What Happens If You Get Caught Using Red Diesel?

Red diesel has a long list of nicknames and monikers that are used interchangeably to refer to the same substance. Red diesel is also, at times, known as tractor diesel, marine diesel, generator diesel, gas oil, 35-second oil, and cherry juice. These many names may have contributed to confusion surrounding the mysterious fuel.

What is Red Diesel?

Red diesel is a form of mineral diesel fuel almost identical to that of regular, standard, or ‘white’ diesel. So, what’s the difference between red and white diesel? In short, the colour!

Red diesel is mixed with a red dye in order to give it its signature colour. This is done to mark it out from standard ‘white’ diesel, making it easy to identify in a vehicle’s tank. The dye and chemical markers used do not harm diesel engines in any way, and don’t alter how the diesel powers your vehicle.

Who is Allowed to Use Red Diesel?

Red diesel is marked because it is taxed at a much lower rate than the white diesel available to the public, and its use is reserved for industrial settings. The permitted use of red diesel was much more open until April of this year, when the UK government removed a host of industries and uses from the list of those permitted to access red diesel.

Using red diesel as a member of the public or a non-approved industry is considered tax evasion, so you should double check if you are unsure whether or not you’re allowed to use it!

What Happens if You Get Caught Using Red Diesel?

There is no fixed or maximum fine for illegally using red diesel, so the cost will depend on the severity of the illegality displayed in the usage of the fuel. For example, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may simply issue you with a fine, but they could also charge you to remove the red diesel from your vehicles, charge you to clean out the fuel tanks and filters, and they could even charge you the missing price difference for the length of time you’ve been using red diesel.

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