Rental company drivers delivering, collecting or moving empty minibuses and commercial vehicles will no longer be required to record their driving hours on a tachograph.
The Government’s decision to relax its interpretation of European Commission drivers’ hours rules (EC/561/2006) removes a massive administration and compliance burden for rental and leasing companies, and follows a lengthy lobbying campaign by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).
Under the previous interpretation of the rules, delivery drivers were required to record the hours of any journeys made in minibuses or goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes. Typically these journeys involve empty vehicles being delivered or collected over short distances to customer premises, other rental branches or testing and repair facilities.
The BVRLA had argued that it was disproportionately burdensome and costly to require a rental company to use a tachograph for such internal journeys. For example, after delivering a vehicle fitted with an electronic tachograph, the driver would need their own and a company card to be able to download and store the vehicle data. If they failed to do so, the vehicle could then be outside the rental company’s direct control for the entire period of the rental, for up to six months in some cases.
The exemption only applies if rental and leasing company drivers are never engaged in the carriage of goods or passengers during their employment. They will still be expected to abide by domestic driver’s hours rules, which do not require tachograph recording. These set driving limits of 10 hours per day and 90 hours per fortnight, with adequate rest periods.
VOSA will abide by the new interpretation of the European drivers’ hours rules for enforcement purposes, but the Department for Transport has emphasised that they reserve the right to change their position in the light of any future court judgements or if there is evidence that the rules are being abused.
“We are delighted that the Government has listened to our concerns and acted to help reduce this unnecessary burden our industry,” said BVRLA director general, John Lewis.
“Going forward the BVRLA hopes to work with VOSA and other relevant road transport groups to produce best practice guidelines that will ensure this valuable drivers’ hours’ rules exemption is not abused.”
About the BVRLA:
The BVRLA is the trade body for companies engaged in the leasing and rental of cars and commercial vehicles. Its members provide short-term self-drive rental, leasing hire and fleet management services to corporate users and consumers. They operate a combined fleet of 2.6 million cars, vans and trucks, buying 44% of all new vehicles sold in the UK. Through its members and their customers, the BVRLA represents the interests of more than two million business car drivers and the 10 million people who use a rental vehicle each year. As well as lobbying the government on key issues affecting the sector, the BVRLA regulates the industry through a mandatory code of conduct.
For more information:
Toby Poston – Head of PR and Media
t: 01494 545700