After three days of raids, officers uncovered over 79,000 litres (17,500 gallons) — with an estimated loss of duty worth around £56,000 — of suspected stolen fuel from several petrol stations across the UK.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers seized the fuel and temporarily closed petrol stations in Leeds, Motherwell, Cowdenbeath, Fife, and the Hillington area of Glasgow between the 11th and 13th of last week. Officers arrested a 30-year-old man in relation to the crime.
The man, although arrested in Leeds, is from the village of Crossmaglen in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The police took him to Scotland for an interview but later freed him, awaiting further investigation.
Officers then seized an additional 1,500 litres of suspected illegal fuel from two vehicles in the Scottish town of Loanhead, in Midlothian. Only days before, HMRC and police officers dismantled a suspected fuel laundering plant in Newry, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. HMRC reported that the plant had the potential to generate over 10million litres of illicit fuel per year, causing a loss in revenue of around £6.5million. Officers arrested two men who they later released on bail.
Yet, not only is forecourt fuel laundering a big problem, but there is also ‘bilking’, which we wrote about last November. Bilking is the act of leaving a petrol station without making payment. The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) estimates that independent fuel retailers lose around £30million worth of fuel each year from this crime alone.
Most petrol stations make only a small profit from fuel sales and, instead, rely on the sale of other products and services to make the bulk of their money. But with high petrol and diesel prices—and taxation accounting for around two-thirds of the total price of fuel—while one cannot condone either of bilking or fuel laundering, it is not surprising that fuel crime is big business.
The true cost
Joe Hendry, Assistant Director for the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said:
“Fuel laundering is unregulated and dangerous. Illicit fuel is sold at reduced prices and motorists may think they are getting a good deal because it is cheaper. I would caution them to think again as the true cost is far from a bargain.”
The true cost of cheap, illegal fuel is considerable. The by-product of fuel laundering is a sludge of oily waste mixed with sulphuric acid, which is harmful to both humans and animals.
Authorities report that the perpetrators involved in the illegal operation pour the toxic waste down drains—where it has made its way into water treatment plants—and dump containers full of the sludge in various locations, including in rural farming areas.
There are still further consequences…
Steve Tracey, Assistant Director of the Fraud Investigation Service for HMRC, said:
“We remain alert to the often dangerous methods criminals use attempting to remove the government markers from rebated fuel and will continue to work with our multi-agency partners to tackle this crime, one we are determined to detect and disrupt.
“Given that laundering-plants have been found close to homes and retail sites they have always posed a serious risk to the public. Fuel launderers abandon harmful waste and transport fuel in vehicles that are unfit for purpose and unsafe.
“We believe criminals are now experimenting with processes that carry a risk of explosion as they seek to defeat fuel markers and I would urge anyone with information about this extremely dangerous activity to report it to HMRC…”
Laundered diesel comes from rebated red (in the Republic of Ireland it is green) fuel, also known as marked mineral oil. It’s sold at a lower rate of duty than regular white diesel for vehicles not taxed for use on the roads, such as farming or construction vehicles, which means those selling the laundered version can profit from the difference in price.
To avoid detection, those involved in fuel laundering remove the dye markers using acid or silicon dioxide, leaving colourless fuel, which, when used in vehicles, can cause serious damage to the engine—just as petrol mixed with biofuels and methanol (to ‘stretch’ it) causes damage.
Research carried out in April 2017 by AA Ireland showed that nine per cent of Irish motorists suspected they had bought laundered fuel in the past without knowing and that 55% of those drivers believed the laundered petrol or diesel damaged their car. Although illicit fuel is a much more widespread problem in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, this illegal enterprise also occurs in mainland UK.
Officers warn motorists that owners of vehicles found running on illegal fuel are subject to expensive fines. Add in the risk to health, the damage to car engines, the environment, and the clean-up of each discovered fuel laundering plant—which comes from the taxpayer and can cost tens of thousands of pounds each time—the notion that fuel laundering is a victimless crime is wrong.
What is your opinion on fuel laundering and bilking? Do you think it would be such a problem if the taxation on petrol and diesel was not so high? Let us know your views in the comments.
Drop the high prices and it should cut the use of red fuel easy
Have white diesel fuel as the only means of obtaining this, and remove the options of red or green, this will of course remove the dangerous game of criminality And loss of Gov. duty. And change the taxation allowance for those like farmers and construction to claim more back in VAT of the difference to compensate their business.
That could work. Cut the duty by the same amount that VAT per litre is raised so that the pump price for the man in the street remains the same whilst giving businesses that would have used red diesel a larger amount of VAT to claim back. Only problem is that VAT goes up and down with the price of fuel. On the plus side, it might also mean that a lot of the ‘black economy’ using red diesel will be forced to surface as without admitting their existence, they won’t be able to claim. I came across a B&B owner in Cornwall who openly admitted to using the oil for heating her chicken-sheds in her car. To avoid detection, she’s always pay a pittance for old bangers eg Citroen BX diesels that were newly MOT’d and scrap them before the next MOT, which would be the next time it was likely to be detected. Mind you, you’d have to do a lot of miles in an unreliable car for that to become an economic proposition, illegal or not.
Mot testers do not test the fuel – although this should be introduced.
Who has chicken sheds in their car?
Him. I read it that way too, the first time that I read it. Then I backtracked, and found that because of missing commas, and maybe an extra word or two to explain what was really meant, and found the real “intended” meaning.
Not sure if this still happens, but in Holland trucks that buy over 300 litres at one time could claim back 5cents per litre off their tax payments, helped the trucking community by reducing the price of haulage. This could be introduced here, one price vat relief for haulage & another for farmers/plant.
Far too easy for our government to understand or implement
Farmers our way don’t bother using red. They claim it’s cheaper to go to Tesco, to fill up.
You’re probably not wrong Brian. I have friends live on narrow boats. The price of red diesel at their local chandlery was pretty much same as White diesel at Tesco. Scandalous!
Too simple for our Gov
Not all legitimate users of red diesel are V.A.T. Registered.
I have a small equestrian smallholding in Lincolnshire. It is non commercial and I’m not vat registered.
I use a vintage tractor to mow, spin and bale hay as well as for general work (fencing etc) around the place. Whilst it is street legal, I don’t exhibit at shows or the like so don’t drive on the road.. Using full duty white diesel would vastly increase my costs and I would have no way to recover the extra cost.
There is also the issue that ‘red’ diesel can legitimately be used as a heating source for Eberspachers, Webastos, and numerous other space heaters. How would those users recover the extra duty?
Yes that is a no brainer, so that is why it will not happen. This was in the days when we bent over backwards to throw taxpayer’s money at landowners and farmers.
Bilking would diminish dramatically if all petrol stations used the technology where customers have to present a credit or bank card before taking fuel.
I would agree with you except that when you present your card at the pump the filling station have a reserve on your money up to £99, which remains there for a couple of days. If you happen to be on a low income and just put say £30 of fuel in the remaining £69 is frozen for a couple of days. This could cause DDs and SOs to be rejected causing financial penalties to be inflicted on the card holder, when they in fact have the funds in their account. The banks and filling stations need to amend this practice to stop hardship on the lower paid.
I heard of one low paid person who topped their tank up daily (why?) who was caught out by this practice. What is wrong with filling up when you need fuel?
I didn’t know they kept the £99 it has not shown on my statement but I only use those pumps when the others have lots of queues , anyway its false economy really, the car goes further on an emptying tank and I said to my misses if she was to loose weight and buy so less shopping it would go even further, but she says I can talk.
I’ve used the the pay at pump and have never experienced my money being held if I fill £10 or £40 that is all they take so no holding onto £80 or £60 pound of my money. But agree the price of fuel needs to be sorted as it’s very expensive.
USA you go first to cashier they ask how much fuel you would like $10 that is the exact amount of fuel you get so no going over and no way of stealing fuel by driving off $10 took it up just under full tank in Chrysler 300.
I’ve noticed a 99p or £1 charge, stays on for a couple of days, no more than that.
Because it costs money to haul the weight of all that fuel around. Unless you need to completely fill up, a half tank at a time should save you money. Carrying only what you need on a daily basis is, potentially, an even bigger cost saving.
Otherwise, why not get yourself a towed fuel tank on a trailer. You might only need fill up once a year! Hmm, I think you’ll get my point. Hauling weight burns more fuel and costs you money.
Rick, no it doesn’t, fill you car an see. Plus you waste time and money driving to the fuel station like a Muppet when you could fill up once a month, I laugh when I see pratts putting 10 quid in, why waste your time going? And before you get the c**p about it’s all you can afford how come you can go every other day?
I use a pay at pump system, and whilst it allows up to £99 per transaction, as soon as I have filled and replaced the pump nozzle it only charges for the amount used, and that is all that appears on my account, nothing is held above what I payed for.
Mark I have paid with card at Asda and although the pump says £99 limit the amount I have taken has always been taken out of my account and not £99
If you have online banking, check the available balance and you will find that some it will be reduced until the transaction for fuel clears.
Good idea – I don’t suppose there are many car users who don’t qualify for a bank card of some kind, and anyone insisting they haven’t got one and who wants to pay cash can go and leave the money as a security first. ‘Normal’ users could still pay cash if they wanted to, as the card is only recorded in advance as a security, like a pub taking a swipe of a card when you want to start a tab. I’ll admit to having done a ‘drive-out’ twice over 50-odd years, accidentally of course, and on both occasion, the boys in blue were round in half an hour to remind me to go and pay ASAP! Using your idea, I’d never have had to face the embarrassment!
Where I live in Spain the pre paid machine takes cash as well as card, it is a simple process, select language, select pump, select type of fuel pay, confirm payment, fill up. The machine automatically takes a photograph and records your vehicle number.
Really embarrassing I had a lot on my mind and drove off without paying back in the 1980s and like you had the boys in blue round within the hour, they did accept that had I wanted to rip off a garage I would probably not have choose the one I use regularly just over the road from where I worked.
You r lucky if u can get the boys in blue to come out for Murder here.
Super markets in Spain have barrier cash desks at exit,pay before leave,into car park of course to take more money. Previous comment on c/cards at pump,people on low income…….. should have health warning on pumps.Am amazed at local Asda how few use pump payments but then that’s to the benefits of secondary sales navigate store layout to sell more and keep queue’s long!!🤔
Cut price fuel pumps in Spain take the amount that you choose before delivery and cut-out at that amount. If you don’t take as much as you selected the pump provides an immediate refund, & print-out slips to show this. ie select €50 of diesel but only take €22, your card bill will show €50 debit & €28 credit, both on the same day.
Even simpler – just deposit your car keys and only get them back when you’ve paid , or like Asda stations , you have to drive through the checkout and don’t get out without paying.
Just have an old key to hand in. Drive off and get another old key for next time
Whatever system is used someone will soon find a way to beat it !
When you pay at the pump by card you don’t need to go inside the store and spend on “extras” like sweets sandwiches etc etc so I can understand why the smaller retailers are reluctant to install card pumps
When I fill up at Sainsbury’s using Pay At Pump I don’t get charged the full amount straight away, only £1 is held on my credit card up until the whole value of fill up is taken. Simple and fair.
I like many poorer people cant use our debit cards in fuel pumps. By now I think every supermarket and petrol retailer has joined the consortium and will not provide fuel to a “Basic Account” card holder. Basic a/c are those that do not provide any overdraft facilities.
Lower tax it must be the highest in Europe
You’ve clearly not tried driving in France or Belgium, then.
Iceland is highest, Norway used to be highest, we are about 5th but it depends on whether you are looking at diesel or petrol prices
It’s all down to the demonising of diesel fuel. How can a 10/11p difference between petrol and diesel be justified. People are bound to look for savings. Present discriminatory policies are fuelling unlawful suppliers markets
Pay as you go like USA?
I agree with you Gordon but the trouble with this idea is that the company’s don’t want to do it, I know that this is true as I have submitted the idea to a shell petrol station and to Morrisons and they DON’T want to know
It costs more to produce diesel than petrol, so hence it costs more, also it does produce NOX which is killing and maiming people, something had to be done to reduce its usage
NOX isn’t something new . Been with us for decades . People were told that diesel engined cars were more fuel efficient and economical and convinced motorists to switch from petrol whilst at the same time forgetting to remind motorists of the the vast sums of money generated in revenue . Now it seems the way forward is hybrid/electric . Where is the revenue coming from then . Hydrogen is a far better prospect .
There’s also no mention of environmental disposal costs for those batteries. Not to mention that 99% of the rare earth minerals needed to manufacture those batteries only exist in China. Unlike fossil oils, where there is some competition for supply, China has an absolute monopoly. If electric or hybrid power is the future, China can hold the whole world to ransom.
Nickel taken from Mexico to make batteries in China, shipped to Japan put in a car then shipped to Europe and the USA, yep green as grass.
With euro 6 diesels the NoX output is about the same as for petrol, CO2 is less for diesel, CO is is less for diesel. All fuel burning produces particulates ,( soot particles) since diesel cars use less fuel per mile, they produce less pollution per mile than petrol. Older diesels ,cars trucks ,buses, and ships are very dirty, compared to modern diesel and petrol. The buses, and trucks should be replaced as a matter of urgency,
Most buses and trucks are already euro 6 .
These days most trucks are leased and only kept for a maximum of 5 years, then replaced with brand new ones. Where I work they’ve just returned all their 64 plate trucks. If you look while you’re out on the road you won’t see many old trucks on the road. That is with the exception of horse boxes and other privately owned vehicles. Buses on the other hand seem to be kept a lot longer.
Same as petrol?
Yes, direct injection petrol which can be 10 times higher than port injection petrol due to the use of stratified mixture of direct injection petrol.
Unfortunately petrol will also soon see particulate filters and the smaller particle size can be more harmful to mammals.
Don’t forget that vehicle NOX emissions are a fraction of their historical level. What has happened is that activists have stoked up the media and politicians because that’s what they do.
Their is currently no cost-effective alternative to diesel for many drivers.
Because everyone has replaced their old diesel with a Euro 6 in the last couple of years haven’t they? Oh wait, there are millions of old diesels on the road pumping out NOx
So should we not heavily tax the older diesels to encourage replacement where possible rather than just demonize diesel vehicles in general?
I thought it was the other way around! Throw any old s**t into my old diesel engine and it will run ok, old engine oil, cooking oil, meths etc etc etc.
Politicians will always invent scientific bulls**t to make them money; that and invade Iraq, Syria, Venezuela. Will Latin America ever get a break?
If this is true then why do all the EU countries I visit sell diesel very much cheaper than petrol. As an ex refinery worker I can tell you petrol costs more to produce than diesel and the real reason it is dearer is simply greed in the good Brit tradition.
I’m not sure this is correct, Peter, as some other countries sell diesel cheaper than petrol.
Sorry but diesel is a bye product of the refining of oil, lower on the catalytic table than petrol or naptha.
Actually it costs less to produce diesel than petrol. It is the extra tax on diesel that makes it more expensive. In other countries diesel is actually cheaper than petrol, which it was before the government increased the tax on diesel because it was becoming more popular. The government decided it was losing too much tax so it increased the tax on diesel-It had nothing to do with extra pollution at that time. Later, as everyone is aware, the government encouraged drivers to switch to diesel. Now it’s the fuel of the devil!! And now even more expensive than petrol.
Who told you that Peter ? Diesel hydrocarbon oil is a byproduct of petrol production and considerably
cheaper to produce .
WRONG!!! Petrol requires a greater energy input to be produced than Diesel hence the greater cost.
Diesel is more expensive for the simple reason that speculators have made it so. There is a perception that there is more global demand than supply, hence those looking for a fast buck jump into the market to buy at one price (and hold onto it, keeping it from the market and artificially constraining the supply) and then sell it again when the market price has risen. It happens with many commodities – years ago China notoriously stockpiled copper, forcing up the market price by creating artificial shortage. Speculators then jumped onto the bandwagon and anybody who cared to look could observe a regular cycle of price escalation and de-escalation according to the timing of the maturation of options purchased by speculators, not least the Chinese government. The OPEC cartel also manipulates prices by globally agreeing to increase or decrease output and speculators feed off this action as well.
In years gone by, the global commodity price of diesel would increase during every northern hemisphere winter, because of the dependency of the USA upon heating oil. Now that the USA is self-sufficient for oil, the global price effect of winter should be reduced, but speculators know that people are accustomed to what happened before and won’t question it happening now. Easy money for them.
The cost to produce fuel and the market price for it are very loosely connected. When refiners stop refining due to low margins, then the market supply genuinely reduces – notwithstanding that there are significant buffer stocks to hedge against such reductions. In times of real shortage, governments mandate the use of such buffer stocks. However, it is the refiners themselves that control the amount of fuel released to the market, hence they can be the authors of their own misfortune if their pursuit of profit causes them to maximise output at a high price until the point when the market is awash with fuel, nobody is willing to pay high prices for it any more and the commodity value drops. Such price rises and falls are always exaggerated by the actions of intermediaries / speculators, feeding off fears of shortage to push up the price, or dumping their futures to depress the price. It’s the butterfly effect in real life.
Not quite Bill. The demonising of diesel fuel is just a new phenomenon. Fuel laundering has been going on in the border areas of Northern Ireland for decades (when diesel was cheaper). The issue is that red/green diesel is way cheaper that clear diesel, and that is the incentive. I had a brother who used to go over the border and fill up with green diesel. Not just a case of putting in a little coloured diesel once in a while, or even buying ‘cleaned’ diesel, it was full tanks of the stuff.
“Most petrol stations make only a small profit from fuel sales” I love this bit…… its so funny.
Talk to the government and they say “we hardly make any money from fuel Tax”
Talk to the fuel maker and they say “we make virtually no money out of producing fuel”
So the question is who is making money out of fuel? as it goes it seems nobody is making money on fuel, so why is it so expensive.
As for the difference between the two fuels its simple its the first step to rid the roads of diesel cars, road tax will follow along with stiffer MOTs specifically aimed at diesel, eventually the insurance companies will get on board too and just price us off the road, next step then will be the attack on petrol cars, probably take the same format.
You want to be a real rebel….. sit in your diesel car with it ticking over whilst drinking full sugar pop from a plastic bottle, and considering its vegan month to help the environment ???? you can also bite down on your beef burger in a vegan bread bap.
OMG an anarchist!
The retailer DOES get the thin end of the wedge where profit from automotive fuel is concerned.
If diesel is £1.15 per litre, the government would get 58p in duty plus 19.2p in vat, the Wholesale price would be 32.8p leaving the retailer with 5p.
I must say that I wouldn’t want to run a business with those margins!
I want to know how the government can charge tax (vat) on the tax (fuel duty). Not one politician will question this as it pays their wages.
We Brits are true mugs.
It can’t be justified Bill. Diesel is actually a by product of petrol production. A waste product in all effect. It just another classic case of diesel discrimination. Many people have short memories but I distinctly recall the UK government actively encouraging people to get on the diesel bandwagon some 10yrs ago. There must be someone in some windowless, Whitehall office scheming as we speak how best to lift the public’s leg in another ten years time.
Present demonising of diesels with the unprecedented price differences between petrol and diesel fuel is helping promote this unlawful trade.
This practice has gone on for decades even when diesel was priced lower than petrol. The illicit profit comes from the difference between red diesel at 80p/litre and derv at £1.20/litre. If the prices of petrol and diesel were the same the illicit profit would still be there, just a little smaller, but still lucrative.
How the government hates to loose out on tax. I find it interesting that yet again a statutory infraction is peddled as a crime and frankly, I wish more people knew the critical differences.
The article suggests that red diesel is different to white (some believe it contains more sulphur- so it doesn’t suffer diesel bug in farmyard tanks).
This is really another milestone in how people are vastly over-taxed by their greedy democratic slave masters and definitely shows what people are willing to do to circumvent what they think is wrong. The heavy-handed response is expected to keep people in fear of ‘law and order’. I expect stiff penalties for those who ‘steal’ from the government and pollute the environment (which is fast becoming the most heinous ‘crime’ of all).
Er, how can you say these aren’t crimes? Did you not bother to read the article? Or are you one of those scrotes concerned?
“statutory infraction peddled as a crime” is what I stated. Clearly this is above your head which is why you made a fool of yourself. Even your ID confirms your sheep mentality.
The article makes no such claims about red and white diesel. What it is basically saying is that the laundered red diesel is potentially damaging to your car engine AND that the process of laundering it creates toxic waste. As to the reason laundered diesel exists, it’s simple. The government’s insistence on raping every citizen for whatever tax it can get. Don’t forget that the government taxes fuel twice. There is the initial 80%+ tax that it imposes on the fuel, and then you pay 20% VAT (tax) on top of that. The criminals here have been, and always will be the government.
A simple solution is to remove all colouring from diesel and everyone pays the same price, and you get a receipt for your purchase every time. Then those farmers and those operating other diesel vehicles that were allowed to use red diesel can claim it back from the government.
How can you say the forecourt doesn’t make much money on fuel. They put on any price rise straight away, yet linger before putting the cost down
I think you will find it is the fuel suppliers and not the forecourts who control when prices go up and down.
Sorry Ian I don’t buy into that one, The supplier gives a RRP for its fuel but it is up to the station on how much it actually charges, we stopped the fuel a few years ago at the garage I work at as the restrictions where getting tighter and more costly, for example we have a chap in our village that owns the local fuel station he also owns one in the next town both Shell, one is 4p dearer than the other so you are trying to say that shell charge more to deliver to one station than the other.
In theory, the new price should be on fresh deliveries of fuel, but the old stock already in the tanks goes straight up to the new price. It’s been illegal for years to reprice at a higher price stock on the counter in shops, how come fuel stops get away with it?
We used to sell petrol and diesel on our forecourts. Yes, delivery prices did differ depending upon location (some rural forecourts were only accessible using small tankers, thereby increasing delivery costs). Profits on sales were non-existent. We only sold the stuff as a service to the community. As for why forecourt prices went up on the day our suppliers announced their prices were going up. You may be thinking that our tanks were full of fuel we’d bought at the old price (that’s true), but when that was gone we’d only have the money taken for selling it to facilitate re filling our tanks. That’s a huge shortfall when we’re talking about thousands of litres. In other words, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the many thousands of pounds to re stock at the higher price from our own suppliers. It really would have been a case of cheap fuel that “when it’s gone it’s gone”.
Next time you see an upcoming price increase warning. Try siphoning the contents of your fuel tank and selling it to a neighbour for what you paid. Then refill your own tank at the new price. Hurts, don’t it! Now multiply that by 5,000 and you’ll get some idea why forecourt prices go up same day. We had an enormous amount of money tied up in providing a fuel service, and never made any profit. That’s partly why you see so few filling stations these days.
And it always seems to be the same retailer who drops it first, Asda. Nobody ever drops their prices before Asda does but even they take their sweet time in doing so.
I’m currently touring Spain where I am paying from 95 pence to 1.05 depending on area and brand. My last fill leaving the UK was £1.39 a litre! Where there is injustice in the taxation system it will lead to Crime. Lower extortionate taxes and you’ll radically reduce the crime.
I bet that was a ferry port town and not a supermarket pump and being patriotic you bought in the UK, commendable but France is about 1.40 euros so the difference is little but if you went through Andorra you might find a saving of 40 cents a litre, just the pain ache of 2 customs posts that are likely to stop you
Ireland has cheaper diesel than petrol. More rural areas I suppose. Next election vote “none of the above!”
Far too simple for our dumb government,they are only interested in taxing everything that they can.
Try Italy – €1.67/l
Diesel was once lauded as being the cleanest and with that came the rush to buy diesel vehicles, now we who own a diesel are looked upon as demons of the highway!
Electric is the way forward but at what cost in the long run?
I don’t think it was ever lauded as being the cleanest, only more economical.
With electric hybrids now making their way into the mainstream, there’s no compelling reason to continue with diesel for fuel economy purposes.
Diesel was promoted as it gave less CO and is more efficient, now is the demon, just like wood burning stoves were the green way forward, now all has changed and they are, like diesels engines, under threat of banning. When Drax power station stops using thousands of tons of of wood chip a week to produce ‘green’ energy, then I may consider changing my diesel car. Probably for another one.. 🙂
Hi Dave you are right Drax imports wood chip from North America and 1 ship (container) produces more pollution than all the cars in the UK, not only that but so does China with all their Coal fired power stations, and we are bothered about Diesel emissions?
Thought DRAX was converting from coal to natural gas?
Do they have wood chip burning cars?, the power station,have to burn at extreme temperatures,less pollution.
There are no Hybids are going to be produced after 2040, people seem to be forgetting that, you seem to also forget that hybrid still only do up to 50 miles on a battery the other 100 or whatever is diesel or petrol
Stop bilking is easy……pay before filling up. Automation of pumps link to a paying machine which records vehicle registration and photograph is standard in fuel stations in Europe. There has always been thief of fuel and those using red diesel, taxiation is not the problem, the punishment must be more severe to deter offenders.
You could instate capital punishment for fuel laundering and people would still do it, they would just take on the “it will never happen to me” mentality and carry on. When there is money to be made it will continue to go on, the only solution is to fix the system by only having one type of diesel and allowing businesses to claim back what they wouldn’t have paid if they had bought red.
So that’s why fuel is so expensive, TAX !! remove the tax remove the problem .
Ludicrous, who replaces the lost revenue that helps pay for public services. You must also be a leaching benefit cheat?.
Diesel is taxed more than petrol, and the combined tax from road fuel is not ring-fenced for road infrastructure. In fact, road infrastructure expenditure is covered by a fraction of what is raised from road fuel taxes.
Karl are you volunteering to remunerate the treasury for the resultant loss in revenue?
This is a govenment supported crime, get rid of the differential between white and red the crime business model disappaers. If Diesel is really evil (i too was conned into buying one) then why should construction and farming be alowed to use it. Surley the polutanits and particulant would get into the food chain, and contruction idustry is poluting the urban and inner city enviornments -note those vechiles dont have CAT’s unlike my car.
Or is it all BS, and just a way to raise more tax?.
It’s due to the efficiency of diesel engines. Yes farmers are polluting just less so than built up areas. As for the price difference it’s down to demand. Diesel used to be cheaper than petrol (and it’s easier to make) but that was before diesel cars were widely available.
If we ever move to all electric vehicles what will happen to the diesel and petrol the refineries make?
I could be wrong but we will still need the refineries as the “by products” of the process are vital for manufacturing in other areas, the problem will be what we do with the petrol and diesel
Use for emergency power generation or sell to other countries, somebody somewhere will always find a use for high energy fuels like petrol and diesel.
I agrre Chris. A Skoda dealer told me the gov. exempted the car I was looking at – an Octavia 1.6 – from road tax. I bought it & am glad I did. It’s relaible & returns 60-65mpg. Unlike 50% of other diesels I see mine doesn’t pump out clouds of black smoke but they carry on regardless. I conclude gov. simply doesn’t care.
Now I hear they’re going bring in new rules about wood burning stoves. I’d like to put MPs on mine.
Wood burning stoves in residential areas are a pain. Most don’t extend their chimneys & the wood they burn is c**p & damp. When there is hardly any wind, The smoke & stink just manage to get out of the chimney before falling towards the ground and stinking the whole area out. I have several selfish owners near me. And yes I have voiced my displeasure but they’re too arrogant to fix there polluting ways, I cant wait for them to be banned.
Wood burning rocket stoves burn pretty clean and are very fuel efficient, almost no smoke at all when built and used correctly.
Farm and construction vehicles have had ever stringent emissions regulations placed on them over the past decade. For a few years now SCR (selective catalytic converters) have been the only way to achieve these regulations. So they do have a cat on them. The older vehicles might not but that’s no different to older cars and they’re still allowed to be used.
You have no idea have you? tractors and the like have full control systems on them, In fact these items cause more breakdowns than a little, but they are much cleaner than they used to be but at a massive cost to you and me because food production costs are just passed on
If only the government weren’t so greedy, taxing hard-working people on this essential commodity (I think the total tax is about 300% : the cost of the fuel + fuel duty + VAT on the fuel + VAT on the fuel duty !). We are having to pay over £6 per gallon now, for what is really only worth about £1.50.
It makes me laugh the HRMC are only interested in the loss of revenue to themselves and of course it’s not surprising that this sort of crime is on the increase. Greedy government stop at nothing to increase profit for themselves without giving a thought to normal hard working people who pay hundreds of pounds a month just to get to work when the true cost of fuel is pennies. They con motorists out of thousands of pounds and they spend so many thousands on constantly devising ways in which to steal even more money via speed cameras parking congestion charges and now that nasty mayor decides congestion charging wasn’t giving him enough profit so now where the government recommended diesel cars as it was cleaner and better for the environment, they’ve now decided not because everyone went diesel and they weren’t making profits enough. They decide, let’s catch the diesel drivers out because we can now make more money by telling motorists diesel is bad, we don’t care if people can’t adford to now change their cars, we don’t care if they can’t afford food or constant rising bills, we don’t care if people are suffering, we don’t care because we are greedy selfish and we want to live in luxury eat the best food have the best life and we want people to sustain our greedy life. This country is a joke and the people who run it should hang their heads in shame!
S Michael – you seen to be under the impression that the ‘greedy government’ keeps the money for themselves. Tax goes to pay for public services.
What public services?? the rate at which this government is making cuts via local councils there will be no public services whatsoever, so! where is the money going? apart from the salaries and expenses claimed by those people in the palace of Westminister, which totals up to a fair sized chunk of cash.
Jim, whilst its all fun and games wailing on the government and Westminster the reality of it is that public services exist, therefore need paying for and are expensive. If you’ve ever used a gp, a hospital, a public road or had your bins emptied (just to list a few) you’ve used a public service. I’m not saying they couldn’t be improved upon but they are there.
Fref, not sure about the rest of the UK, but in Northern Ireland where we pay yearly rates on our properties, that is supposedly to pay for things like roads, bins, amenities and the likes.
the money goes to all the diesel stop start vehicles that the councils now use to pick up all our different kinds of waste in the name of saving the environment, one time you had one bin lorry up your street to pick up waste in these new, save the world modern times where diesel is the devil we now get up to five different diesel vehicles up our street just picking up waste?
Makes sense! doesn’t it? although I have to admit I don’t see it myself.
Stop the high tax on fuel and there wouldn’t be a market for laundered fuel. Same file in USA or on The EU is a lot less than it is in Britain ….. yet me just keep choking our industry to death
terrible to say this I believe you are safest with supermarket fuel. It is a minefield, you cannot be 100% safe buying from garages by the looks of it. Question can you trust well known branded stations, ie BP, Maxol, Esso, Jet etc. I do not know I am posing more questions than answers.
Stations should be named and shamed the ones who have been caught over the years with laundered fuels.
reduce the taxation on fuel will help to reduce this practice.
Motorists filling up with fuel that has been tampered with, which is unknown to them the garage should pay the fine not the motorist and any damage caused to the engine usually the fuel injection pump and injectors the garage shpild be made to pay for repairs.
I stick to Supermarket fuels which meet and exceed all requirements. they are not inferior fuels. I add Redex to every fill to add extra lubrication and cleaning the fuel system in the process. Proven by motor magazine tests.
If you have a high annual business mileage, in my case 35,000 plus, stick to quality fuels, Shell, Esso, BP etc, and boycott Motorway (RIP OFF) stations !!!!
Witness the useless M5 gantry signs trial – now finished, advising of the next three stations fuel costs….ALWAYS within a penny of each other….. talk about a set up!!!!
I use a TOYOTA diesel, currently on 300,000 plus. OK a few pennies more, but claimed back via tax system…..and don’t forget the loyalty points…..
Just out of interest, if we all turned to electric power, would we have enough capacity in terms of the National Grid to recharge all vehicles…?
My wife’s car was off the road for in excess of three weeks due to damage caused by Supermarket Fuel!! The supermarket did pay for repairs and a hire car.
On the other hand, I’ve been using mostly supermarket fuel for 30 years. My last car, a petrol Honda Civic was finally taken out by a white van at 265k miles. Never had any problems whatsoever with supermarket fuel.
supermarket fuel is the same as any other it all comes from the same refineries
It always annoys me that I have to pay (road) fuel duty on the petrol I use in my garden lawnmower (and also for a small home backup electricity generator).
Agree with you there IanJ. Add in a decent sized garden, a chainsaw, a petrol strimmer and a petrol power washer, and a gallon here and there soon mounts up over the year.
Just like alcahol and cigarette smuggling, lower the taxation the problem will go away, Governments and the thousands of police and all other agencies are funded by taxpayers to detect and stop all these activities, they are slso a cost to taxpayers and have failed miserably over decades to even make a dent in the whole business, the real rip off merchants are elected politicians who have no interest in ever stoping this business as it rakes in Billions in tax each year,
Exactly Tommy. And just like petrol/diesel, alcohol and cigarettes are some of the products that are always stung the most at budget time, with the excuse being that by increasing the price substantially, it will be an incentive for people to move away from those products.
Let’s put the price of alcohol up and claim that we’re trying to cut down on alcoholism. Cigarette prices up to cut down on cancer. Petrol/diesel prices up to get people using public transport. It’s all the same, and the government know that. If people smoke, drink or drive a car (not necessarily at the same time), they will continue to smoke, drink and drive a car.
This article is quite alarming! Do you really mean to state that adding Biofuels and or Methanol to regular fuels, petrol and or diesel actually damages engines? But this is the way that manufacturers actually make modern fuel.
So which is it, Red diesel damages or normal fuel damages?
Make your mind up.
Better still stick to giving accurate price information, it is what the title says.
If you were a farmer would you put cheap red in a £90,000 Tractor or combine if you knew it would damage it.
Yes it sounds as though the article writer has been recruited from the Daily Mail Comic.
I’ve been using biodiesel for years with no fuel injection or engine problems and Methanol is used in its production.
Big deal, Theresa May and all other politico’s need this type of activity to use as excuses to increase tax, wake up fools to the real scammers —- your elected politicians, just think what May done with 9Billion of your tax money ——- here it is again for you in case you forgot ——- went and bought 9 votes from the DUP cartel in NI —— your money, so any 2bit diesel scam is well down the line in my book of crimnal activity
The conservatives paid £1bn for the DUP votes not £9bn, it’s still criminality in my opinion…..
Why not make red diesel illegal and only use white then let farmers and construction people claim back the duty, it would then put this trade out of buisness.
But you are forgetting all the trucks that have fridges, the fridge runs on red there are boats private and pleasure that use red but pay more than the Farmers red though it is the same stuff road construction and repair but thats another story they use red as do airport vehicles
Geoff I was a lorry driver before I retired and drove fridge vehicles, if I am not mistaken the fridge worked from the batteries being electric, maybe they have changed them since I retired 7 years ago.
Hi Ian, I worked continental and drove fridges about Italy and Germany, they were red diesel, the tank was behind the legs, they did have electric plugs on them so they could be charged at the depot but these were probably older than your electric one maybe 17 years ago, ho electric fridges no more sleepless nights with it buzzing in your ear.
When we have a government that is so greedy and ruthless, what else would you expect ? if you think about it, the government are like “legalized criminals” who else in any business expects to make more than 2 thirds profit on a product ? and they don’t even lift a finger in the manufacturing process of the fuel ! no wonder USA rebelled against Britain ! lol our our fuel should be way cheaper than it is in the USA, as we provide more fuel than we use, whereas USA buy more than half of their fuel from other countries, but the fuel over there is about 1 third (or less) of the cost here ! their government is not so greedy and oppressive !
Your last paragraph says it all. People on basic incomes r struggling to buy food let alone diesel to get to work
Why s it Diesel is dearer than petrol when it is cheaper to refine????.
Tax, think if you reduced the tax on diesel everything would be cheaper your food, cars, train journeys, bus travel, air travel, absolutely everything, carpets, bricks, concrete, haulage.
bilking.I saw this happening a few weeks ago and when paying,I mentioned it to the desk who were not bothered or aware.When I asked why ,they said they were worried about reprisals from the thieves.This was on the forecourt of a nationally established supermarket.
All tax is a problem, as it must be collected but never used for what it is meant for by government. Go back to the old days of 33% income tax and get rid of all others. Also Petrol Stations should have pay before you fill pumps, as this will totally eradicate ‘bilking’.
if fuel was all taxed FAIRLY there would be no one trying to avoid the taxes.
Fuel and cars have been unfairly taxed for more than 30 years.
originally owning a car was a luxury allowing ridiculous taxation to be “acceptable” because was targueting the rich.
for the past 40 years driving has been a necessity. its no longer a luxury and the ownership and maintenance of a vehicle should be taxed the same way as all the other public services are (barely at all)
Love to know how removing the dye from red diesel means that the std diesel left will damage engines. Bear in mind that the red dye is itself an additive to standard diesel and that red diesel works in standard engines.
Spot on jae, I thought that as I read it, they talk rubbish.
Maybe the cat litter filters out more than the dye?, Better fuels have additives added at the refinery, like the stuff you can add yourself, but if cat litter will filter out the red and takes the additives with it…? This is the crud byproduct of filtering in an illegal operation they are talking about in the headline !
Jae, the ‘excuse’ given is the chemicals they use to clean the diesel is not 100% removed from the diesel, and it’s these chemicals that are ‘potentially’ causing the damage.
Of course, all this is just hearsay, as they’ve never actually proven it, which would be quite easy to do. Just get two brand new diesel engines, fuel one with white diesel and one with ‘cleaned’ white diesel, and run them for 100,000 or even 200,00 miles, and then strip them down.
It’s just fear tactics they’re using, because the criminals (government) don’t like having their ill-gotten gains being stolen from them.
I believe it has something to do with the chemicals they use to remove the dye, chemicals that you wouldn’t normally find in any diesel fuel and they remain in the fuel and get into your engine and the environment. Also, the waste from the un-dyeing process is just dumped and not disposed of correctly, causing further environmental damage (polluting our mains water reserves, amongst other things). It is not just as simple as taking the dye out, it is what they put in to do that and the process of it all that is dangerous.
Am I the only one that agrees with high fuel prices? Imagine if it were 50p a litre, there would be even more traffic on the roads 😬 With the cost as it is I think twice about using my car, which surely is a good thing?
Once again the motorist is seen as an easy target. As it costs less to refine diesel than petrol, surely placing greed and profit to one side diesel should be cheaper than petrol anyway, so I wonder why it isn’t! It doesn’t take a lot to work that one out does it.
Lets be honest we all hate fuel price rises, but what really gets me is the number of farmers taking tractors for miles and miles, on the roads, the police told me they can travel for 3 miles on the public highway between there own fields so how could one travel from Padstow going to Hayle a distance of 40 miles on red diesel carrying produce in a vehicle unfit for the road ! no road tax, insurance and red diesel.
I think the time has come to level the playing field and all farm tractors have to be taxed, insured and on white diesel to enter a public highway. I would also reduce taxation on the fuel, this would benefit all including the government as people travel more, spend more.
Agricultural vehicles are still required to have a Road Fund Licence (Tax disc as was), be registered with DVLA, and display a number plate – it just happens to be at priced at £0.00. Any farmer will have his tractor insured for road use, because it also covers fire, theft and 3rd party liability. There is no limit to how far they can travel if the use on the road is for agricultural purposes (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/excise-notice-75-fuel-for-road-vehicles/excise-notice-75-fuel-for-road-vehicles. Section 8.3 defines types of activity for tractors; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tractors-regulations-on-use/tractors-and-regulatory-requirements-a-brief-guide-september-2017 defines a tractor). Farmers are not the problem here – it is the criminals who buy red diesel and try to remove the markers and sell it on to people who are looking to get a cheap deal and avoid paying the relevant (I wont say fair!) share of the tax due. Even red diesel is has fuel duty added to it – albeit at a lower rate the road (‘white’) diesel.
And you’d enjoy paying higher prices for farm produce, would you?
Illegal fuel laundering around the Irish land border has been going on for years. People have been arrested and the law has taken its course in punishing them. However the penalties are a joke and amount to little more than a slap on the wrist. There is no real deterrent in the legal system as it is administered.
With the amount of money involved and the obvious quantity of fuel involved, I am amazed that the perpetrators are “released on bail” from where they just disappear . Are the authorities frightened to say who they are for fear of victimisation or discrimination ??? This is certainly not done in some ones garden shed and is well known to be originating on a vast scale in Ireland, both North and South of the border and fuel is obviously transported openly, in tankers across the Irish sea !
It’s the same old story tax the motorists all government treat the motorists as cash cows to pay for everything nothing to do with roads or upkeep of the roads just to line their pockets maybe not so much with current gov but they could cut the cost at a stroke if they stopped the charade of foreign aid and giving money to wasters
Obviously a reduction in taxation on fuel would reduce the potential profit on these illicit fuels, but that is not going to happen. More stringent records on the wholesale storage, supply and subsequent retailing is a more practical answer.
The cost of running a vehicle is an absolute luxury these days and I can understand why people launder fuel or are even risking bilking. Both crimes I do not condone, however, If I could find a way of running my car cheaper, I would use it, though I am not going to start an illegal laundering operation or bilking just for the sake of saving a few quid. I need a more long term plan!
The cost of fuel is high! mainly because of the fuel duty, PLUS the additional tax (VAT) that is imposed on the fuel duty, Which is also a tax, talk about a double whamy!
No wonder there’s so many “fuel laundering sites” & so many people who drive off without paying.
Removing the VAT amount charged on the fuel duty will result in a drop of approx 11p per litre, sure the government will loose revenue, but we the motorists are already fleeced by the government by charging us VED (Vehicle excise duty, formally known as Road Fund License) & NOT ring fencing this for road repairs & improvements!
SO, a tanker load of illegal washed diesel trumps hundreds of billions in arms sales to dubious countries to kill and maim in the first instance and then the follow up being sending brainwashed troops to export our tyoe of democracy and protect the vested interets of big business some of whome our Lords Ladies and elected politici’s have financial interests in, this is small very small illegal activity compared with arms sales which should be illegal, washed diesel is no more dangerous to car engines than a back street garage is to the automotive industry —— GET REAL
Tommy, I don’t think anyone with an ounce of common sense will dispute what you’ve said, but this after all, is a website called ‘PetrolPrices’, and the article being discussed is laundered diesel. We all know about the injustices of the what our government gets up to, but the newspapers and the TV news stations that should be shouting about this from the rooftops don’t have the balls to do so.
Whilst not agreeing with the removal of dye from fuel to be sold for cars to ruin their engines, and probably polluting the air we breath, I think that it will only get worse while fuel prices keep going up in price. What people must realise is that there are a lot of greedy people about who will not be put off by small fines and short prison sentences.
All governments are crooks, tax is theft, we dont need either.
Since when have Officers from HMRC been ‘Police’ – I don’t think so
Your so naieve
Its the HMRC that nick you for red diesel not the cops, the cops are there just to pull you in and nick you if you get funny with them
Lower the price of fuel that should put a stop to it , oh I forgot the shareholders and profit margin
So stop marking the petrol which will aleviate all the bio hazards! The government and hmrc are as wreckles and single minded as the criminals!
I run a diesel vehicle as it has the torque to tow my caravan. I have serious doubts whether electric vehicles could tow for hundreds of miles without serious issues of recharging etc. I find it ironic that on the day we are told diesel vehicles are being phased out the minister of transport announces that the electrification of several rail lines is being cancelled as new diesel trains are cheaper to run. It shows that politians not have a clue what they are talking about
Nothing new there. Where would we be if Diane Abbott ever got to be Chancellor?
The historical reputation in Ireland of wide-spread cross-border smugglers and similar abusers, is a large part of the intractability of any Brexit Agreement. To discourage such activities, both in Ireland and the UK, requires sterner punishment of the perpetrators.
Fuel laundering on this scale demands organisation and investment in equipment and redistribution. The heavy taxes are obviously a factor here. Having said that taxation is necessary and reducing fuel duty only means increases elsewhere.
Increased Bilking is a feature of general increases in crime. With the reduction and cuts in police, the chances of detection and arrest favor the criminals.
Crime now pays and there’s no shortage of criminals ready to take advantage of the situation.
Taxation on fuel, especially diesel, should be reduced. why are the people caught laundering and bilking not incarcerated awaiting trial ?
Bilking solved by making all pumps card pumps. Why have cheaper fuel for certain uses? ….. Problem solved if fuel sold at same price to everyone.
Make all pumps card only. For the few who don’t have a card, make it so u have to go in, pay cash, eg £30, then cashier sets pump to knock off at that amount.
I used thousands of gallons of red diesel stored in a belly tank under the trailer on trips to the middle east, for 27 years. No adverse affects to the trucks engine! I think this is false information to deter people from being tempted to cut costs
We used to use red diesel in boats, then the EU changed the rules, which HMRC came to an agreement that fuel used for propulsion would pay full road fuel duty [yes its a boat on water] and the the rest would be at 5% for making hot water, producing electric etc. But last year the EU took us to court again to ban red diesel for boats and won, so now its separate tanks one for white, and one for propulsion which can use red. most boats cant fit another tank, and places will only be selling white diesel! The EU are barmy given that their are only 35K boats on the inland waterways it seem like an interference to far, no wonder a lot of boaters voted to leave
Now we know why the police are interested here against other crimes that they ignore. it’s all about lost duty (profit) for the government. money that ends up lining the the pockets of the royals, lords and so on.