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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.


Drivers Hour Regulations for Passenger-Carrying Vehicles

The GB domestic rules, as contained in the Transport Act 1968, apply to most vehicles that are exempt from the EU rules. Separate rules apply to Northern Ireland.

Domestic rules exemptions

The following exemptions apply to drivers who would otherwise be subject to the GB domestic rules:

• If they do not drive for more than 4 hours a day in any week, drivers are exempt from any GB domestic rules for that week.

• If they drive for more than 4 hours for up to two days in any week, they are still exempt from the rules, but on these two days:

• all working duties must start and finish within a 24-hour period; -
• a 10-hour period of rest must be taken immediately before the first duty and immediately after the last duty; and
• rules on driving times and length of working day must be obeyed.

• If any working day overlaps into a week in which drivers are not exempt from the rules, then on that day the limits on driving time and length of working day must be obeyed.

• An exemption from the rules on driving time and rest applies during any time spent dealing with an emergency.

Domestic driving limits

Driving is defined as being at the controls of a vehicle for the purposes of controlling its movement, whether it is moving or stationary with the engine running, even for a short period of time.

Breaks and continuous driving

• After 5.5 hours of driving a break of at least 30 minutes must be taken in which the driver is able to obtain rest and refreshment.

• Alternatively, within any period of 8.5 hours in the working day, total breaks amounting to at least 45 minutes are taken so that the driver does not drive for more than 7 hours and 45 minutes. The driver must in addition have a break of at least 30 minutes to obtain rest or refreshment at the end of this period, unless it is the end of the working day.

Daily driving
In any working day, the maximum amount of driving is 10 hours. The daily driving limit applies to time spent at the wheel, actually driving, and includes any driving done under EU or AETR rules.

Day: Is the period between two daily rest periods, or a daily rest period and a weekly rest period

Length of working day ('spreadover')
A driver should work no more than 16 hours between the times of starting and finishing work (including work other than driving and off-duty periods during the working day).

Daily rest periods
A continuous rest of 10 hours must be taken between two consecutive working days. This can be reduced to 8.5 hours up to three times a week.

Fortnightly rest periods
In any two consecutive weeks (Monday to Sunday) there must be at least one period of 24 hours off duty

Record keeping

When driving a vehicle subject to EU or AETR rules, a driver is required to produce on request tachograph records (including other work records described above) for the current day and the previous 28 calendar days when he has driven in scope of the EU/AETR rules in the relevant week (under the EU rules this will change to the current day and the previous 28 days from 1 January 2008).

Travelling abroad

The GB domestic rules apply only in GB. However, you must observe the national rules of the countries in which you travel. The embassies of these countries will be able to assist you in establishing the rules that might apply.

Mixed vehicle types

If it occurs that a driver divides his time driving goods vehicles and passenger vehicles under GB domestic rules, then in any working day or week, if he spends most of his time driving passenger vehicles, then the appropriate GB rules for passenger vehicles apply for that day or week.

Working Time Regulations

Drivers who are subject to the GB domestic rules on drivers' hours are affected by four provisions under the UK's Working Time Regulations 1998

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