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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

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EU & AETR rules on drivers' hours

The EU rules (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) apply to drivers of most passenger vehicles constructed or permanently adapted to carry more than nine people including the driver, used for the carriage of passengers within the UK or between the UK and other EU and EEA countries and Switzerland. Vehicle operations that take place off the public road or vehicles that are never used to carry passengers on a public road are out of scope.

A driver is anyone who drives a vehicle or is carried on the vehicle in order to be available for driving.

Exemptions and derogations

The following table contains a list extracted from the full list of exemptions in the EU rules and refers to those exemptions that might apply to passenger-carrying vehicles regardless of where they are driven within the EU

Note: In some cases, it may be necessary to refer to case law for definitive interpretations.




The EU rules grant member states the power to apply derogations to further specific categories of vehicles and drivers while on national journeys. The following derogations have been implemented in the UK.

Note: In some cases, it may be necessary to refer to case law for definitive interpretations.










In addition, the following vehicles are exempt from the EU rules in GB after the European Commission granted a special authorisation:

• Any vehicle that was manufactured before 1 January 1947; and
• Any vehicle that is propelled by steam

If it is exempt from the EU rules due to the provisions listed above then the vehicle will usually be in scope of the GB domestic rules when travelling in GB

In addition to the derogations listed above, there is also a concession in place from the daily and weekly rest requirements specified in the EU driversí hours regulations for professional drivers who are also members of the Territorial Army. The conditions of the concession are:

• a suspension of the requirement of taking a daily rest period within a period of 24 hours when the driver commenced the weekly training as a reservist or as an instructor in the cadet corps; and

• a suspension of the requirement of taking a weekly rest period at the end of the six 24 hour periods from the previous weekly rest period when the driver commences his driving as a reservist or as an instructor in the cadet corps.

A regular daily rest must still be taken before they start work for their primary employer and a regular weekly rest must be taken no later than at the end of the sixth day following training. This is due to be transposed into domestic legislation during 2011.






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