Drivers' hours

8. GB domestic rules

The GB domestic drivers’ hours rules apply to most passenger-carrying vehicles and goods vehicles that don’t have to follow the EU rules.

GB domestic rules apply in Great Britain - there are separate rules in Northern Ireland.

Goods vehicles

Duty time

If you work as a driver for a company, duty time is any working time. If you’re self-employed, duty time is only time you spend driving the vehicle or doing other work related to the vehicle or its load.

Daily driving limit

You must not drive for more than 10 hours in a day:

  • on a public road
  • off-road if not during duty time

Off-road driving counts as duty time if it’s for:

  • agriculture
  • quarrying
  • forestry
  • building work
  • civil engineering

Daily duty limit

You must not be on duty for more than 11 hours in any working day. This limit doesn’t apply on any working day when you don’t drive.

You must record your hours on a weekly record sheet or on a tachograph.

Passenger-carrying vehicles

Duty time

If you work as a driver for a company, duty time is any working time. If you’re self-employed, duty time is only time you spend driving the vehicle or doing other work related to the vehicle or its load.

Breaks and continuous driving

After 5 hours 30 minutes of driving you must take a break of at least 30 minutes for rest and refreshment.

Or, within any period of 8 hours 30 minutes, you must take at least 45 minutes in breaks. You must also have a break of at least 30 minutes at the end of this period, unless it’s the end of the working day.

Length of working day (‘spreadover’)

You must not work more than 16 hours between the times of starting and finishing work - including non driving work and any times when you’re off.

Daily rest periods

You must take a rest of 10 hours before the first duty and immediately after the last duty in a working week.

You must take a rest of at least 10 hours between 2 working days (or spreadovers) - this can be reduced to 8.5 hours up to 3 times a week.

All duties must start and finish within a 24-hour period.

Fortnightly rest periods

Every 2 weeks you must take at least one period of 24 hours off duty.

A fixed week is from 00:00 hours on Monday to 24:00 hours the next Sunday.

Exemptions to the GB domestic rules

The GB Domestic rules don’t apply if you:

  • drive for less than 4 hours in any day
  • drive off-road or on private roads during duty time
  • drive a vehicle used by the armed forces, police or fire brigade
  • are dealing with an emergency, eg major disruption to public services or danger to life