Widespread misuse of red diesel fuel.

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

Moderator: Peak Moderation

User avatar
adam2
Site Admin
Posts: 8142
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: North Somerset

Widespread misuse of red diesel fuel.

Post by adam2 »

This BBC report suggests that red diesel fuel is being widely used illegally in cars on public roads.

If the BBC could film this, could not customs and excise also film it and prosecute the offenders ?

(for those unfamiliar with UK regulations, "red diesel" is of the same technical specification as "white" diesel fuel, but carries a lower rate of excise duty. It may be lawfully used for almost any purpose EXCEPT in internal combustion engine vehicles used on public roads.
Farm tractors, construction machinery, generators, oil burning heaters, boats, generators, and the like.
It is dyed red to assist in identification)
Only white diesel may be lawfully used in diesel fueled vans and cars on public roads.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-englan ... red-diesel
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Little John
Posts: 8549
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:07 am
Location: UK

Post by Little John »

I can think of two reasons why the customs and excise wont do it

1) the BBC has done this as a one off investigation. But, the customs and excise would have to do it on a large scale all of the time.

2) I would wager the majority of offenders will be the poorest among us and so, even if they are caught and successfully prosecuted, getting any money out them in the form of fines will be like trying to get blood out of a stone

Of course, if the Customs and Excise continue to turn a blind eye to this crime, it will eventually become endemic. But, until that time, any resources the Customs and Excise devote to cracking down on this crime will take resources away from some other area of their investigative infrastructure with the commensurate fall in the cracking down on crime in that other area.
fuzzy
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:08 pm
Location: The Marches, UK

Post by fuzzy »

Unless its for commercial use I presume they ignore it. Farmers drive diesel estates and put red fuel in it. I have no idea if they are allowed to. The whole exercise should be dropped as landowners already have subsidies which could be adjusted if they are going to foodbanks.
User avatar
adam2
Site Admin
Posts: 8142
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: North Somerset

Post by adam2 »

No, farmers may not lawfully use red diesel in an estate car used on public roads.
A farmer can lawfully use red diesel in a tractor or other specialist vehicle that is used primarily on private land and that includes limited use on public roads, for example to move from one field to another.

A car that is used ENTIRELY on private land may use red diesel, but such a vehicle is not permitted on public roads, even briefly.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14621
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Hou�sʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹ��llʎ uoʇ �oɹʇɥ ʇɥ� �ɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ �ʌ�u qoʇɥ�ɹ˙

Post by emordnilap »

Big problem here in Ireland too.

It would save masses of paperwork and both gardaí/police and revenue/customs time to simply supply white diesel at full price to everyone. Those who can legitimately claim back duty should then apply for a refund. Simple. If I can think of that, why can't those with authority?
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
User avatar
adam2
Site Admin
Posts: 8142
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: North Somerset

Post by adam2 »

emordnilap wrote:Big problem here in Ireland too.

It would save masses of paperwork and both gardaí/police and revenue/customs time to simply supply white diesel at full price to everyone. Those who can legitimately claim back duty should then apply for a refund. Simple. If I can think of that, why can't those with authority?
I doubt that this would work.
What would stop a farmer claiming back the duty on fuel used in his car, in addition to that used in a tractor.
Plus of course friends and family of the farmer could all claim refunds for road fuel.
Similar arguments apply to other users.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin
Posts: 12380
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Contact:

Post by kenneal - lagger »

When we first moved to our farm we had a knock on the caravan door one morning and, on answering, a rather bumptious gentleman shouted at me, "Customs and Excise! Where's your red diesel tank?" As we had only been there for a couple of months and we had not bought any machinery we didn't have a red diesel tank. He then said "You've got a diesel car haven't you?" To which I replied that I always put white diesel in it but he insisted on sampling the tank despite the fact that we didn't have any red diesel. Just making a point I suppose as we have never seem anyone from Customs and Excise apart from VAT people in the nearly 40 years since.

I do have a Land Rover Discovery with red diesel in the tank but it's an MOT failure that I have used on Greenham common for rounding up cattle and it's insured, or was, as an agricultural vehicle. We haven't used in in two years as there is a problem in the electrics which drains the battery but if they checked it I suppose we would have a lot of explaining to do.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
vtsnowedin
Posts: 6592
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:14 pm
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

Post by vtsnowedin »

Pretty much the same regulations here but different tax per gallon of course. Even heating oil and kerosene furnace fuel is dyed red. The main enforcement effort is at truck weigh/inspection stations where after checking tires and lights they stick a straw in your fuel tank and check for red dye. Not enough farm owned diesel cars to worry about them much but a few farmers with diesel pickups maybe cheating a bit. A good stiff fine if they catch you and points against your license keep most on the up and up.
woodburner
Posts: 4127
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:45 pm

Post by woodburner »

adam2 wrote:No, farmers may not lawfully use red diesel in an estate car used on public roads.
A farmer can lawfully use red diesel in a tractor or other specialist vehicle that is used primarily on private land and that includes limited use on public roads, for example to move from one field to another.

A car that is used ENTIRELY on private land may use red diesel, but such a vehicle is not permitted on public roads, even briefly.
Farmers don’t use red diesel in their high tech modern tractors, can’t afford the breakdowns.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
fuzzy
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:08 pm
Location: The Marches, UK

Post by fuzzy »

So how come we have rural garages that sell red diesel? They have to drive there.
User avatar
adam2
Site Admin
Posts: 8142
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: North Somerset

Post by adam2 »

For filling tractors and other permitted vehicles.
For refrigerated trucks that have a separate engine for the cooling system, red diesel is allowed to run the fridge.
For rural households to fill cans with red diesel for use in generators and diesel heaters.
And for filling large mobile generators.
And for "Mick the engine" to fuel his steam car.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14621
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Hou�sʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹ��llʎ uoʇ �oɹʇɥ ʇɥ� �ɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ �ʌ�u qoʇɥ�ɹ˙

Post by emordnilap »

adam2 wrote:
emordnilap wrote:Big problem here in Ireland too.

It would save masses of paperwork and both gardaí/police and revenue/customs time to simply supply white diesel at full price to everyone. Those who can legitimately claim back duty should then apply for a refund. Simple. If I can think of that, why can't those with authority?
I doubt that this would work.
What would stop a farmer claiming back the duty on fuel used in his car, in addition to that used in a tractor.
Plus of course friends and family of the farmer could all claim refunds for road fuel.
Similar arguments apply to other users.
It would take the problem away from the police, at any rate. And co-ordinating expected fuel use to NI numbers could eliminate some abuses for Customs. As intimated earlier, this last would be more a case of 'is it worth it?'
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
vtsnowedin
Posts: 6592
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:14 pm
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

Post by vtsnowedin »

woodburner wrote:
Farmers don’t use red diesel in their high tech modern tractors, can’t afford the breakdowns.
Where did you get piece of BS? The only difference between red and white diesel is the bit of red dye added to identify it.
User avatar
clv101
Site Admin
Posts: 8771
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Contact:

Post by clv101 »

woodburner wrote:Farmers don’t use red diesel in their high tech modern tractors, can’t afford the breakdowns.
That's rubbish. Come on, what do you get from spreading such fake news?
User avatar
adam2
Site Admin
Posts: 8142
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: North Somerset

Post by adam2 »

I have since heard, a very cynical and very un PC explanation for the widespread misuse of red diesel fuel being tolerated.

It seems that in some areas that most of those illegally using red diesel fuel are Asian/muslim and that prosecuting them might be considered racist.

As discussed elsewhere on these forums, there was a considerable reluctance to prosecute organised rape gangs for reasons of "social cohesion" So if rape was semi-tolerated, why worry about a bit of red diesel fuel.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Post Reply