Drivers who will be affected by major fuel changes in WEEKS, with some being ‘penalized’ with ‘hike tax’.

With the end of the “red diesel” in just a few weeks, DRIVERS are faced with major fuel changes.

The use of discounted gas oil, which is often used to power licensed off-road vehicles and machinery, will be illegal as of April 1 – except in very specific circumstances.

Red diesel will be banned for most users from April 1st


Red diesel will be banned for most users from April 1stPhoto credit: Getty

The ban will mean a hefty tax hike for thousands of motorists across the UK, leading some to accuse the government of “penalizing” certain sectors.

As the name suggests, red diesel contains a red dye.

Although no different from regular white diesel, the color helps HMRC and police identify illegal use.

Current law allows use in most industries.

It is subject to a levy of almost 58p per liter when used in road vehicles, but only 11p for other uses.

Using it in road vehicles on public roads is considered tax evasion and drivers face hefty fines – except for farmers who drive very short distances.

But from next month, red diesel will be banned for most users, including those who operate bulldozers, cranes and mobile generators on construction sites.

Instead they will have to choose between diesel or biofuel, which has been paid full fuel tax, almost 58p a litre.

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Exceptions only apply to machines, containers and devices in certain industries.

These include agriculture, forestry, horticulture and some non-commercial heat and power generation, traveling exhibitions, amateur sports clubs and vehicles for clearing snow and gritting roads.

Also scrapped under the new rules are reduced-price hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), reduced-price biodiesel and bio-blends, kerosene taxed at the discounted diesel rate, and fuel substitutes.

However, fully discounted kerosene is not affected by the changes and can be used for all heating purposes.

The changes are part of the Finance Act 2021 to help achieve climate change and air quality policy goals.

Red diesel is responsible for the production of almost 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, with the government estimating that it accounts for around 15 per cent of the UK’s total diesel consumption.

This has prompted some industry experts to urge ministers to postpone the forthcoming changes by at least 12 months after a difficult period during the pandemic.


Rod McKenzie, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Road Haulage Association, said: “UK hauliers have done a heroic job of keeping the economy afloat during the Covid crisis.

“Punishing them with a red diesel tax hike hurts their business and we urge the government to reconsider this move.”

The RHA added in a separate statement: “We are taking the step due to the crippling cost pressures hauliers are facing as we emerge from the pandemic and a year after the UK leaves the EU.

“With shortages of drivers, vehicles and parts combined with rising labor, fuel and energy costs, now is not the time to burden small businesses with additional costs and jeopardize our economic recovery.” Drivers who will be affected by major fuel changes in WEEKS, with some being ‘penalized’ with ‘hike tax’.

Fry Electronics Team

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