Driving Hours Regulations


In the United Kingdom there are specific rules governing driving hours of commercial vehicles and long distance drivers. Drivers are legally required to accurately record and retain driving records and produce them when requested by transport authorities who enforce regulations regarding driver’s working hours.

EU Law

All vehicles made after 2006 will have digital tachographs (devices inserted in vehicles to record speed and distance) fitted instead of the previous analogue tachograph. All vehicles over 3,500kg are required by EU law to adhere to the EU Driver’s Hours and Tachograph law if the vehicle is used in relation to ‘hire and reward’, for example in business use.

European Union (EU) rules stringently enforce the number of hours a driver can be on work duty or at the wheel. However, there can be some domestic exceptions and these can apply to goods vehicles drivers and passenger-carrying vehicles.

GB Law

You might be exempt from EU law if your journey is fully within the UK or you are driving a particular type of vehicle. In this situation you need to comply with GB domestic rules.

Differences in law

For example, a coach driver in the UK would have to adhere to domestic laws which would mean they could only drive for 5.5 hours, after which they must take a 30-minute rest period. Alternatively, within any period of 8.5 hours of driving, a taxi driver must take at least 45 minutes as breaks. It is also required that another 30-minute break is taken at the end of this 8.5-hour period, unless it’s the end of the working day.

Under EU law the driving limit for passenger vehicles is 4.5 hours before a 45-minute rest break must be taken.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) enforces these regulations and if an employer, for example coach company owner, fails to monitor the driving hours of their employees by using tachographs or weekly record sheets, then legal repercussions may occur.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on Driving Hours Regulations and the law surrounding them, we can put you in touch with a local specialised solicitor free of charge. If you have any questions or would like our help in finding a local specialised solicitor please call us on 0800 046 1464 or complete the web-form above.


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