Changes to Red Diesel Rules

17 February 2022

Red Diesel Regulation Changes

From the 1st of April 2022, the rules that govern Red Diesel use will change. This change in government policy is part of a move towards net-zero by 2050.

The government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel and rebated biofuels from most sectors, including construction. However, some industries, including agriculture, will still be allowed to use rebated fuels.

Currently, the general rule is that red diesel use is permitted in any vehicle used off-road. However, come the 1st of April, the rules will mean that only specific machines doing certain activities will legally be allowed to use red diesel.

Farming is a permitted activity, and farming-related activities carried out by agricultural machinery are allowed. Red diesel will be permitted for use in other non-directly farming-related activities if the machine is used on the land on which it lives and for activities carried out by the farming business which owns it.

For example, if you (the farmer) own a digger that you use to clear out ditches, this digger may also be used for other non-directly farming-related activities on your land, such as part of the construction process of a new shed.

However, under new rules building contractors who are carrying out construction work on a building site or on a farm to build a farm building will be required to use white diesel as the machine is not classed as a designated agricultural vehicle. Contractors who come onto agricultural land will be responsible for ensuring their vehicle is using the correct fuel.

HMRC now have the right to carry out spot checks on vehicles and hold updated powers allowing them to seize the vehicle and issue significant fines.

Farmers hiring in machinery in the future will need to be careful about the use of red diesel as plant hire companies may require them to use white diesel or risk potentially being hit with a bill for the company having to flush out the tank.

From the 1st of April 2022, the following industries and activities will be permitted to use red diesel:

  • Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and fish farming
  • Rail transport
  • Fuel used for non-commercial purposes – electricity generation and heating
  • Community sports clubs and golf courses
  • Sailing, boating and marine transport
  • Travelling fairs and travelling cruises

If you have any queries regarding the use of red diesel, don’t hesitate to get in touch with

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