Red Diesel Vs Regular Diesel: Facts, Legal Usage & Fuel Fixer Misfuel Assistance

putting gasoline on a vehicle

Red diesel, also known as gas oil, is widely used across various industries, making it vital to understand its properties, the legal aspects surrounding its usage, and the potential consequences if unintentionally used in place of regular diesel. As the leading mobile misfuel specialist in the country, Fuel Fixer provides valuable insight and unparalleled assistance in cases of misfueling. In this article, we will break down the key differences between red diesel and regular diesel, discuss important legal considerations, and highlight how our expert team can help if you unintentionally put red diesel in your vehicle’s fuel tank.

Red diesel is a lower-taxed variant of diesel fuel, with its most distinguishing feature being the red dye added to differentiate it from regular diesel. Primarily sourced from the same crude oil as regular diesel, its lower cost is mainly attributed to the significantly reduced taxation, since red diesel is intended for off-road machines and vehicles not used on public roads. Among its common applications are agricultural machinery, construction equipment, generators, and heating systems.

It is crucial to know the legal aspects concerning red diesel, as using it in road vehicles can lead to severe penalties, including fines and potential confiscation of the vehicle. The strict regulations exist to prevent fraud and tax evasion, ensuring that users pay the appropriate taxes for road usage.

Misfueling your vehicle with red diesel can not only lead to legal consequences but also impact your vehicle’s performance, causing clogged filters, poor fuel combustion, and potential engine damage. Should you accidentally fill your vehicle’s tank with red diesel, it’s essential to call an experienced misfuel specialist like Fuel Fixer immediately. Our team of certified technicians can quickly respond to your situation and effectively drain, clean, and flush your fuel system, ensuring that your vehicle is back on the road quickly and efficiently.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide about red diesel, legal usage guidelines, and how Fuel Fixer resolves misfueling incidents at the earliest with professional support. Our aim is to make you aware of the consequences of using red diesel for unauthorized purposes, and ensure our expertise is accessible whenever you need it.

Understanding Red Diesel: Its Legal Aspects and How Fuel Fixer Helps in Misfueling Incidents

Red Diesel Vs Regular Diesel: Breaking Down the Differences

In order to appreciate the main differences between red diesel and regular diesel, it’s essential to examine their properties and applications. Red diesel is primarily sourced from the same crude oil as regular diesel; however, the red dye added to it is used to differentiate the two. It is often cheaper than regular diesel due to the reduced taxation attributed to its off-road usage.

On the other hand, the regular diesel, also known as white or DERV (Diesel Engine Road Vehicle) diesel is a hydrocarbon fuel used in road vehicles like cars, trucks, and buses. Both fuels are made from the distillation of crude oil but differ in terms of standard fuel additives, such as lubricants, cetane boosters, detergents, and anti-foaming agents. While their combustion characteristics are comparable, the lower-cost red diesel tends to have a higher sulphur content, making it less suitable for road vehicles from an environmental perspective.

The Legal Aspects of Red Diesel Usage

Understanding the legal aspects surrounding red diesel usage is crucial, as using this fuel in road vehicles can lead to serious consequences. The UK government imposes strict regulations on red diesel use, specifically the “Gas Oil” grade with a 10 ppm sulphur content, as it is intended solely for off-road machines and vehicles.

The primary legal usage of red diesel includes:

  1. Agricultural machinery: This encompasses tractors, combine harvesters, and other equipment used for agricultural purposes.
  2. Construction equipment: Machines such as excavators, rollers, and cranes designed for use at construction sites.
  3. Generators: Red diesel is used to power stationary and portable generators often found in commercial and industrial settings.
  4. Heating systems: Commercial and residential heating systems, including oil-fired furnaces, boilers, and space heaters, can utilise red diesel as a fuel source.

Using red diesel in unauthorised applications, such as private cars or commercial trucks, can lead to an array of legal issues, including fines, vehicle seizures, and even prosecution. The stringent regulations aim at preventing tax evasion, ensuring users pay the appropriate taxes for road usage.

Mitigating Vehicle Damage After Misfueling with Red Diesel

Accidentally fuelling your vehicle with red diesel can have a negative impact on its overall performance and lead to potential engine and fuel system damage. The higher sulphur content and varying fuel additives can result in clogged filters and poor fuel combustion. Whether your vehicle’s engine is running or you haven’t started it yet, it is essential to take the following steps to mitigate damage:

  1. Don’t start the engine: If you haven’t already started the vehicle, don’t turn on the ignition. Starting the engine will circulate the contaminated fuel, leading to potential damage.
  2. Call for assistance: Contact Fuel Fixer immediately to inform them of your situation, as their expert technicians can provide timely assistance and effectively handle misfueling incidents.
  3. Stay calm: Remember that accidents can happen, and your priority now is to ensure the proper steps are taken to resolve the issue and get your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible.

How Fuel Fixer Comes to the Rescue in Misfueling Incidents

In cases of misfueling, it’s essential to rely on a trustworthy and experienced service provider like Fuel Fixer. As the leading mobile misfuel specialist in the country, our certified technicians are equipped with unparalleled expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to handle incidents involving red diesel. Our process involves the following steps:

  1. Draining the contaminated fuel: The technician will carefully drain the contaminated fuel from your vehicle’s tank, ensuring the safe disposal of the red diesel.
  2. Flushing and cleaning the fuel system: Our specialist will then flush and clean your fuel system, removing any traces of red diesel that might remain.
  3. Refueling and testing: Once the fuel system is cleaned, the technician will refill your tank with the correct fuel and then test the vehicle to ensure it runs smoothly.

Leaving a misfueling incident in the hands of experienced professionals like Fuel Fixer guarantees the safe and effective resolution of the issue, getting you back on the road in no time.


The importance of understanding red diesel, its legal usage, and the consequences of misusing it cannot be overstated. As a responsible vehicle owner, it is crucial to be aware of the differences between red diesel and regular diesel, and how using red diesel unlawfully can lead to severe penalties and potential engine damage. When faced with a misfueling incident, trust in Fuel Fixer’s expertise and efficient services to resolve the issue and get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Our commitment to providing rapid, reliable, and professional assistance ensures that both your vehicle and your peace of mind are well taken care of.

Don’t let the wrong fuel ruin your day! Call Fuel Fixer now for quick and reliable wrong fuel assistance. Our mobile units are available across the UK and we’ll get you back on the road in no time.

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