A proportion of motorists across the UK are filling their cars up with an illegal fuel substance, it has been claimed. Research from Revenue and Customs found that in some areas of the country around one in five vehicles were found with red diesel inside.
The substance is normally used in agriculture and off-road farming and is dyed red to distinguish it from normal retail fuel. It is also around 65 per cent cheaper than petrol but otherwise identical to regular diesel, the report added. With ever increasing costs at the pump there is a real worry that drivers may turn to this cheaper but illegal fuel source.
Motorists found using the fuel may pick up a motoring conviction, which could in turn result in insurance companies perceiving them to be a bigger hazard on the road and charging them more for premiums.
It has been estimated by Revenue and Customs that use of red diesel is costing the British tax payer around £350million pounds per year. Penalties for being caught using the fuel illegally can result in a fine of around £500.
"People who use the illegal fuel are abusing the tax system. They cheat the whole country out of vital funds for public services," commented a Revenue and Customers spokeswoman.