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HMRC internal manual

Hydrocarbon Oils Strategy

HM Revenue & Customs
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Post detection audit and assessment: excepted vehicles

Excepted vehicles are vehicles that are allowed to use red diesel as fuel such as agricultural tractors, forklift trucks, works trucks (for use exclusively off road in yards etc). The definitions of excepted vehicles are in Schedule 1 to Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979 (HODA) as amended by the Excepted Vehicles (Amendment to Schedule 1 to the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979) Order 2007, which was partly clarified by the accompanying Memorandum of Agreement with the industry, which can be seen alongside the Order on the Internet.

(For further information please see Public Notice 75 ‘Fuel for Road Vehicles’.)

You may need to calculate fuel usage for these vehicles for two reasons:

  • to calculate assessments for misuse in cases where an excepted vehicle has been used outside the limitations in HODA Schedule 1 (as amended)
  • to establish the legitimate usage of rebated oil for the alternative method of calculation.

Be aware that they may not have a miles per gallon (MPG) figure as fuel consumption may be measured in hours per gallon.

The fuel consumption of excepted vehicles should be established by agreement, estimation or reference to the manufacturer. This will also be the case for other machinery or equipment using red diesel or kerosene.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

During interview, the Road Fuel Testing Unit (RFTU) may have established the quantity of fuel used in an excepted vehicle. In the absence of any other irregularities, this may well be the best basis for establishing the fuel misused. The detecting officer should have established whether or not the vehicle was an ‘excepted vehicle’ during the post detection interview. You should restrict your activities to establishing the quantum of the misuse. If in doubt, seek further advice on ‘Excepted Vehicles’ from the Oils Policy Team.