The Difference Between Clear and Dyed Diesel

Diesel used to be sold without dye, however in 1994 the Environmental Protection Agency and Congress decided to add dye to differentiate fuel sold to the general public to fuel used by off-road vehicles. It is important to know the difference between clear and dyed diesel because its misuse can lead you to pay a hefty fine.

Clear Diesel

Diesel sold without any dye added to it is known as clear diesel. This fuel is more common, as this is what is available in public gas stations. Clear diesel is taxed and is meant for vehicles that drive on public roads everyday. All vehicles licensed to drive on public roads must use clear diesel.

Dyed Diesel

Dyed diesel has red coloring and is meant for off-road vehicles and equipment like generators, heavy construction equipment, farm tractors and boats. The dye is used to easily detect if the correct fuel is being used. This fuel does not have on-road taxes, but consumers still pay federal and state taxes. Dyed diesel is not meant for on-road vehicles as there will be a penalty if you are caught misusing the fuel.

Penalty for Using Dyed Diesel

According to the IRS, the penalty for illegal use of dyed diesel is $1,000 or $10 per gallon, whichever is greater, plus the payment of tax. States may also charge additional fines. In California, the current diesel tax is a little over $0.60 per gallon. Misusing dyed diesel to save a couple dollars is just not worth it.

Whether you need the delivery of clear or dyed diesel, you can count on PSPI to be your one-stop shop for all your petroleum needs. Give us a call at 800-679-1700 or send us an email and we can set up a program that is right for you.