Red diesel is a special gas based fuel that has a red dye added to it. The dye is added in order to differentiate it from gas fuel that is used for warming houses or road use. This is because heating oil for houses is minimally taxed, whereas other fuels are taxed much higher. The dye allows sellers and buyers to differentiate between the two, as it is a violation of red diesel rules & regulations to use it for anything but non road vehicles.
Non road vehicles encompasses mostly recreational vehicles that do not travel on the roads, such as a boat. In fact, many marinas are stocked with these special fuels to sell to boat owners. This provides the boat owners with a huge service, as the rules and regulations surrounding this gas oil can sometimes be confusing. Having someone who knows the ins and outs of these complicated laws makes boat owning infinitely easier.
Though boats are one of the most popular craft allowed to use the red stuff, they are not the only ones. Farming vehicles may also use it, especially tractors that help farmers plant and harvest much needed food. Self propelled cutters are also allowed, as well as lawnmowers.
In winter, any vehicles used to clear snow from roads, such as gritters, may also use it. This is a matter of public safety to clear those roads and keep them safe, so it is important for the gritters to use the right fuel source.
Construction sites often have to use large machinery to accomplish hard work such as digging, and these are also allowed to use it as well. These machines often have to be driven to the site using public roads. If it has the red dyed fuels in it, then it cannot surpass a speed of one kilometer per hour.
There are even some rules governing the type of container you can use to transport it. Only approved metal containers with proper seals may be used, and these can be subject to inspection at any time. When transporting the red fuel to the machinery, you cannot also transport other fuels at the same time if the machinery in question can be filled with both. Just transport only one type at a time, and you will be fine.
If it is suspected at anytime that you have filled an unapproved vehicle with the diesel, then a government approved chemist may be called upon to take sample from the tank and test it for the dyes. If it is found to have the dye, then you could be found guilty of breaking the law.
With all of these laws, there are of course consequences for breaking them. If you fill any nonapproved machines with it, you may be subject to a fine. The fine starts at 250 GPB, and can go to as much as 500 GPB. Though that is a stiff penalty, it is not the only one you may incur. The auto or machine that was erroneously filled may also be detained. You will then have to pay an additional fine to get it out of detainment, which could be quite costly. To avoid this kind of trouble, follow the laws and you will have nothing to worry about.