What is Red Diesel Fuel?
Commonly referred to as gas oil, red diesel is a type of fuel used by commercial businesses to power farm vehicles, non-road vehicles and equipment. It can also be used to power oil central heating systems. However, only certain industries and applications are permitted to use red diesel, so it’s important that you understand the regulations for red diesel usage.
Gas oil has been making headlines in recent months due to recent changes in regulation. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most common red diesel FAQs, to provide you with an overview of what gas oil is, what it’s made of and when it can be used.
What is red diesel? And what does red diesel look like?
The term ‘red diesel’ refers to gas oil that can be used for non-road vehicles and equipment—unlike white diesel, red diesel cannot be used to fuel road vehicles. Red diesel gas oil is classed as a rebated fuel, because it’s taxed at a lower rate than the white diesel we use to fill up our cars and road-vehicles.
If you’re wondering ‘what makes red diesel red?’ then the answer is dye. Red diesel is gas oil with an added marker-dye and was first created in 1961 for off-road use. Since this date, it has been a requirement for red marker-dye to be added to gas oil. The purpose of adding this red dye is for enforcement purposes, as it allows HMRC to investigate and prosecute cases when red diesel is being used illegally and incorrectly.
What are other names for red diesel?
In addition to being called gas oil, red diesel is commonly referred to by other names. These variations are the same type of fuel and all have the same restrictions about how they can be used. The other names for red diesel are: 35-second oil, tractor diesel, agricultural diesel, digger fuel, generator fuel, cherry diesel and medium diesel.
How is red diesel made and what is it made of? Red diesel vs regular white diesel
Red diesel has the same composition as road diesel or white diesel but with the addition of red marker-dye. Just like white diesel, red diesel is created by distilling and refining crude oil at petroleum refineries. On a molecular level, gas oil is composed of different size carbon chains and carbon molecules.
What is red diesel used for? Who can buy red diesel and when may it be used?
When red diesel was first introduced, this fuel was designed to power off-road vehicles and equipment. It was also taxed at a lower or ‘rebated’ rate, benefitting businesses with tax relief. However, in March 2020, the government announced plans to change the red diesel regulations about how it could be used.
In April 2022, new legislation came into effect that stops the majority of industries from using red diesel, including construction. However, the use of red diesel in tractors and boats is still permitted, with the following sectors exempt from these new rules: agriculture and farming, forestry and horticulture, rail, commercial boating, community sports, travelling fairs and circuses, and non-commercial heating. For more information, visit our red diesel and the gas oil duty change page to find out more.
Can red diesel be used in generators? Red diesel vs heating oil and kerosene
As outlined in the red diesel regulations, it can still be used in power generation, but only for non-commercial purposes such as hospitals, schools and places of worship. Additionally, gas oil can still be used in home central heating systems. This is good news for homeowners who rely on red diesel, home heating oil and/or kerosene to heat their properties.
Red diesel vs green diesel
Despite their names, the differences between red diesel and green diesel come down to the composition of these fuels, rather than their colour. Red diesel or gas oil as it is also known, is a fuel that’s used for off-road vehicles and equipment, but it has the same chemical structure as white diesel or regular diesel. Green diesel, biodiesel or HVO is classed as a biofuel.
Red diesel delivery from Your NRG
Looking for where to buy red diesel, or red diesel delivery in your area? Here at Your NRG, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with affordable, high-quality red diesel, to keep your business moving and your home heated. For low prices on bulk fuel orders, contact our team of friendly specialists or use our easy online quote tool today.