If you’re new to buying diesel fuel or haven’t done it in a while, you may notice that your purchases are a little more colorful than they used to be.
That’s because the US government now mandates that diesel be sold in one of three colors: clear, red, or blue dyed. If you’re going to buy diesel fuel, it’s important to know the tax and legal distinctions between these three types.
- Clear diesel Clear diesel is an on-road vehicle-grade fuel sold at petrol stations across the United States. This type of fuel is intended for vehicles that travel the roads on a daily basis cars, trucks, SUVs, and so on as well as maritime vehicles. Clear diesel has a low sulfur level and is taxed in the United States. This fuel must be used in any diesel-powered vehicle that is licensed for on-road use.
- Most colored diesel sold in the United States is red in color, and it is dyed with the chemical ingredient Solvent Red 26 or 164. Only off-road vehicles and applications, such as farm tractors, heavy construction equipment, and generators, are permitted to utilize red-dyed gas. The sulfur level of red-dyed diesel is higher than that of clear diesel. This gasoline is not taxed in the United States because it is not intended for use in on-road vehicles.
- Blue-dyed diesel is identical to red-dyed diesel, with the exception that it is solely used in US government vehicles.
Dyed diesel regulations
Because colored diesel is not taxed and contains more sulfur, it is strictly regulated by federal and state legislation; penalties for unauthorized use of dyed fuel range from steep fines to lengthy prison sentences. Distributors cannot intentionally transport colored fuel with the intention of supplying on-road cars, and gasoline retailers cannot knowingly sell dyed diesel for use in on-road vehicles.
You cannot intentionally use colored diesel in an on-road vehicle if you are a retail diesel customer; if dye is found in an on-road vehicle, the consequences can be severe. Be astute!
Can you mix red dye diesel with regular diesel?
No, your truck will be alright on this diesel. The main variation is in color, not in the components. It’s strictly for off-road use, as indicated by the red colour. It’s coloured red to make it visible to government officers if you’re using it illegally. Be aware that if you’re discovered driving on US highways, you could face a ticket and a hefty fine.
Off-road diesel will run your automobile if it runs on diesel. However, as previously said, if you use it illegally and are detected, you will be penalized by both the state and federal governments. Because that is sometimes the only fuel available in the event of a natural disaster, you are unlikely to be penalized.
Technically, you can, because the color is the only difference. We’ve heard of cases where someone bought a truck that ran on off-road diesel and then switched to regular diesel. In that situation, the new owner just switched to regular diesel and the vehicle performed admirably.
The distinguishing red dye is the most noticeable variation, and there may also be a difference in sulfur levels. Furthermore, because this agricultural fuel is designed for heavy machinery, it heats up quickly.
Driving until the tank is completely empty is the simplest way to get rid of the red dye. Then pour in a couple gallons of or normal diesel and let it run for a while. Repeat this process numerous times. If you want to be sure it’s gone, have your repair flush the gasoline system.
No, it isn’t possible. Except for the colour, it’s identical as on-road diesel. If you have a diesel engine, you can use farm fuel to power it. Just make sure you’re not breaking any laws when you use it.
Some people believe it is “tax-free,” but depending on the state, it may or may not be. Here’s a list of states with information on gasoline tax exemptions. When you’re permitted to use this type of fuel off-road, you’ll either pay less at the pump or get a refund on your fuel tax.
You could be charged with “Motor Fuel Tax Evasion” if you’re caught and convicted. Is it really worth it to save money on gas? Here’s what the IRS has to say about it:
“What are the Consequences?” In general, no coloured fuel should be used in highway vehicles. The Internal Revenue Code stipulates a penalty of $1,000 or $10 per gallon, whichever is larger, with payment of the tax for each violation. Additional fines may be imposed by states.”
Mixing the two types of diesel fuels is not a problem, however red diesel has a higher sulfur level than green. It’s also known as green fuel because it’s environmentally beneficial. It’s either light green or transparent in appearance.
This is subject to change. If you’re unsure, you can dip a tube in your tank and pull out a sample to see what color it is; there are also manual dipstick kits and black lights available. However, the gas does not remain in your tank; it passes through your fuel system. If you’re worried, take it to your mechanic to have the system flushed.
Can I use red diesel in my truck?
What is the purpose of red diesel? Because red diesel is chemically identical to any other fuel, you can use it in your truck, as a heating fuel, and as a generator fuel. This product, on the other hand, is allocated for agricultural and construction equipment, as well as other off-road applications.
Can red diesel damage your engine?
Is it possible for red diesel to harm your engine? Red diesel will not harm your engine or any other component of your vehicle. Red diesel is ordinary diesel that has been dyed red. Off-road vehicles and equipment use the same diesel engine as ordinary cars.
Why is red diesel illegal?
Why is it unlawful to use red diesel? Because it has a lower fuel duty, red diesel is unlawful because it is not approved for use on public roadways. As a result, using red diesel on a public road is deemed tax avoidance, and is thus prohibited.
What happens if I get caught with red diesel?
The HMRC will charge you for the restoration of your vehicle’s system to clean your tank and filters to remove the marker dye if you’re caught using it illegally. For its removal, you will be charged a price. Your vehicle may be impounded, or you may be charged back for the cost difference between red diesel and road diesel for the time you’ve been driving it.
What is the penalty for red diesel?
If you’re detected using red fuel illegally, the authorities may take your vehicle, and you’ll have to pay a charge to have it released, as well as the amount owed in duty. Serious offenses could result in an infinite fine and a two-year prison sentence for the operator.
How can you tell if someone is using red diesel?
HMRC must conduct dip testing to find a marker dye within the fuel or tank in order to test for the usage of gas oil. The red color is introduced to help people recognize it as red diesel. What is blue diesel, exactly?
Why is red diesel cheaper?
Because of the lower fuel duty rate, red diesel is much less expensive. Many people who use red diesel work in the construction or agricultural industries, and they use it to power their vehicles and machinery. Businesses can avoid costly gasoline bills and gain profits thanks to the lower costs.
Can you remove the dye from red diesel?
Red diesel has a dye applied to it to distinguish it from the other two fuels. This permits authorities, such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom, to determine if the fuel is being used illegally in vehicles on the road. With such a large savings to be had by using red diesel the risk of getting caught hasn’t deterred many users from breaking the law the UK government predicts that taxpayers will lose more than £80 million per year in missed tax income.
With such a lucrative profession, many alternative ways for avoiding discovery have been developed. The removal of the red coloring from the diesel is one of the most popular. In the United Kingdom, the diesel is colored with a diazo dye called Solvent Red 19, 24, or 26. Fraudsters can remove the color by using an acid or alkali to render the dye colorless, or by employing activated charcoal to extract the dye from the fuel.