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This blog post was published under the 2010-2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Drivers hours - when you should keep records

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Safe driving

Truck on a road

Many drivers find drivers’ hours and tachographs a complicated subject. If you only drive occasionally, it can be a real struggle to remember the details which help you to stay within the law.

The main issue for occasional drivers is knowing what types of activity you should record and what records you must show to an enforcement officer.

European Community rules

Under European Community (EC) rules, drivers must keep records of any day when any EC driving is undertaken that include:

  • driving
  • other work
  • breaks
  • rest periods

You must use tachograph recording equipment but when this is not possible you must keep a manual record using:

  • a record sheet
  • a printout
  • or the manual input facility on digital recording equipment

So, for example, if a driver takes over a vehicle halfway though a shift, they must record any other work done that day before driving.

Make sure you’re 28 days clear

Under EC rules, when you are asked to produce tachograph records at the roadside, you must produce records made during the last 28 calendar days as well as the current day.

That’s not a record for every one of those 28 days. You only need to produce records for the days when your work was in scope of the EC rules.

Record keeping on days when you do not drive

Non-working days, such as weekends and days off, do not need to be recorded. Drivers must record all other work on all driving and non-driving days within a week where they have undertaken EC- regulated driving since their last weekly rest.

For example, a driver who works in the office Monday and Tuesday then drives an in-scope vehicle on Wednesday of the same week must complete records for Monday and Tuesday manually.

Rest and recuperation

During rest periods no work whatsoever can be undertaken – this rest is entirely for your recuperation.

GB domestic rules

When driving under GB domestic rules, you do not have to keep records for passenger carrying vehicles. But you must keep records, in some circumstances, when driving goods vehicles.

It is acceptable either to use a log book or tachograph recording equipment to keep these records.

If you are keeping records then you must have the current record book with you whenever you are on duty.

How to tell which rules apply

More information on whether EC or GB rules apply, and when goods vehicle drivers under GB rules must keep records can be found in our booklets:

Rules on drivers’ hours and tachographs: goods vehicles in GB and Europe.

Rules on drivers’ hours and tachographs: passenger-carrying vehicles in GB and Europe.

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