Sometimes, there is some confusion about red diesel fuel and regular automotive white diesel fuel. In terms of chemical make-up, there is no difference at all apart from the fact that red dye has been added in order to determine which diesel is being used. When purchasing, red diesel is also a lot cheaper than normal diesel and is intended to be used in vehicles in the agricultural and construction industries, or for heating purposes. It is against the law to use red diesel in normal vehicles and the red dye is added to help the police and VOSA differentiate between the two.


Typically, red diesel is used as a source of heating for the domestic market where it is put into storage tanks at residential properties where it is then used in oil furnaces and other burners in order to heat a particular space or room inside the property.

Commercial and Agricultural Sector

In the commercial and agricultural sector, gas oil is used for equipment such as cranes, generators, bulldozers, tractors, combine harvesters and bobcats. Red diesel is often commonly used by carnivals and other travelling fairs in order to power their generators. It is also sometimes used in the aviation industry in order to power certain jet engines.


Red diesel is a cost effective alternative to other fuels, as it does not carry the same tax rates as regular white diesel. However, do not be mistaken and think that this means you can go ahead and save money on fuel for your car by switching to red diesel – using this fuel in a regular road vehicle could mean that you are hit with a heavy fine. Because the fuel is subject to much lower prices, it’s only meant for use by agricultural and construction vehicles and machinery.

Red diesel is commonly used for heating purposes, powering generators, construction and agricultural vehicles and some aircraft. It is commonly purchased by farmers and construction workers. It is illegal to use red diesel in a regular road vehicle such as a car or van, with offenders being liable to pay a fine.