The truth about red diesel | Some myths cleared up


Red diesel has a lot of urban legends swirling around it. Why it has become such a source of misinformation is anybody’s guess.

Now, it is not for general use and this article will explain why. We’ll also answer a lot of the questions that people have about red diesel and its applications.

What is red diesel

Red diesel is simply diesel that has been dyed red. It is not a special fuel with a different refining process than ordinary diesel. It is as ordinary as diesel gets.

Why is it dyed red?

Dying duel is a very common practice as it helps differentiate what the taxes on that particular fuel will be. In the case of red diesel, it means that the diesel is heavily rebated so it can be used cheaply for off road applications.

From tractors on the farm to mining machinery, certain types of vehicles enjoy paying less tax on their fuel as an economic subsidy.

Is red diesel illegal in cars?

If your car runs on diesel you may be tempted to fill the tank with the dyed version as the red diesel price UK is much lower. You could be facing some fines and even possible jail time if you do this.

If you are suspected of using red diesel then it means that you’ve been labeled a thief and will certainly be prosecuted for it.

Basically, if you use your car for your own use on a public road then you have committed a crime. If you fill up your car with red diesel and it is used off-road for some commercial purpose then you are in the clear.

You may be buying a new car and trying to decide between petrol or diesel, but don’t let the price of red diesel tempt you since it is not an option.

If you are stopped and checked then the red dye will be a giveaway that you’ve tried to avoid paying taxes on the fuel.

Can red diesel damage your motor?

No, since it is just regular diesel with a red dye. The dye itself won’t do any damage to your motor or other internal parts of the car either.

Off road machines use the same diesel motor as any other vehicle.

Can I use red diesel in my boat?

If you are running a commercial operation with your boat then you can use red diesel.

If your boat is for pleasure, then this is in a gray area. As it stood until late 2018, boaters were permitted to use red diesel. There has been a consultation launched to decide if this should continue. Nothing concrete has come about yet, and Brexit is further muddying the waters.

Use your best judgment for now regarding whether or not you should use red diesel in your boat.


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