Tens of thousands of Essex motorists will be celebrating today after a 32 year old man from Benfleet discovered a way to legally use Red Diesel in his regular car. Under the current law in the United Kingdom, heavily-discounted Red Diesel can only be used in agricultural vehicles, but regular drivers can benefit from the same fuel as long as they only drive across fields and farms that are next to most major roads in Essex anyway.
James Mudder from Kents Hill Road North, Benfleet, told the Southend News Network that the inspiration for the idea came last week when he was stuck in heavy traffic on the A127 coming towards Rayleigh Weir. He said, ‘Like many South Essex motorists, I was truly fed up with sitting on the A127 and not going anywhere, and then last week I noticed that there was a great big empty field. I came off the main carriageway and managed to save at least 20 minutes by driving through a number of fields – most of the crops will grow back anyway.’
He continued, ‘I arrived at home far earlier than usual, and then I realised that if I was only going to drive through fields to get back from work, surely I would be able to benefit from buying Red Diesel. I topped up at one of the local farms on my route home, and I am still putting a few litres of consumer diesel in my tank every week for the part of my journey that I need to do on normal roads.’
While many local farm owners are concerned about the extra traffic that will be using their fields on a daily basis, Paul Kagool of the Essex Red Diesel Sales Consortium said that this development would be ‘fantastic news’ for agricultural business owners in the area. He said, ‘There is nothing to stop farmers from setting up their own petrol stations as another source of income, and they can even mix some normal diesel in with the Red Diesel to ensure that their customers are road legal as well.’
Our motoring correspondant Dan Carburetor has put together the following tips for motorists who want to take advantage of the cheaper diesel and keep within the law:
- Motorists need to ensure that they keep a certain percentage of normal diesel in their tanks for any driving that will be on roads. For example, if you can drive through agricultural land for 70% of your weekly journeys, 30% of your tank MUST consist of regular petrol station diesel.
- To avoid any legal issues in the event that you are pulled over by the police, it is a good idea to purchase some kind of agricultural disguise for your vehicle. There are already a number of magnetic signs on eBay that are designed to make your car look like a small to medium sized tractor, and a number of Toyota people carriers could already be mistaken for agricultural vehicles anyway.
- Keep a bottle of Lea and Perrins sauce in your glovebox, as this can be added to Red Diesel to make it look ‘legit.’
- ‘Agricultural Land’ can be defined as farmland, a field, a path next to a field, the hard shoulder of a road that is next to a field, and the car park and roads directly around any shop that sells goods that have come from a farm (farm shops, supermarkets, McDonalds Drive-Thru Restaurants etc).
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