Wondering what are tachograph offences in the UK for lorry drivers? Read on to find out!

Tachographs are compulsory recording equipment for drivers of lorries and other public service vehicles, heavy good vehicles, and vehicles with 12 or more people. Tachograph is a device that records data regarding the distance, driving time, and speed of the vehicle to ensure drivers follow the rules determined by the Vehicle & Operator Service Agency. Vehicles registered on or after 1st May 2006 should be fitted with a digital tachograph, but those registered before this date can have analogue or digital equipment.

Let’s explore tachograph regulations and offences for lorry drivers in the UK!

Rules for Driving Hours

Lorry drivers should only drive up to 8 hours a day and should take a mandatory 45-minute break after 4.5 hours. They can drive up to 10 hours twice each week. Within a fixed week, starting at 00:00 on Monday and ending at 24:00 on the following Sunday, the maximum driving limit is set at 56 hours. The maximum driver hours over a 2-week period should not exceed 90 hours.

Daily Rest Requirement for Heavy Vehicle Drivers

Drivers are required to rest for 11 or more hours during a 24-hour period. During this time, they cannot even work on a self-employment basis. You can only reduce the 11-hour rest rate to 9 hours three times every week, only if you will make up for it during the next week.

A lorry driver can also split the rest period, but then it should be 12 hours. The first rest period can be 3 hours, and the second can be 9 hours. You can take this rest period inside the vehicle as long as there is sufficient space to sleep. Tachograph regulations require that he vehicle should also not be moving while you’re resting.

Tachograph Offences Sanctioning

Here are some ways in which you will be sanctioned for committing tachograph offences:

Verbal Warning

A minor offence committed accidentally because of inexperience will be dealt with a verbal warning, clarifying the offence and reiterating the consequences of continued offences.

Rectification Notice

An offence rectification notice might be issued against you due to an offence. You must rectify the offence within 21 days. Failing to do so will lead to further action.

Prohibition Note

Breaking tachograph regulations can lead to prohibition, which will essentially prohibit you from driving the vehicle for a specified or unspecified period until you meet the specifications mentioned on the note.


Serious tachograph offences will lead to prosecution of the driver, operator, or against all parties involved.

Referral to the Traffic Commissioner

Drivers with a vocational licence or operators with an operator’s licence might be reported to the traffic commissioner in addition to or instead of the prosecution to determine whether some form of administrative action should be taken against their licences or not.

Tachograph Offences & Related Punishments

Maximum fines and penalties for tachograph offences in the UK include:

  • Fine of up to £2,500 for not following driving time or rest time rules
  • Fine of up to £2,500 for not keeping records under the GB domestic regulations
  • Fine of up to £5,000 for not installing a tachograph
  • Fine of up to £5,000 for failing to use a tachograph
  • Fine of up to £5,000 for failing to hand over records related to recording equipment when requested by an enforcement officer
  • Altering the record of a tachograph can result in a fine of £5,000 and two years’ imprisonment
  • Forging or altering the seal on a tachograph with the intention of deception can result in a fine of £5,000 and two years’ imprisonment

If you have committed tachograph offences, reach out to a qualified attorney to request the tachograph data from the prosecutor and liaise with them. A lawyer can also defend you in your trial and save you from severe punishment.