Using red diesel in extreme weather
For the last few years HMRC have relaxed the red diesel rules for farmers who use their tractors to help grit and clear snow from public roads during extreme cold weather.
Under the normal rules any vehicle that is specifically constructed or adapted for dealing with frost, ice and snow –such as a snow plough – can work on public roads while using red diesel. HMRC have confirmed that they will continue to adopt a pragmatic approach in respect to tractors being used to keep rural roads clear and will once again relax the rules should there be a deterioration in conditions.
HMRC had previously announced its intention to amend legislation in order to allow agricultural vehicles to use red diesel when gritting roads. The draft legislation has now been published that will amend the existing legislation. The amended legislation will also be extended to include ‘agricultural material handlers’.
Putting this measure on a legal footing will remove the requirement for both farmers and HMRC to make a judgement as to what constitutes extreme weather.