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Vosa driver hours guide

European rules

9 hours driving except twice in a week when you can drive 10 hours per day. A daily rest of 11 hour must be taken in any 24 hour period, this can be reduced to 9 hours a maximum of 3 times between any 2 weekly rest periods. This means that the working day (spread over) can be up to 13 hours except when a reduced rest is taken. These reduced rests must be compensated by the end of the following day’

Maximum 90 hours driving in any 2 weeks’ period, with no more the 56 hours in a single week. (Weeks are fixed Monday to Sunday not a rolling period). The day start at the commencement of the duty so can overlap the working week.

45 minutes’ break after a maximum of 4.5 hours

This can be taken as 15 then 30 minutes by the end of the 4.5 hours. Once the 45-minute break is taken you start a new driving period.

If you have to travel to meet your vehicle this counts as other work, and must be registered on your tachograph.

2 crew working.

The rules are the same except the working day can be up to 21 hours, the second driver must be on the vehicle within 1 hour of the start of the duty, if not both drivers must work a maximum of 15 hours, if they have not already used this twice in the current week. They must also finish the duty together. It would be possible if there is less than 10 hours driving a 21-hour duty for 2 drivers to be present but only one to drive. 9 hours rest must be taken after the duty. The rules do not specify home many times you can take a 9 hour rest as 2 drivers, but the rule of a maximum 56 hours in one week or 90 in a fortnight will limit it.

Working Day

The working day is 24 hours from when your duty starts. Grey Area This can come down to the individual interpretation of an inspector. You could unwittingly drive over your hours if you start a new day less than 24 after the day before’s start. Eg: If you did 8 hours driving in 9 hours then took 9 hours rest then started work again, do your 15 minutes of checks then start driving you could only drive for 2 hours because it is only 22:15 since the start of the previous day. This then could bring the question have you started your next day or is it when you get 24 hours.

Split Rest

If you have a 3-hour rest during the day, then 9 hours later this counts as a full rest period.

12 Day Rule

This is an exception to the normal rules for drivers who are touring out of their own country. Drivers will be are able to delay their weekly rest period until the end of day 12, but this rule cannot be applied to domestic trips, this must be 1 tour not back to back tours. A regular 45-hour rest must be taken prior to the journey beginning. In addition, at least one regular and one reduced weekly rest period – totalling at least 69 hours – should be taken back-to-back on the  journey’s completion

The “12 day rule” applies from 1st January 2014 only to coaches that have been previously fitted out with a digital control appliance.

From 1st January 2014 either two drivers have to man a coach for trips between 22.00 pm and 06.00 am or the driver’s rest break has to be taken after a period of three hours at the wheel.

Period of availability; Select this when you not on a legally required to take a break and you are not driving or doing other work.

Domestic rules

These rules only apply if you stay within a 50km radius of your starting point. (Mostly used by local bus operations).

10 hours driving per day

Maximum 5.5 hours before 30 minutes break must be taken.

Anomaly If the working day is not longer than 8.5 hours you can drive for 7.5 hours by taking short breaks of 15 minutes totaling 45 minutes.

Driver Hours simplified

This is not a definitive guide, just a short introduction.

For full rules & regulations click here

Download a tachograph simulator

If you’re a lorry, bus or coach driver with an automatic licence, from January you can also gain the manual entitlement when you exchange or upgrade your licence if you already hold a manual licence for a car


stolen or malfunctioning digi-card