HMRC increases the Restoration Fee Following Vehicle Seizures for Red Diesel Offences

If a vehicle was found by HMRC to be illegally using ‘red diesel’ on the road, then the vehicle may be seized by HMRC.

Under HMRC’s previous policy, a vehicle would usually be restored to the owner if:

  • payment of a restoration fee was made, and
  • on condition that the fuel was changed at the first safe opportunity.

That restoration fee was made up of:

  • An amount based on regulatory fixed penalties of £250, for unlawfully taking rebated fuel into a road vehicle and a further £250 for unlawfully using rebated fuel in a road vehicle;
  • An amount which is equal to the duty and VAT which should have been paid on the quantity of fuel found in the tank;
  • An amount to cover the storage and removal costs.


From 1 November 2012, the duty and VAT element of the restoration fee will be based on the total litre capacity of a vehicle’s fuel tank, not the quantity of illicit fuel remaining in the vehicle’s fuel tanks.

For advice on any transport law issues, please contact Jared Dunbar at Dyne Solicitors on 01829 773 100.

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