Drive and rest periods

Daily Rest periods 

A driver must take a daily rest period within each period of 24 hours after the end of the previous daily or weekly rest period. An 11 hour (or more) daily rest is called a regular daily rest period. Time spent working in other employment or under obligation or instruction, regardless of the occupation type, cannot be counted as rest.

driving and resting periods

Alternatively, a driver can split a regular daily rest period into two periods. The first period must be at least 3 hours of uninterrupted rest and can be taken at any time during the day. The second must be at least 9 hours of uninterrupted rest, giving a total minimum rest of 12 hours. For example:

alternative driving and resting schedule

Weekly rest periods

A weekly rest period is a period during which drivers may freely dispose of their time. An actual working week starts at the end of a weekly rest period and finishes when another weekly rest period is commenced, which may mean that weekly rest is taken in the middle of a fixed (Monday–Sunday) week. This is perfectly acceptable – the working week is not required to be aligned with the ‘fixed’ week defined in the rules, provided all the relevant limits are complied with. 

Alternatively, a driver can take a reduced weekly rest period of a minimum of 24 consecutive hours. If a reduction is taken, it must be compensated for by an equivalent period of rest taken in one block before the end of the third week following the week in question. The compensating rest must be attached to a period of rest of at least 9 hours – in effect either a weekly or a daily rest period.

For example, where a driver reduces a weekly rest period to 33 hours in week 1, they must compensate for this by attaching a 12-hour period of rest to another rest period of at least 9 hours before the end of week 4. This compensation cannot be taken in several smaller periods. (See example below.)

weekly rest period

Driving times

‘Driving time’ is the duration of driving activity recorded either by the recording equipment or manually when the recording equipment is broken.

Even a short period of driving under EU rules during any day by a driver will mean that they are in scope of the EU rules for the whole of that day and must comply with the daily driving, break and rest requirements; they will also have to comply with the weekly rest requirement and driving limit. The maximum daily driving time is 9 hours but can increase to 10 hours in a fixed week. The maximum weekly driving time is 56 hours. 

Two-weekly driving limit

The maximum driving time over any two-weekly period is 90 hours. 
two weekly driving limit

Breaks and interrupted driving time 

After a driving period of no more than 4.5 hours, a driver must immediately take a break of at least 45 minutes unless they take a rest period. A break taken in this way must not be interrupted. Alternatively, a full 45-minute break can be replaced by one break of at least 15 minutes followed by another break of at least 30 minutes. These breaks must be distributed over the 4.5-hour period. Breaks of less than 15 minutes will not contribute towards a qualifying break, but neither will they be counted as duty or driving time. The EU rules will only allow a split-break pattern that shows the second period of break being at least 30 minutes. 


‘Multi-manning’ is the situation where, during each period of driving between any two consecutive daily rest periods, or between a daily rest period and a weekly rest period, there are at least two drivers in the vehicle to do the driving.

The maximum driving time for a two-man crew taking advantage of this concession is 20 hours before a daily rest is required. Organising drivers’ duties in such a fashion enables a crew’s duties to be spread over 21 hours. However, where a driver utilises the multi-manning daily rest concession (of 9 hours rest in a 30-hour period) that rest period cannot be counted as a regular daily rest as it is of less than 11 hours duration. These rest periods, therefore, count towards the limit of 3 reduced rest periods between any 2 consecutive weekly rest periods.

multi manning

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