With effect from 20 August 2020, the following changes were made to the retained Regulation (EC) 561/2006 (EU drivers’ hours rules) and retained Regulation (EU) 165/2014 (tachograph rules) :
- Article 6(5) of retained Regulation (EC) 561/2006) requires manual records to be kept of all work (including out of scope driving and any other work) and periods of availability, using either the manual inputs on a digital/smart tachograph or by making a manual record on a record sheet (from analogue tachographs) or on printout paper (from digital tachographs).
- Article 34(5)(b)(iv) of retained Regulation (EU) 165/2014 requires periods of annual leave and sick leave, as well as breaks and rest to be recorded on the tachograph.
In conjunction with other parts of the regulations in place before August 2020, the changes mean that all drivers (including occasional drivers) must keep a full set of records of their activities for the current day and the previous 28 days. The records must cover their driving, other work, periods of availability, breaks, rest, annual leave, and sick leave.
The detailed guidance on the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules applicable to drivers of goods vehicles and passenger vehicles published on the DfI website was updated on 11 November 2020 to cover the above and other changes to the rules and can be at accessed at:
This guidance applies to all drivers of vehicles in scope of the EU drivers’ hours rules, including occasional drivers.
Approach for recording periods exceeding one week of no in-scope driving
The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) is responsible for enforcement of both the EU drivers’ hours rules and the tachograph rules. Where a driver fails to record other work and duties or attempts to hide insufficient rest periods DVA will take enforcement action.
On every day on which they drive a vehicle in scope of the EU drivers’ hours rules, all drivers must use a tachograph to record their activities on record sheets or their driver card.
It is the Department’s current interpretation of the amended regulations that while records are required to cover days when no driving of vehicle in scope of EU drivers’ hours rules is done, it is not necessary that an individual record is made for each day. The DVA is accepting, until further notice, recording of activities in blocks to cover any fixed week during which no in-scope driving takes place.
For fixed weeks (0000 hrs Monday to 2400 hrs Sunday) when no in-scope driving takes place, the DVA will accept one or more records for the whole week, as opposed to requiring seven daily records. Records must identify all the weekly rest periods within that fixed week.
When in scope driving is undertaken, a full record must be kept for that whole week with separate records for each 24-hour period.
An example is provided below.
A transport manager does not drive for a period of three weeks but works in the office, then part way through the current week (the fourth week) has to drive a vehicle in-scope of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules, due to staff shortages. Rather than expect them to produce a separate record sheet or printout for each day of the three weeks in which no in scope driving has taken place, the DVA would accept a manual record made on a record sheet or printout paper which covers the period where they have not driven.
The records might look something like – WK 1 - Monday to Friday (include dates) 40 hours working in the office, Sat – Sun (include dates) rest period 60 hours*. WK 2 – Monday to Friday (include dates) 40 hours working in the office, Sat – Sun (include dates) rest period 60 hours*. WK 3 – Monday to Friday (include dates) 45 hours working in warehouse, Sat – Sun (include dates) rest period 50 hours*.
If the driver is then in scope half-way through the 4th week, the DVA would expect full records for each day in that week back to when the last weekly rest finished.
*Details for rest periods must include start and finish times.
The records can be used by DVA as a basis for follow-up enquiries, which may be required where a week’s driving is covered in one or two entries as opposed to seven daily entries. Drivers and their operators can in all cases choose to input an entry for each day.
It should be noted that DVA will always take action for any serious offence of excessive driving or inadequate rest, regardless of any failure to comply with the record keeping requirement. The safety of the driver and other road users will always take precedence. Falsifying records remains a serious offence and will be dealt with by DVA in the normal way.
Means of manually recording other activities
Article 6(5) of the EU drivers’ hours rules requires drivers to manually record data using either:
- Manual inputs on a digital/smart tachograph; or
- Making a manual record on a record sheet or printout paper.
When using option (b), drivers must ensure that there is sufficient detail to identify the individual driver. On an analogue record sheet, it must be the driver’s name, and on digital printout paper, it must be the driver’s name, or driver card or driving licence number.
International journeys and attestation forms
Enforcement agencies in other countries may take a different view to that of the UK on how to record activities for the previous 28 days. It is recommended that any drivers undertaking international journeys to, from, and through the EU keep full daily records for the previous 28 days. This reflects the potential for different interpretations of the rules and the inability of enforcement authorities to check the home premises of UK-based operators.
As an alternative, European Commission officials have confirmed that attestation forms for drivers’ hours records continue to be available and should be accepted in the context of journeys involving EU member states.
The attestation forms must use the template at: Form of attestation of activities (europa.eu). This is pending new rules in the EU envisaged to be brought in next year.
The DVA will accept attestation forms domestically. Secondary checks on the information on the forms are likely.
The approach will remain under active review.
 Regulation (EC) 561/2006 and Regulation (EU) 165/2014 (as amended by Regulation (EU) 2020/1054) and retained as UK law by Section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.