What Color Is Diesel Fuel? A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re like the majority of people, you might not think there were different colors of diesel fuel while filling your car up. Did you know that today’s diesel fuel is available in a variety of colors?

Around the globe Fuel is dyed different colors in order to distinguish their purpose and is often known as transparent or dyed fuel. It is possible to ask, what color is diesel fuel?

The on-road diesel fuel sold in gas station outlets is yellow or green, or has no the color of dyed diesel, whereas fuel that can only be used for off-road vehicles is red.

In this article, we’ll look at the different diesel fuel’s colors and what the differences between them are. Check it out!

What Color Is Diesel Fuel?

Diesel fuel is usually available in two kinds and colors: regular clear or on-road diesel fuel that is slightly yellow or lacks any color and dyed diesel that is red and designed to power Off-road vehicle.

When discussing diesel’s color the majority of people think of the hue of yellow/green that regular diesel is. Diesel fuel is available in various colors, based on the purpose for which it is used.

Clear Diesel vs Dyed Diesel

You may not be aware dyed fuel exists, or even what are the distinctions? The chemical component of diesel fuels is exactly the same.

But, dyed and clear diesel comes with tax and legal distinctions that are important to know in order to not be a victim of a savings when you’re using off-road vehicles.

Presently, the U.S. Government requires diesel gas to be sold in three distinct methods: clear or colored with blue or red dye.

Regular On-Road/Clear Diesel

The standard on-road/clear diesel is the kind of diesel me, you as well as everyone else are designed to use in our off-road vehicles, including the car, truck and SUVs. It is also used in marine vehicles.

It’s the most widely used diesel fuel type and is sold at all gas stations across the United States

Regular diesel regular diesel is legally tax-deductible and contains low levels of sulfur. All diesel-powered vehicles for off-road uses must make use of this fuel.

Off-Road/Red Diesel

This is the most widely diesel fuel that is dyed in the United States. It is not available at every gas station. this fuel as it’s not typically available to the general public to purchase. You may however discover gas stations selling this particular product.

It is a Red Diesel fuel is utilized exclusively for off-road use for example, construction vehicles, agriculture, farm equipment, heating for homes, or for manufacturing.

Since it’s intended to fuel off-road vehicles the fuel isn’t assessed tax within the U.S. The red dyeing process is carried out to prevent tax evasion by those who use the fuel that is cheaper for off-road use in their road-going vehicles.

This kind of diesel is mixed by major oil companies like Shell, Chevron, Texaco and others.

Blue diesel

This blue-dyed diesel is identical to red-dyed diesel. However, it’s only utilized only in U.S. Government vehicles, and this color variation assists in distinguishing the clear diesel utilized by the public from the diesel utilized by the government’s on-road vehicles.

Green diesel

What exactly is green diesel? The word “green diesel” is more frequently used in countries outside of the United States and is in certain countries, similar to”red diesel” that Americans use to.

It is not legal to use it as fuel for vehicles or other vehicles on the road. It comes with a lower tax rate or no tax and is only intended for specific uses like commercial shipping, or in crushers in crushing plants.

The term “green diesel” does not need to be referring in the hue of fuel. In recent times, “green diesel” refers to a method of production, and also to the fact that it’s an eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable source of fuel.

The biodiesel, as well as the green diesels are both made of animal and plant fats, however, green diesel is refined using refining techniques to create an identical product to conventional fuels.

Is Red Diesel Bad?

The most commonly held belief about colored diesel is that it could cause performance losses or even damage the engine. There isn’t any evidence of this and the chemical makeup of clear and dyed diesel is identical.

Insofar as the fuel dyed meets the requirements for normal diesel, then it won’t harm your engine, or void your warranty. The only instance where you may encounter issues is if you happen to employ dyed diesel in your road-going vehicle.

Dyed diesel isn’t tax-exempt and is designed for off-road. It’s illegal to make use of dyed diesel inside your road-going vehicle, and you could be charged a fine in the event of being you are caught.

Why Is Diesel Fuel Dyed?

In the beginning of 1990, U.S. Government started contemplating ways to make it easier to collect taxes on diesel and gasoline purchases.

They also recognized the benefits of tax-exempt off-road diesel, but they observed a variety of issues when people took benefit of the tax benefits for this kind of diesel even though they were not required to.

In the end, this led to eventually, the U.S. government coming up with colored fuel. This color difference made the separation of the taxed fuels that are normally taxed from the less taxed ones that were used for specific purposes more simple.

In 1994 in 1994, in 1994, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) required that all off-road fuel be colored red.

Dyed Diesel Regulations

The most important reason behind the distinction between dyed and clear diesel fuel is the fact that it is regulated. The U.S. Government requires that every diesel fuel used for off-road uses be colored red in order to be taxed and tracked appropriately.

Although it may be tempting to use diesel offroad in vehicles that are on the road, colored fuels are strictly controlled by both state and federal laws. Inappropriate use of this fuel may be punished with hefty fines or even jail time of a significant amount.

Legal Information About Dyed Diesel Fuel

Dye diesel isn’t taxed this means that the states and federal governments have strict rules about it and its use only in motorized vehicles. The rules governing the use of diesel colored vary from fines for financial violations to jail.

  • Distributors aren’t allowed to transport diesel fuel dyed in the hopes of selling it to owners of on-road vehicles. The product cannot be offered for sale by retailers for use in vehicles on the road.
  • Customers purchasing dyed diesel should not make the mistake of using it in a vehicle on the road. If police officers are able to establish an incident, they can take a sample of any gas tank to determine if the fuel is illicit. If dye is found in a vehicle on the road the fines could be as high as hundreds of dollars.
  • The removal of diesel dye is considered to be a crime. The dyes leave tiny traces that are detectable by lab testing, which is why it’s not worth it. Utilizing dyed diesel that has colors removed are seen as a crime, both at the federal and state levels.

The Best Way to Know You are Getting Legally Dye Diesel

If you’re unsure whether the diesel you’re buying is legal There are several methods of determining.

  1. Check your pump’s label. Gas stations that sell dyed diesel should have an official label on the pump which states that the diesel is dyed, or normal. It’s then your responsibility to look for the right labels and use the correct type of fuel.
  2. Check the fuel. In order to ensure that you receive the fuel you requested and to ensure you get it, look at the fuel. You can check the view glass of the hose, if it has one, or you can use a transparent container.
  3. Check to make sure that there isn’t any manipulation of the pump or receipts. Make sure you examine the pump as well as the label.
  4. Keep all receipts and other records. If an officer confronts you, it is likely to turn out that you’re not using tax-free fuel, you will be able to prove that you have used it for the right purpose. Your receipts and documents will determine who is responsible.

What Color Is Diesel Fuel Pump?

The colour of the diesel pump tends to be blue in the U.S. and black in the U.K. There isn’t an official color for the pumps’ handles and you shouldn’t fill your vehicle based on what color the pump handle is or the nozzle.

The tank of your vehicle with the wrong type of fuel can cause severe damage to the engine, leaving you with huge repair costs.

But, every fuel pump needs to be marked to indicate what kind of fuel is present in the pump. Therefore, it is recommended to ensure that the label is read before filling your tank.

If the label isn’t there it is your responsibility to inform the attendant at the station.

If you accidentally add diesel into your gasoline car or vice to reverse the process, do not turn on the engine! It can cause serious damage to the engine. Get a towtruck immediately and then tow your car to an experienced mechanic.


Can you mix Dyed and clear Diesel?

There is a possibility of mixing clear and dyed diesel, however, it isn’t recommended. As we mentioned previously there isn’t any chemical distinction between the two diesel types. The only difference is that one of them has been dyed red while the other is no dye, and the primary reason is due to the tax regulations.

Are Red Diesel the Same as Road Diesel?

The chemical component in regular and red diesel is exactly the identical. However, red diesel is infused with an added dye to indicate that it is intended for use in non-road vehicles only. The dye’s addition renders it unfit to be used diesel that is red inside a vehicle while on the road.

What Happens if You Put Dyed Diesel in Your Car?

If you install red-dyed diesel in your off-road vehicle that is that isn’t approved to use Red diesel could cause many thousands of dollars of penalties or even jail time if you are found guilty.

Is Red Diesel Illegal?

Red diesel isn’t illegal. There are rules in place for the use of red diesel. Red diesel can only be used in off-road applications. If it’s found in a vehicle that is on the road, the owner could be fined.

Do I need a specific license to purchase dyed Diesel?

There is no require a permit to purchase dyed diesel. But, you should be certain to use it only to serve its purpose that is for off-road use. If you’re in the wrong place making use of it on the roads you could be fined.

What is the penalty for using Dyed Diesel on the road?

The punishment for applying dyed diesel on the roads varies from state the state. In the majority of states there is the payment of a fine. The amount will be determined by the amount of fuel you have in your tank as well as the state in which you reside.


Diesel fuel can be purchased clear or dyed. The clear diesel can be described as standard one, and dyed diesels are usually red to indicate that it’s meant for non-road-related use only. Red diesel isn’t legal, however there are laws in place for the use of it. If it is found to be used on the road, its driver could be punished with an amount of fine that could reach hundreds of dollars.

Diesel pumps’ color will usually be colored green within the U.S. and black in the U.K. But this isn’t an indication about the kind of fuel is used in the pump.

Enjoy your driving!


What Is Red Diesel Fuel?

What is the difference between clear and dyed diesel

How Is Diesel Fuel Made?


How Much Does it Cost to Replace Your Exhaust System?


Car Repossession Loopholes: What You Need to Know

Leave a Comment