What is the latest legislation surrounding red diesel?

By admin August 2, 2014 05:29 Updated

What is the latest legislation surrounding red diesel? Can I use it?


Image by Ines Hegedus-Garcia

Red diesel. Image by Ines Hegedus-Garcia

If you use red diesel it can be hard to define what constitutes as legal and illegal usage. So to help you understand this a bit better, we have worked alongside Crown Oil to put together this guide on the latest red diesel legislation.

First of all we need to define what red diesel actually is. Red diesel is the exact same as normal ‘white’ diesel that is available to buy from all forecourts across the country. However, it is much cheaper because it carries a lower rate of tax than white diesel. It is dyed red so that it can be identified from its white counterpart.

Generally speaking the only vehicles that are permitted to use red diesel are those that are not taken on public roads. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule which seems to confuse a lot of people.

In November 2013 the legislation regarding red diesel was amended so that vehicles are now permitted to grit public roads during periods of cold weather using it. The sanctions for illegally using red diesel were also updated making it very clear that you be imprisoned for seven years for knowingly misusing it.

What vehicles can use red diesel?

Only vehicles that are legally permitted to use rebated fuel can use it. This includes any vehicle that partakes in forestry, horticultural and agricultural activities. These generally include tractors, quad bikes, fork lifts, combine harvesters, gritters and cranes.

What vehicles cannot use red diesel?

Essentially any vehicle that requires a tax disc cannot use it. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For example, if any of the vehicles that are permitted to use red diesel are driven on a public road when not completing an activity related to their work, then they must use white diesel.

- You cannot mix white and red diesel in your fuel tank.
- When storing red diesel, it must be indicated on the storage tank that it cannot be used as road fuel.
- If you need to travel on a public road to get to another work-related location, you can use red diesel. However, the distance travelled on a public road cannot exceed 1.5km.

- Vintage vehicles are not permitted to use it on public roads.

- If you’re transporting goods between two locations, you are not permitted to use it. However, if you were involved in the production of the goods then red diesel can be used.

It is permitted to use red diesel to tow other vehicle as long as the vehicle is going to be used for agricultural, forestry or horticultural purposes.

If you want to supply others with red diesel, you must be approved by HMRC to do so.

- Red diesel can be used to dispose of waste, as long as the waste was produced as a result of horticultural, forestry or agricultural activity.

You can collect fertiliser from your local store using red diesel as long as it is in a vehicle that the fertiliser will be used from.

- It can be used to transport straw and hay. However, the distance travelled on a public road cannot exceed 15 miles.

If you have hedges that border a public road, you can use red diesel for this. However, if you’re just discarding of the waste then you cannot use it.
The punishments for not following the red diesel regulations are severe. Recently, a farmer was jailed for seven years for storingit and selling it on. So before you use red diesel, make sure you have the right to use it.
By admin August 2, 2014 05:29 Updated
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