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What is White Diesel?

White diesel is typically the term used to refer to ‘taxed’ diesel, and is the standard diesel fuel that you can find in cars, vans and trucks across the UK. It can be considered in contrast to dyed or coloured diesels which are untaxed/low taxed.

By way of comparison, for example, ‘red diesel’ in the UK refers to diesel used in registered agricultural vehicles (as well as construction vehicles and boats) – which has been coloured red so that inspectors can visually gauge whether the appropriate fuel is being used in the appropriate vehicle.

Red diesel costs around 70 pence per litre so the cost of filling up a vehicle is significantly lowered when compared to diesel at the forecourts. Readers are advised, however, that unauthorised use of red diesel (and other dyed diesels) for purposes other than those intended can incur heavy fines. White diesel, rather confusingly, also refers to diesel which has water added, and the diesel takes its name from its ‘whiteish’ appearance. This is achieved by creating a stabilized emulsion of diesel and water. For example, an 84% diesel, 13% water (the remaining percentage is additives) mix creates a milky concoction with engine emissions reduced by up to 30%. However, for purposes here readers should simply consider white diesel to be regular pump diesel.

For further information, see the Red Diesel page.

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