Drivers' hours rules

If you drive a PCV you must follow the rules on how many hours you can drive and the breaks you need to take. These rules are designed to keep you, your passengers and other road users safe by reducing the number of accidents caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.

Up to one in 6 of all serious crashes is caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel: this is dangerous in a car, but in a large vehicle like a bus it can be catastrophic.

Employers who force their employees to break the rules on drivers’ hours can be given a fine, but it’s also your responsibility as a driver to make sure you follow the rules – otherwise you could have to pay a fine or lose your licence to drive buses.

See the rules on drivers’ hours on GOV.UK.


You’ll use a tachograph to record your hours of driving, other work, breaks and rest periods, so your employer and the enforcement authorities can check you’re following the drivers’ hours rules. Make sure you know how to use the tachograph correctly: see GOV.UK for more information about using a tachograph.

A tachograph records information about your driving time, speed and distance. It’s used to make sure you follow the rules on drivers’ hours.

Although there are analogue tachographs in older vehicles, all vehicles registered since 1 May 2006 must be fitted with a digital tachograph. If you’re a vehicle operator you can download data from the digital tachographs in your vehicles using a smart card. Apply for a digital tachograph company smart card at GOV.UK.

Each driver who uses a digital tachograph must have a smart card on which their driving data is stored. Apply for a driver smart card at GOV.UK.

If you need to have a tachograph installed, calibrated or inspected, you must use an approved centre. Find an Approved Tachograph Centre at GOV.UK.

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