Can you still buy Red Diesel?

agriculture red diesel

Red diesel, also known as gas oil or 35-second oil, is a type of fuel used for off-road vehicles and machinery. It is dyed red to indicate that it is not meant for use in on-road vehicles, and is therefore taxed at a lower rate. However, recent changes in regulations have caused confusion about the availability of red diesel. In this article, we will explore whether you can still buy red diesel and what the current regulations are.

What is Red Diesel?

Red diesel is a type of fuel that is used for off-road vehicles and machinery, such as tractors, generators, and construction equipment. It is essentially the same as regular diesel, but with a red dye added to it. This dye is used to differentiate it from regular diesel, which is taxed at a higher rate.

The lower tax rate for red diesel is due to the fact that it is not meant for use in on-road vehicles, which require a higher quality of fuel. Red diesel is also known as gas oil or 35-second oil, as it takes 35 seconds to pass through a standard fuel oil nozzle.

Is Red Diesel Still Available?

The short answer is yes, you can still buy red diesel. However, there have been recent changes in regulations that have caused confusion about its availability.

In March 2021, the UK government announced that it would be phasing out the use of red diesel for most sectors, with a few exceptions. This caused concern among industries that rely on red diesel, such as agriculture, construction, and transportation.

However, after backlash from these industries, the government clarified that red diesel would still be available for certain sectors, including agriculture, fishing, and rail. This means that these industries can continue to use red diesel without any changes.

What Are the Regulations for Red Diesel?

The regulations for red diesel vary depending on the sector in which it is being used. Here are the current regulations for the main industries that use red diesel:

Agriculture

Agricultural vehicles and machinery can continue to use red diesel without any changes. This includes tractors, combine harvesters, and other farm equipment.

However, there are some restrictions on the use of red diesel for heating purposes on farms. If the heating system is used for both domestic and non-domestic purposes, such as heating a farmhouse and a barn, then the red diesel must be replaced with regular diesel.

What Are the Penalties for Misusing Red Diesel?

As mentioned earlier, red diesel is dyed red to indicate that it is not meant for use in on-road vehicles. This is because using red diesel in on-road vehicles is considered tax evasion and is therefore illegal.

If you are caught using red diesel in an on-road vehicle, you could face penalties such as fines and even imprisonment. The penalties vary depending on the amount of red diesel used and the severity of the offense.

It is important to note that the responsibility for ensuring that red diesel is not used in on-road vehicles falls on the user, not the supplier. This means that if you are using red diesel for off-road purposes, you must take precautions to prevent it from being used in on-road vehicles.

How Can You Buy Red Diesel?

If you are in one of the industries that are allowed to use red diesel, you can still purchase it from fuel suppliers. However, you may need to provide proof that you are using it for off-road purposes.

Some suppliers may require you to sign a declaration stating that you will not use the red diesel in on-road vehicles. Others may require you to provide a VAT exemption certificate or other documentation to prove that you are eligible to use red diesel.

It is important to note that not all fuel stations will sell red diesel. You may need to find a specialised supplier or purchase it in bulk from a fuel distributor.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you can still buy red diesel, but there have been recent changes in regulations that have caused confusion about its availability. It is important to understand the regulations for your specific industry and to take precautions to prevent the misuse of red diesel.

If you are unsure about the regulations or have any questions about purchasing red diesel, it is best to consult with a fuel supplier or industry expert. By staying informed and following the regulations, you can continue to use red diesel for off-road purposes without any issues.

At Compass, we have been supplying farms and agricultural businesses with diesel and other fuels and lubricants for over 20 years. We supply tractor diesel to farmers all over the UK with same day / next day / weekend deliveries. Call us on 0330 128 9838.