Driving and Rest Times Explained for Smooth Bus Hire in Europe

Eugene Bulan
Published: 11/06/2024

European Union Rules for Driver Work Hours

The European Union has rules in place to regulate how long drivers can be on the road and when they need to take breaks. The purpose of these rules is to ensure fair competition, improve road safety, and protect drivers' well-being.

Daily Driving Time

Drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 9 hours in a day, except for twice a week when they can drive for up to 10 hours.

Weekly Driving Time

Drivers cannot drive for more than 56 hours in a week or 90 hours in a fortnight (two weeks).

Daily Rest Period

After driving, drivers must take a rest period of at least 11 hours. However, three times a week, this rest period can be reduced to a minimum of 9 hours. It's also possible to split the rest period into 3 hours of rest followed by 9 hours of rest, making a total of 12 hours.


Drivers must take breaks of at least 45 minutes after driving for 4 and a half hours. This break can be divided into 15 minutes followed by 30 minutes.

Weekly Rest Period

Drivers are required to take a continuous rest period of 45 hours each week. However, every second week, this rest period can be reduced to 24 hours. There are compensation arrangements for drivers who have shorter rest periods.

Exceptions for International Transport

Coach drivers engaged in occasional international transport of passengers can postpone their weekly rest period after 12 days. This allows them to accommodate coach holidays.

Extra Driving Time

In exceptional circumstances, drivers can exceed their daily and weekly driving times by up to one hour. This is allowed to enable drivers to reach their homes or their company's operational center to take a weekly rest period. In certain cases, drivers can exceed their driving times by up to two hours for a regular weekly rest period.

These rules are closely monitored through regular checks of tachograph records, both on the road and at company premises, to ensure compliance at both national and international levels.

About the author

Eugene Bulan

Eugene Bulan, CEO of BCS Bus Travel, steers the company with not just a keen business mind but a true traveler's spirit. Managing the ins and outs of the company, his days are often filled with making big decisions, ironing out operations, and ensuring each journey offered by BCS is special and seamless for every traveler. It's not just about numbers for him; it’s about crafting experiences, bringing joy to travelers, and ensuring every bus journey feels like a little adventure.

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