Passenger-carrying vehicles

If you’re driving a vehicle that carries passengers the rules that apply to you depend on:

  • the number of passenger seats
  • how far you’re driving (the distance of your route)
  • if you’re driving to or from another country
  • if you’re driving on a regular or a non-regular service

A regular service follows a specified route, with stopping points for passengers to get on or off.

Public service vehicles (PSV)

A public service vehicle is a vehicle that’s used to carry passengers for hire or payment.

Type of operation 8 or fewer passenger seats 9 to 12 passenger seats 13 to 16 passenger seats 17 or more passenger seats
Regular service on route not exceeding 50km GB domestic rules GB domestic rules GB Domestic rules GB Domestic rules
National or international regular service on route exceeding 50km The local rules of the countries you drive in (GB domestic rules in the UK) EU/AETR rules EU/AETR rules EU/AETR rules
National or international non-regular service for example commercial excursions, tours or private hire The local rules of the countries you drive in (GB domestic rules in the UK) EU/AETR rules EU/AETR rules EU/AETR rules

Other passenger-carrying vehicles

You do not need to follow any drivers’ hours rules if you drive a police, fire service or armed forces vehicle.

If you drive for a different public authority or for a business, and your vehicle is a non-PSV with:

  • up to 8 passenger seats - you do not need to follow any drivers’ hours rules
  • 9 or more passenger seats - you must follow the EU rules (unless your vehicle is exempt from EU law)

If you drive a ‘non-commercial’ vehicle

You drive a non-commercial vehicle if:

  • passengers are not charged to use the vehicle
  • you and any other workers are not paid to operate or work in the vehicle
  • the vehicle is not used professionally or commercially

If your vehicle has up to 8 passenger seats, you do not need to follow any drivers’ hours rules.

If your vehicle has 9 or more passenger seats, you usually need to follow the EU rules. You need to follow GB rules instead if your vehicle has between 10 and 17 passenger seats and is only used for non-commercial journeys.

If you use your vehicle outside the UK

If you drive between the UK and another country and your vehicle has:

  • up to 8 passenger seats - you must follow the local rules for the country you’re driving in
  • 9 or more passenger seats - you must follow the EU or the European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport (AETR) rules

More information

Read Passenger vehicles: rules on drivers’ hours and tachographs for the main rules.

You can also print out the ‘Staying legal’ leaflet, which includes checklists covering the basic rules.