EP Training

Mon, June 10, 2024

HGV Driver Working Hours and Rest Periods in the UK

HGV Driver Working Hours and Rest Periods in the UK

The working hours and rest periods for Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers in the UK are strictly regulated to ensure road safety and driver well-being. These rules prevent driver fatigue, a major cause of accidents, by setting maximum working hours, mandatory rest periods, and required breaks. HGV drivers' working hours and rest periods are governed by specific regulations designed to balance work demands with necessary rest. These rules cover daily, weekly, and fortnigrehtly driving limits to ensure drivers remain alert and capable of safe vehicle operation.


HGV Driver Working Hours


HGV drivers can drive a maximum of 9 hours daily, extendable to 10 hours twice a week. Weekly driving is limited to 56 hours, and a two-week period must not exceed 90 hours. These limits are enforced to prevent drivers from spending too much time on the road without adequate rest, reducing accident risks.

Legal Guidelines and Enforcement for Working Hour Limits

The legal guidelines are enforced through tachographs in HGVs, recording driving times, breaks, and rest periods. These records are checked by enforcement agencies to ensure compliance, with penalties for violations to promote safety.



HGV Daily Rest Period


Daily rest periods are crucial for HGV drivers’ health and road safety, as mandated by the DVLA. The standard daily rest period is 11 hours, reducible to 9 hours up to three times between weekly rest periods. This rest allows drivers to recover and be fit for duty. The daily rest period is an uninterrupted time where the driver is free from work obligations, essential for recovery from the physical and mental demands of driving, thus reducing fatigue-related incidents. Drivers must take 11 hours of rest within each 24-hour period. This can be split into two periods, one of at least 3 hours and another of at least 9 hours, totaling a minimum of 12 hours.


Conditions Under Which Reduced Daily Rest Can Be Taken and How Often It Is Permitted


A reduced daily rest period is a minimum of 9 hours of uninterrupted rest, allowable up to three times between weekly rest periods. This provides flexibility while ensuring adequate rest. Following prescribed rest periods is crucial for maintaining driver health and safety, preventing fatigue, reducing accident risks, and ensuring alertness and capability in operating vehicles.


The 6-Hour Rule


The 6-hour rule states that HGV drivers cannot work for more than 6 hours without a break. This includes driving and other work-related activities. After 6 hours of work, a 15-minute break is mandatory to ensure driver alertness. The rule mandates a 15-minute break after 6 hours of work, including driving and other tasks. If the total working time exceeds 6 hours, an additional break is required, ensuring drivers do not work for extended periods without rest. The rule ensures regular breaks, preventing fatigue and maintaining concentration and safety throughout shifts. It manages the physical and mental demands of driving, reducing accident risks.


Period of Availability


The period of availability (POA) refers to times when the driver is not actively working but is available to resume work, such as during loading or unloading. POA is a time when drivers are not engaged in driving or other work but are available to start work if needed. It does not count as rest but is also not considered working time, providing flexibility in work schedules.




Adhering to regulations governing HGV drivers' working hours and rest periods is crucial for road safety and driver well-being. These rules prevent fatigue, ensure drivers are well-rested, and reduce accident risks, contributing to a safer and more efficient transportation system.


People Also read: 

Find best ADR training in UK