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Exemptions & Special Cases in Tachograph Regulations

Tachograph regulations exist to ensure the safety and compliance of drivers on the roads, although, there are certain exemptions and special cases that transport managers and HR professionals need to be aware of for a multitude of reasons.

Understanding these exemptions can make sure that your organisation is compliant with the law while also benefiting from any exemptions that apply to your operations.

Understanding Exemptions

It’s important to remember when you’re considering exemptions of this kind that they’re usually for HGVs that aren’t subject to EU rules relating to driver hours. It could be possible that they also apply when driven anywhere in the EU, but on the other hand, national exemptions apply to specific journeys taken entirely within the UK.

Common Exemptions

The first group that enjoys exemption from the rules are vehicles that aren’t able to go more than 40 kilometres an hour. This covers some types of works trucks.

There are also special exemptions for goods vehicles and national derogations from EU rules concerning driver hours. These exemptions apply regardless of where the vehicle is driven within the EU, while national rules apply only to journeys entirely within the UK​​.

Passenger-carrying vehicles also have certain exemptions. If you’d like to learn more about them, you can find details in the Drivers’ hours and tachographs guidance for buses and coaches​​.


Are you working as an HR or transport manager? Then your ability to understand these exemptions and special cases is critical. Why? It helps to ensure you stay on the right side of the law, as well as helping to make sure you avoid penalties while taking advantage of any applicable allowances.

What you don’t want to find out during an inspection is that not knowing the rules isn’t going to protect you from them. That’s why it’s a great idea to keep yourself updated with the very latest exemptions and national rules – something you can do so easily by regularly checking the GOV.UK website regularly. Other tips include the following.

  • Training: Ensure that your drivers are well-informed about tachograph regulations and any exemptions that apply to them.
  • Documentation: Keep thorough documentation of any exemptions that apply to your operations to provide evidence of compliance during inspections.
  • Consultation: If in doubt, consult with legal experts to understand the implications of exemptions and special cases on your operations.


Tachograph regulations can be complex, but having a solid understanding of any exemptions and special cases that apply to you can help transport managers and HR professionals navigate the landscape more effectively.

Naturally, it’s imperative to stay updated with the latest regulations, ensure your drivers are well-trained, and keep thorough documentation to ensure compliance.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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