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News in Focus: Red diesel ban starts April 1st

Fuel costs are on the rise in the construction industry.

Home » Tradesman Insights » News in Focus: Red diesel ban starts April 1st

Red diesel, which is taxed at a lower rate, will no longer be available to the construction industry. The ban will come into effect April 1st and means the construction sector has no choice but to move into the ‘regular’ fuel market.

With regular diesel prices edging towards £2 a litre this month, there have been calls to delay the ban to help industry growth.

The construction industry is already suffering due to supply shortages and increased material costs, and the diesel ban will push construction costs up further.

From April 1st, there will be some sectors that can continue using red diesel, including:

Agriculture, forestry, horticulture and fish farming. This includes agricultural vehicles used for cutting verges and hedges, snow and flooding clearance and gritting roads.

As fuel to propel passenger, freight or maintenance vehicles designed to run on rail tracks.

Non-commercial power generation (for example hospitals), including households that rely on red diesel for electricity generation in areas not connected to the electricity grid.

Source: Watson Fuels

The full list of what is exempt from the ban can be found on the website. However, there will be a total ban for most of the construction industry.

Not only are construction firms going to have to adjust to the higher rate of fuel, but it will also have to absorb the rise in fuel prices that is impacting the country.

Currently, the price of white diesel is floating around 170 pence per litre* compared to 47 pence per litre for red diesel.**

* March 14th 2022 ** January 2022

Dafydd Jones predicts the red fuel ban will cost his building company an additional £200,000 a year. And for many smaller firms the price hike will be crippling.

Tradesman Talk

How will the rise in fuel price change the way you operate your business? And will the red diesel ban impact your trade?

As always, we are keen to hear your thoughts. So, leave your story in the comments below.

Leave a comment


The biggest problem with the banning of red is the increase in theft that will come from it. Sites will struggle to secure bowsers at night and a lot will be pilfered from unscrupulous employees. What they should have done is increased the duty sightly but still kept it dyed. We o not have a few machines, mini digger, telehandler and whacker that run on diesal but generally have a few key cans in stock, which will now cost a fortune to fill and will be ready too nick.

Reply to Treehugger

Hi Treehugger. Thank you for leaving your comment. Theft is an issue we didn’t think about. I’m sure you’re keeping the fuel you stock in a safe place. And you’re right, increasing the duty instead of banning red diesel outright, would have made more sense. All the best.

Reply to Tradesman Saver

This is madness! It will push up the price of everything. Most of useless MPs have never had a proper job in their lives, so they have no idea how hard it is to run a business and this government seems to be doing everything they can to make it harder and harder. I thought that the Conservative Party were supposed to be the party for low taxation and business: Don’t make me laugh!

Reply to Arthur Wilson

Hi Arthur. It’s going to be a tough year for the industry, but we’ve proven to be resilient in the past, and we will be again. Best thing we can do is make our voice heard this May. Take care.

Reply to Tradesman Saver
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