With rising fuel prices and uncertain economic conditions, questions like the cost of off-road diesel per gallon are more relevant than ever.

Current prices in the United States for regular diesel are $5.26 per gallon, so consumers can expect to pay between $5.00-$5.15 per gallon for off-road diesel. Off-road diesel costs 10-25 cents less per gallon compared to traditional highway on-road diesel.

Diesel fuel is necessary today, but only some know the differences between off-road and road-use diesel. We have gathered all the information needed on the two and how much each consumer can expect to pay for this fuel.

Key Takeaways

  • Off-road diesel costs 10-25 cents less than highway diesel, and the average cost today is between $5.00-$5.15.
  • Off-road diesel fuel cannot be purchased at a regular gas station because it’s prohibited for road use. Instead, it must be ordered for delivery from a local company.
  • The farming and agriculture industry are the primary customers for off-road diesel because it’s used in many vehicles like tractors. Because it’s cheaper, they use this fuel to save money.

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Table of contents


How Much Is Off Road Diesel Per Gallon?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) does not publicly list the current national average price for off-road diesel. But on average, it is 10-25 cents cheaper per gal. than on-road diesel.

Based on the current reports, the national US average rate for on-road diesel is $5.26/gal. With this in mind, it’s safe to assume off-road diesel is available for roughly $5.00 to $5.15/gal.

Off-road diesel is also known as dyed or red diesel, while on-road diesel is called clear diesel. The primary difference in pricing exists because off-road diesel is not taxed for consumers.

This is because it’s used in off-road vehicles and heavy-duty equipment like construction vehicles, farm machinery, and other vehicles that don’t drive on highways. Because of this, the pricing is not well-known like regular gas is.

Factors That Impact The Price Of Off-Road Diesel

The cost of off-road diesel is affected by various factors, such as location, current supply and demand, seasonal trends, and related laws, regulations, or unexpected taxes.


Location is critical in off-road diesel pricing because of local competitiveness, operating costs, transportation expenses, and existing state regulations and taxes.

Each of these factors will cause prices to increase. This is why many major cities tend to have much higher fuel prices because of increased demand.

Supply & Demand

The most important factor influencing the cost of off-road diesel is supply and demand, as it affects fuel availability and price. When diesel inventories fluctuate, it causes the prices to rise or fall accordingly.

Fast-moving inventories cause more price fluctuations. With consistent delivery times, fuel companies can maintain prices without massive shifts, but it's difficult to predict.

Seasonal Trends

Seasonal trends like freezing winters can cause prices to increase because of increased usage. The cold temperatures mean people need extra heat to stay warm, causing fuel to burn and demand to rise.

When this happens, prices also go up. The cost of off-road diesel moves with the rate of highway diesel, so it’s unlikely for one to change without the other.

Government Regulations & Taxes

Other factors, such as taxes and regulations, can affect how much we pay for off-road diesel. But the lack of taxes is one of the primary reasons why this fuel tends to be cheaper, so this is not a major concern in most regions of the country.

Transportation costs are also high because if they are high, they can add to the overall cost of off-road diesel. Finally, storage costs can affect the cost of off-road diesel if storage capacity is limited or additional fees are associated with storing this fuel.

How To Find the Current Price Of Off-Road Diesel

The current off-road diesel prices can be found online based on the road use diesel prices. We can also contact local fuel suppliers to get an accurate quote quickly.

This fuel is most commonly used for farm vehicles like tractors, and if a highway truck were to use it and get caught, it would get a hefty fine. Because of this, prices aren't publicly available, so we recommend contacting gas and oil companies in the area for pricing.

All rate quotes include the fuel cost, additional delivery fees, and applicable taxes. Be sure to shop around to see which retailer offers the best rate.

Comparison Of Off-Road Diesel And On-Road Diesel

On-road or highway diesel is made for road use in traditional trucks and SUVs. Meanwhile, off-road diesel is for specialty vehicles and not legal for road use, so let’s compare the two and see how they differ.

On-Road Diesel Is Easier To Find

One primary difference is how easy it is to find on-road diesel at almost every gas station in the United States. The opposite is true for red diesel, which won’t be available for a quick purchase anywhere.

Instead, we must contact suppliers in the area and get quotes. We must also get a colored diesel permit to purchase this fuel legally to prove we only plan to use it as intended on a farm or with industrial vehicles.

Identical Chemical Composition

The chemical composition is exactly the same in each fuel type other than additives for the fuel’s color. This is partly because of a change initiated in 2008 by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the sulfur content in off-road diesel.

Before this change, it would produce a smokier burn, deeming it more environmentally harmful than highway diesel. It took a few years, but the change was complete in 2014, so both of these fuel types are chemically the same.

Each Fuel Type Is A Different Color

Both of these fuel types have the same chemical composition, but the most obvious difference is the color. Highway diesel is clear and looks like traditional unleaded gas to the naked eye.

This is not true for off-road diesel. It’s referred to as colored or red diesel because it has a distinct color, so it’s impossible to confuse the two. The color difference exists because of  chemical additives for identification purposes only.

Where Do You Buy Off Road Diesel?

We must contact a local dealer for more details about buying this diesel. They can provide us with an estimated cost and expected delivery time based on the amount we need for our vehicle.

Any local oil company or major fueling station should offer delivery services to customers. But it’s not available to everybody, and state permits are required in most places in the United States before purchasing it.

It’s also possible to contact a major company like Pacific Pride for a quote. The Pride Advantage fueling program is something consumers can take advantage of to save.

The farming and agriculture industry relies heavily on this fuel to use vehicles, so delivery is also readily available in remote areas. This industry has created a demand for these fuel delivery companies to fulfill with locations nationwide.

It’s also possible to get cheaper pricing when buying off-road diesel at wholesale prices in bulk orders. This is common practice for larger farms to increase profitability while lowering costs.