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Record-Keeping for Driver Hours: Best Practices

As an HGV driver or transport manager, it’s essential that driver hour records are kept meticulously in order to comply with driver hours regulations. Not only is this important for legal reasons, but also for keeping other road users safe.

Accurate record-keeping also allows transport managers to efficiently organise their fleet and avoid falling foul of the UK’s regulatory bodies. In this article, we offer some clarity on best practices in this regard, in line with industry expert advice.

Key Requirements for Record Keeping

All HGV drivers need to keep comprehensive records relating to their driving time, breaks, periods of rest, and other work activities​​.The records kept should cover not just the current day, but also the previous 28 days, in accordance with drivers’ hours rules​ in the EU.

If you’re keeping note of other non-driving-related activities and non-driving days, it can be done either manually via a digital/smart tachograph or in the old-fashioned way on a record sheet or on printout paper​​.

Using Tachographs

Use digital tachographs to record driving hours, rest periods, and breaks automatically.
Ensure that your tachograph is calibrated correctly so that it’s able to provide accurate data.

Keeping Manual Records

On non-driving days, you should manually record other work activities and rest periods on your tachograph. Manual records can also be made in the tradtional way on a record sheet or printout paper, detailing the driver’s name, and the activities that were undertaken.

International Journeys

When undertaking jobs that involve international journeys, you must maintain daily records for the previous 28 days.You should use attestation forms for drivers’ hours records, especially when driving to, from, and through the EU. This is so that you have proof that you’ve complied with drivers’ hours rules.

Organisation of Records:

You must organise records in a way that covers fixed weeks, especially when no in-scope driving occurs. This helps to simplify record-keeping processes. When in-scope driving is undertaken, you should maintain separate records for each 24-hour period within that week​​.


If you’re a transport manager, you must make sure your drivers can produce full records for the current day and the previous 28 days at the roadside if asked. As such, you should ensure records easily accessible and in a format that can be quickly shared with relevant enforcement agencies when required.

Regular Audits and Reviews

Up-to-date record-keeping is a necessity and keeping an eye on your performance in this regard is good practice. As such, as regular review of your processs will keep you on track in terms of compliance and also highlight any areas in which you could improve.

Training and Awareness

Training and development are part of life for most modern professionals and the HGV world is no different. Instruction on how to keep records and the importance of accuracy is imperative if everyone in your team is to be kept on the same page. Keeping an eye on any updates or changes to regulations is also advisable.

Technological Solutions

You can streamline your record-keeping process with the software and technological solutions that exist on the market. These systems can automate much of the time-consuming labour involved in record-keeping, mitigating the likelihood of errors and enursing compliance.

Data Privacy

In line with the UK’s GDPR rules introduced in 2018, you should make sure all of your records are stored securely to ensure data privacy. You also need to have a tight grip on who is able to gain access to these records, meaning that you should put clear company policies into place to control it.

Remained Engaged with Regulatory Bodies

It’s wise to remain engaged with regulatory bodies such as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). That way, you’ll stay informed about any updates in record-keeping requirements. If you’re ever in doubt about anything relating to record keeping pratice, reach out to the DVSA or other relevent authorities for assistance.


You can’t overplay how important it is to keep proper records, as its crucial for staying on the right side of the law and the well-being of people using the roads in the UK. What’s more, with organised records, your fleet gets managed more effectively, meaning it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

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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