If you plan to use red diesel, you need to ensure you’re aware of the rules and regulations around its usage
The rules around using red diesel (gas oil) are strict, so before you go ahead and use the fuel, it’s always a good idea to double check your individual usage with HMRC.
Below is a guide to using red diesel to help make things a little clearer. If you’d like to speak with one of our team about using gas oil, please call us now on 0845 271 7007.
What is Red Diesel Fuel?
Red diesel (also known as gas oil, tractor diesel, cherry red, generator diesel and agricultural diesel) is a low-tax and therefore low-cost fuel that is widely used to operate registered off-road vehicles and machinery. It can also be used to heat homes.
Is Red Diesel Red?
Yes – as its name suggests, it contains a red dye with chemical markers in accordance to Customs and Excise requirements to enable HMRC or police officers to identify and quickly prosecute illegal usage. Upon testing, they must locate a marker dye or use dip testing.
Do You Need a Licence to Purchase Red Diesel?
No, you do not require a licence to purchase red diesel, however you must sign an RDCO form upon purchase. Also, you must only buy gas oil from a company who is HMRC registered. Read more about this here.
Can Red Diesel be Used in Cars?
Red diesel fuel is no different than regular diesel; it has the same properties so it can power all diesel-powered engines. However, if you use red diesel in a road vehicle on public roads, it’s considered a tax evasion and you will be breaking the law.
An exception to this is for farmers. They can travel up to 1.5km using red diesel in a car to access land on the public highway.
Will Red Diesel Damage My Car?
No, red diesel is exactly the same fuel as road diesel, except for the red dye added. All diesel-powered engines can use red diesel, except you will be breaking the law in some cases.
Can You Use Red Diesel in Tractors for Gritting Public Roads?
Since 2012, agricultural vehicles (tractors, light agricultural vehicles and agricultural material handlers) can use red diesel on public roads to grit small roads in order to ensure safe travel for local communities.
When Can I Use Red Diesel?
The rules on red diesel are quite broad and depend entirely on what you’re using it for. Here we give you a breakdown of the latest rules regarding red diesel usage.
What vehicles can use red diesel?
- Tractors and light farming vehicles, for example, self-propelled cutters – providing they are merely used for gardening, agriculture or forestry purposes
- Gritters and automobiles used to clear snowfall
- Road structure vehicles
- Movable cranes and bulldozers
- Construction vehicles, e.g. diggers, JCBs and tippers
- Vehicles approved for partial use and which are merely used for farming, forestry or gardening purposes. These automobiles can likewise only be used on open roads amongst different parts of land utilised by the same individual. The distance must not surpass 1.5km
- Work vehicles must obey the same guidelines as above, although the distance can’t exceed 1km
Why Does Red Diesel Cost Less Than Road Diesel?
Red diesel is a rebated fuel, which means it’s cheaper than road diesel (white diesel) as it has a significantly lower fuel tax levy required.
As red diesel is legal for use in the agricultural, marine and construction industries, this makes it the perfect fuel to power vehicles in industries that need low-cost fuel for work purposes.
Can Red Diesel be Traced?
Yes, the red dye is added to enable red diesel to be easily traceable for illegal use by police officers or HMRC.
I’ve Put Red Diesel in my Car by Accident, What Can I Do?
If you have put red diesel in a road vehicle by accident, then you should drain your tank off all the fuel as soon as you can. If you are unable to do this, then you should contact HMRC immediately and follow their instructions.
Are There Any Restrictions on Using Red Diesel for Agricultural Contractors?
You can use red diesel as long as you are using it exclusively for farming, horticultural or forestry work. The automobile must also be listed for agriculture use.
What’s the Fine for Using Red Diesel Illegally?
There isn’t a fixed fine, but if you’re found using it illegally, the HMRC will charge you for the restoration of your vehicle’s system to clean your tank and filters to remove the marker dye. You will be charged a fee for its removal. Your car can be detained, or you can even be back charged for the difference in cost between red diesel and road diesel over the time you’ve been using it.
Can Red Diesel be Used as Heating Oil?
Yes, red diesel is commonly used for heating applications. However, Speedy Flame Industrial Heating Oil will save you a fortune when you switch from gas oil (red diesel) to IHO. Find out more here.
Can Red Diesel be Used in Generators?
Red diesel is a popular fuel for use in backup generators as it’s a cost-effective way to provide power to a critical system.
Can Red Diesel Freeze?
When the temperature drops, diesel fuel gelling can occur as it contains wax paraffins which usually improve fuel lubrication and viscosity. When it gets too cold, paraffin wax thickens and turns cloudy which can eventually clog filters and cause the fuel to no longer flow, rending your fuel inoperable. Read more about this in our blog.
Can I Carry Two Separate Tanks so I Can Switch Between White & Red Diesel?
No, it is unlawful to transport two diesel cisterns that are equally able to be joined to the diesel engine.
How Much is Red Diesel Fuel?
Here at Speedy Fuels, we’re a family run business supplying red diesel to the building and farming industry. So if you’re looking for a consistent and expert company to cover your red diesel requirements, make certain we’re your main port of call. We provide competitive red diesel prices and nationwide deliveries to ensure you can keep your business running all year round.
If you would like to know a little more about using or buying red diesel then please give us a call now on 0845 271 7007.