Drivers' hours


In the last 10 years, significant changes have been made to drivers' hours, working time and tachograph rules; FTA members have agreed that the Association should press for a period of stability in these policy areas and resist any major alterations. However, there are areas of detail on which FTA has been involved in discussions with Government.

Red Tape Challenge changes affecting drivers' hours

On 29 January 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) announced a raft of measures aimed at reducing burdens on the road transport sector. The outcomes of the Red Tape Challenge follow consultations which took place in 2013 and to which FTA responded.

Domestic drivers' hours records - The specification of records of domestic drivers hours rules (ie what information the record should contain) will be removed from legislation but the need to keep some form of record will remain a requirement in operator licensing undertakings. FTA will work with the DfT, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the Traffic Commissioners to fully understand how drivers operating under domestic drivers' hours rules will be expected to demonstrate their compliance with the law to enforcement authorities.

New guidance on the rules surrounding drivers' hours and breaks – recognising the difficulties drivers and operators often face in understanding and reconciling the different rules applied by European drivers' hours rules and European working time rules, DfT has announced its intention to produce renewed, simplified guidance in conjunction with stakeholders.

The announcement also confirmed that DfT would not be taking forward other proposals on which it had consulted.

Carriers of cash and valuables remain in scope of EU drivers' hours rules
– the consultation considered whether the UK should take advantage of a derogation in the European drivers' hours legislation allowing member states to take such operators out of scope and therefore operate under domestic hours rules. FTA members who operate in the sector indicated that the impact of the daily duty limit in domestic rules could have a detrimental effect on their operations. These operators will therefore continue to be in scope of EU drivers' hours rules.


The hours a driver can drive are strictly controlled by regulations known collectively as the drivers' hours rules. These rules maintain safety standards and deal with maximum driving times, breaks and minimum rest periods. Drivers’ hours rules apply to both goods and passenger vehicles.

Use the downloadable documents and links below for more information on driver hours.

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