Mixing Domestic and EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations

With Brexit continuing to loom over us, we have frequently been asked by both industries about mixing domestic and EU.

This is where one of the biggest problems occurs for drivers in the recording of their working day.

For PCV drivers there is no requirement to record working activity when operating under GB Domestic Regulations only, whilst for HGV drivers, they are required to keep records of their work under Domestic Rules, which generally will be by use of a log book or on occasions the tachograph.

However, as soon as work is undertaken under the EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations, then under these regulations the driver is now required to comply with all aspects of driving breaks and rest periods for that day, the weekly rest regulations for that week and make a full and proper record of that working day.

The time in the vehicle operating under EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations must be recorded using a tachograph record, whilst the other activity must, as a minimum be recorded manually to ensure that the driver has a full record of their working day. Failing to do so is failing to keep a proper record in accordance with the law.

Drivers must, therefore, be trained to make manual entries using both analogue and digital tachographs, as appropriate. Also, driving time in a vehicle operating under GB Domestic Rules may be considered differently to driving a vehicle under EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations, but only when applying this to the EU Regulations.

To explain:

• Option 1. Driving under GB Domestic Rules = OTHER WORK under EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations
• Option 2. Driving under EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations= DRIVING under GB Domestic Rules
• Option 3. Alternatively, where mixing the work the driver and Operator can choose to undertake all of the work under the EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations.

Option 3 above is probably the safest policy to ensure compliance and is certainly the easiest to apply.

For example, to show the complexities, a driver of a coach who undertakes a school journey in the morning involving 1 hour 30 minutes driving is then put onto a private hire trip. The driving time from the school journey does not have to count as driving under EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations as it was undertaken under GB Domestic Rules and could be considered as Other Work. Therefore, the driver could then, potentially, drive 4 hours 30 minutes under the EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations before having to take a break of 45 minutes.
However, at that stage the driver would have reached 6 hours driving without a break under the GB Domestic Rules, in excess of the first option of continuous driving for 5 hours 30 minutes. However, the option of 7 hours 45 minutes driving in 8 hours 30 minutes could then be applied, but this would then require the driver to stop again after a further 1 hour 45 minutes driving for a second break, under GB Domestic Rules, of 30 minutes.

If the driving limit of 5 hours 30 minutes was applied, then the driver would have been required to stop after 4 hours driving on the Private Hire work (1 hour 30 minutes hours under GB Domestic Rules + 4 hours under EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations), and take a 30 minute break, but if the driver then continued driving, he or she would be required to stop after a further 30 minutes driving to take a further 30 minutes break under the EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations.

It is therefore, for that reason, easier to operate under one set of regulations, i.e the EU Drivers’ Hours Regulations where the operation is mixing, recording the whole working day on the tachograph record and removing the requirement to be applying both sets of legislation at that time.

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