlash to rising fuel prices, showing that yet another pump price swing crashed UK petrol consumption in July down to winter levels.
"This survey moves the microscope from the forecourt to the home and finds unsettling evidence of fuel market-inspired deprivation."
© UTV News