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Driving Hours

EU rules

Driving hours

The main EU rules on driving hours are that you must not drive more than:

  • 9 hours in a day - this can be extended to 10 hours twice a week

  • 56 hours in a week

  • 90 hours in any 2 consecutive weeks

All driving you do under EU rules must be recorded on a tachograph.

Breaks and rest

The main points of EU rules on breaks and rest are that you must take:

  • at least 11 hours rest every day - you can reduce this to 9 hours rest 3 times between any 2 weekly rest periods

  • an unbroken rest period of 45 hours every week - you can reduce this to 24 hours every other week

  • a break or breaks totalling at least 45 minutes after no more than 4 hours 30 minutes driving

  • your weekly rest after 6 consecutive 24-hour periods of working, starting from the end of the last weekly rest period taken

Coach drivers on an international trip can take their weekly rest after 12 consecutive 24-hour periods, starting from the end of the last weekly rest period taken.

GB Domestic Rules

Daily duty limit

You must not be on duty for more than 11 hours in any working day. This limit doesn’t apply on any working day when you don’t drive.

You must record your hours on a weekly record sheet or on a tachograph.

Passenger-carrying vehicles

Duty time

If you work as a driver for a company, duty time is any working time. If you’re self-employed, duty time is only time you spend driving the vehicle or doing other work related to the vehicle or its load.

Breaks and continuous driving

After 5 hours 30 minutes of driving you must take a break of at least 30 minutes for rest and refreshment.

Or, within any period of 8 hours 30 minutes, you must take at least 45 minutes in breaks. You must also have a break of at least 30 minutes at the end of this period, unless it’s the end of the working day.

Length of working day (‘spreadover’)

You must not work more than 16 hours between the times of starting and finishing work - including non driving work and any times when you’re off.

Daily rest periods

You must take a rest of 10 hours before the first duty and immediately after the last duty in a working week.

You must take a rest of at least 10 hours between 2 working days (or spreadovers) - this can be reduced to 8.5 hours up to 3 times a week.

All duties must start and finish within a 24-hour period.

Fortnightly rest periods

Every 2 weeks you must take at least one period of 24 hours off duty.

A fixed week is from 00:00 hours on Monday to 24:00 hours the next Sunday.

Exemptions to the GB domestic rules

The GB Domestic rules don’t apply if you:

  • drive for less than 4 hours in any day

  • drive off-road or on private roads during duty time

  • drive a vehicle used by the armed forces, police or fire brigade

  • are dealing with an emergency, eg major disruption to public services or danger to life

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