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Everything you need to know about the changes to use of Red Diesel in Construction

We aim to be helpful, but can't guarantee that the below information will be 100% accurate as things can change. The official Government publication can be viewed here: Changes to rebated diesel and biofuels from 1 April 2022 - GOV.UK (

What's changing?

As of 1st April 2022, Red diesel will no longer allowed to be used in the construction industry. We've created an FAQ style article below which is designed to help answer any questions you have.

Do I need to flush my red diesel tanks?

You need to run down your existing stocks of red diesel in advance of the April deadline. It is not necessary to flush tanks to remove every minute trace, but it is important to be able to prove that red diesel has not been purchased after the April 2022 deadline. It's a good idea to keep a record of your fuel purchases.

There are tank flushing services available, but this is an unnecessary expense if you plan ahead and begin buying alternative fuels before the deadline.

Alternative fuel options to red diesel

If you have diesel powered machinery, there are two alternative fuel options.

The first is white diesel (DERV), which is what you get at fuel stations. Red and white diesel are identical except red diesel has a red dye in it.

The second option is HVO, or Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil. In most cases, you should be fine to run diesel machines on HVO fuel, however not all manufacturers have approved this yet and you may invalidate your warranty.

What about other sources of power?

One other way you can avoid absorbing a large increase in fuel cost is to move to using machines that don't use diesel at all. In recent years, plant manufacturers have begun to produce electric and battery powered machines.

Mini Excavators, Small Dumpers, and Small Telehandlers are available from a select few manufacturers with Battery power.

JCB are working on producing a Hydrogen engine that will be used in their machines, however at time of writing these are not available and Hydrogen supply is in its infancy.

Can you mix red diesel and white diesel/HVO fuel?

Red diesel is just white diesel with a dye in it, so white diesel can always be used to power a diesel engine.

In most cases, you should be able to top up a diesel tank with HVO fuel with no adverse effects. That being said, some manufacturers won't do any warranty work on machines that have been powered with HVO.

Can I use HVO in my machine?

The answer is, almost always.

As a general statement, most diesel machines will probably run just fine on HVO fuel. There are only two machines on our hire fleet that are not compatible with HVO fuel - our Indirect Diesel Heater and Diesel Fired Hot Pressure Washer.

Many manufacturers have issued statements about the use of HVO fuel in their engines, which we've listed below.


Kubota have not officially sanctioned the use of HVO in their engines at the time of writing, however distributors have successfully trialled HVO in Kubota engines for extended periods of time with no adverse effects.


You can use Biodiesel if it is according to specification DIN EN 14214.

The temperature of Biodiesel should not be below 10 °C. If it is lower, you need a fuel pre heating system. You must increase the fuel pressure 1 to 2 bars (turn the adjustment screw at the fuel pump approx. 45 ° to the right)


HVO fuel is not recommended for use on the Hatz 1B engine range. It has not been approved for the emissions


In summary Yanmar state that it is acceptable to use HVO (Hydrogenated vegetable oil) fuel if it complies with EN15940 and EN590. The fuels in EN15940 have a lower density and calorific value than ordinary diesel and as such power output will decrease. In addition, the cetane number is higher for HVO fuels which may affect exhaust temperature, and low temperature starting. If an alternative fuel is used which does not comply with EN15940 problems such as seizure of the fuel pump may occur.

The bulletin from Yanmar permits the use of renewable fuels and alternative fuels that comply with EN15940, but any drop in performance due to the fuel properties is not covered under warranty.

How to buy HVO Fuel

Many established red diesel suppliers also supply HVO fuel in bulk deliveries. You can order HVO from City Hire directly by contacting our customer service team.

For small quantities, you can purchase disposable 20 Litre HVO Fuel Boxes from us.

What City Hire are doing

We're running our own red diesel tanks empty and will be ordering white diesel well before the April deadline. Machines will be delivered with white diesel and any fuel used will be charged at white diesel rates.

What you need to do

  1. Check Government Guidelines
  2. Being using up your red diesel stock
  3. Start ordering alternative fuel

If you still have unanswered questions, email us at [email protected] and we'll endeavor to help.

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