Red Diesel Law

red diesel laws / legislationRed diesel laws and legislation can be quite confusing. Some people genuinely don’t even know that they’re breaking the law, while there are others who don’t even think about the red diesel law when the opportunity arises for them to fill up their car with red diesel.

You can get into trouble by not paying attention to the grey areas. For example, it is illegal to use red diesel on public roads. However, if a tractor needs to cross a public road en route to another piece of land, then it’s likely that investigators will wave the red diesel law.

It is probably best to run your situation by HMRC if the printed guidelines on red diesel law don’t apply.

Q. According to red diesel law, which vehicles can I use?

A. Exempt vehicles are the only vehicles that can use red diesel on the road. Only vehicles that are being used for forestry or farming work classify as exempt vehicles. The vehicles that may be included for exemption could be:

  • Tractors – Tractors are allowed to use red diesel to assist in the gritting of roads. However, tractors can also use red diesel when cutting plants and hedges on public roads.
  • Light Agricultural Vehicles – These are vehicles that weigh less than 1000kgs and there is only space for a driver.
  • Material handlers, for example, telehandlers and filling shovels.
  • Gritters and any vehicles used for clearing ice.
  • As long as a bulldozer or a crane is not carrying any unnecessary loads, they are permitted to use red diesel when moving from one location to another.

Q. Is there a limit on exactly how far I can drive with an agricultural vehicle?

A. If you’re doing a job that is exclusively farming related, then you can travel as far as you need using red diesel.

Q. Can I switch between red and white diesel by using two separate fuel tanks?

A. The red diesel law states it is illegal to have two fuel tanks on a vehicle which can both connect to the engine and power the vehicle.

Q. What is the red diesel law for storing red and white diesel on farms?

A. The red diesel law states that all fuels must be stored separately in different tanks with an opening for a pipe. Fuel tanks should be clearly marked. The tank used for storing red diesel must have a notice saying that this fuel cannot be used on public roads.

Q. Can I use red diesel in my farm 4×4 if it is used just for farming purposes?

A. Red diesel can be used to run a 4×4 on farms as long it doesn’t go on public roads and doesn’t pay road tax.

The DVLA provides NIL licences for any vehicles that are used to travel between different parts of a farm. These vehicles can be run on red diesel, however journeys in these vehicles must never exceed 1 mile at a time.

Q. Can I drive a tractor on the road upto 10 miles or so, using red diesel?

A. Certainly not. White diesel has to be used for this as it is not related to agriculture.

Q. A worker travels to a farm to create silage, which he then tows to the owner’s yard. Is this farming or is it categorised as carrying goods for rental or payment?

A. Red diesel can be used here as it is an agricultural job. However, the worker must actually be gathering the silage and not just delivering it.

If you’d like to order red diesel for your business, request a quote or have any further questions about red diesel usage. Give our knowledgeable team a call today on 0845 130 9777 to get the answers you need.