Drivers’ hours, records and tachographs

This chapter outlines EU hours rules, tachographs, domestic hours rules, written records and mixed driving rules and records.

Updates for 2020:

  • Changes to weekly rest periods in vehicles.
  • Addition of smart tachographs.
  • New company card online service.

Updates for 2021:

  • Non commercial carriage of goods defined.

  • Further clarification regarding the horticultural exemption.

  • Further information on ‘animal waste’ under EU driving exemptions.

  • Definition of ‘Crafts’ under EU exemptions

  • Further information on specialist vehicles used under the circus and funfair exemption.

  • Changes to ferry and train, interruptions to weekly/daily rest requirements.

  • New section on drivers requirements for the ‘returning home’ rule.

  • Inclusion of a new provision for drivers exceeding driving time to return home.

  • Additional requirements to record other work. 

Download the Drivers' hours, records and tachographs chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law


  • Which rules apply.
    • International journeys
  • EU hours rules
    • Goods vehicles covered.
    • Exemptions.
    • The rules.
    • Driving limits.
    • Breaks from driving.
    • Daily driving.
    • Weekly and fortnightly driving.
    • Minimum rest.
    • Daily rest.
    • Multi-manning daily rest concession.
    • Ferry/train daily rest concession.
    • Weekly rest.
    • Military reservists weekly rest concession.
    • International passenger operations weekly rest derogation.
    • Occasional drivers.
    • Emergencies.
    • Travelling to or from a vehicle.
    • Private driving of an in-scope vehicle.
    • Drivers and work for other driving employers.
    • Key obligations for transport undertakings.
    • Consignor, freight forwarder, agency, etc liability.
    • Training.
    • Bonus payments.
    • Penalties.
    • Jurisdiction and evidence of penalties.
  • Tachographs.
    • Vehicles covered.
    • Who keeps a tachograph record.
    • Type of tachograph required.
    • Smart tachographs.
      • Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
      • Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC).
      • Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) interface.
      • New pictograms events and faults.
      • New look printouts.
      • Cards.
      • Download equipment.
    • Digital tachographs vehicle unit (VU).
      • Tachograph itself.
      • Vehicle unit.
      • Output of data.
      • Smart cards.
        • Driver card.
        • Workshop card.
        • Company card.
        • Control card.
      • Drivers’ responsibilities – digital tachograph.
      • Operators’ responsibilities – digital tachograph.
        • Centrefield data.
        • UTC.
        • Printer rolls.
        • Mode selection and data input manual entries.
        • Pictograms.
        • Specific conditions.
        • Printouts.
        • Downloading data.
      • Additional security for the digital tachograph unit.
    • Analogue tachographs.
      • Voluntary fitting.
      • Operators’ responsibilities – analogue tachograph.
      • Drivers’ responsibilities – analogue tachograph.
      • Selection of charts.
    • Recording other work.
    • Agency drivers.
    • Enforcement and calibration.
      • Enforcement and inspection.
      • Penalties.
      • Admissibility of the record in evidence.
      • Calibration, sealing and inspection.
      • Digital tachograph/vehicle unit (VU)
      • Repairs.
      • Calibration procedure.
      • Periodic inspection and recalibration.
      • Fees.
      • The two-yearly inspection due dates.
      • The six-yearly recalibration, in the case of analogue tachographs.
      • Breakdown of equipment.
      • Statutory defences.
  • Domestic hours rules.
    • Legal obligations and penalties.
    • Exemptions.
    • Main provisions.
    • Emergencies.
  • Written records.
    • Format of the record book.
    • Issue, use and retention of books.
    • Enforcement and inspection.
  • Mixed driving – rules and records.
    • Mixed driving rules.
    • Mixed driving records.


Download the Drivers' hours, records and tachographs chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

More information

View the Tachograph decision-making tree for drivers

Rules on Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs

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