What are the Driver Hours Rules?

HomeGlossary of fleet termsWhat are the Driver Hours Rules?

EU drivers hours rules are intended to keep fatigued drivers off the road and improve safety for other road users. All driving hours must be recorded on a digital tachograph.

The EU Drivers Hours Rules (also known as Hours of Service) set the maximum allowable driving time for HGV drivers in a given period. It also defines daily rest requirements for every 24 hour period and weekly rest periods driver should observe over consecutive weeks of work.

The European Unions’ Working time directive lays out additional working hour limits that should also be observed by HGV drivers. This covers time working when not behind the wheel - for example when loading or unloading goods in the yard.

EU drivers’ hours driving limits are intended to keep fatigued drivers off the road and improve safety for other road users. Failure to comply can result in a £300 fixed penalty, a graduated deposit of up to £1500, or a court summons.

The limits differ for property and passenger carrying drivers.

While subject to change, here are the current EU Drivers Hours rules:

HGV (e.g. goods vehicles) Driver Hours

  • 9-hour daily driving limit - Cannot drive for longer than 10 hours twice a week*
  • 45-minute rest breaks - Must be taken every 4.5 hours**
  • 56-hour weekly limit - Cannot drive more than 56 hours in any 1-week period***
  • 90-hour 2 week limit - Cannot drive more than 90 hours in any 2-week period**

*Must be followed by at least 11 hours off duty if working from 6:00am to 7:00pm, or 9 hours off duty if working from 9:00pm to 6:00am the following day
**Can be split into 1 x 15 minute break and 1 x 30 minute break in that order only, after 2 hours of driving
*** No more than 2 x 10 hour driving days in a calendar week
****90 hours maximum in a 2 week period, with no more than 56 hours in any one week

This is a guide only, please refer to the RSA for the most up-to-date rules.

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Digital Tachograph

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Keeping track of driver hours and rest periods is no easy task – regardless of the size of your fleet. Ineffective tachograph management can lead to driver fatigue, hefty fines and poor productivity. Digital tacho software can help you monitor you drivers time, helping to keep you entire mobile operation safe and compliant.

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Driver Management Software

Our GPS driver tracking system integrates easily, from logistics and maintenance through payroll and dispatch.

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