Driving time and rest periods

Driving time and rest periods

Driving time 9 hours (Article 6)

The daily driving time shall not exceed nine hours. However, the daily driving time may be extended to at most 10 hours not more than twice during the week.

The daily driving time is the time between the end of one daily rest period and the beginning of the following daily rest period, or between a daily rest period and a weekly rest period. Driving time consists of all the time when the vehicle is mobile in traffic.

Breaks, waiting times, loading and unloading times, and repair and maintenance times are not driving time, regardless of whether these take place on the road or elsewhere.

The weekly driving time shall not exceed 56 hours. The total accumulated driving time during any two consecutive weeks shall not exceed 90 hours. A ‘week’ means the period of time between 00.00 on Monday and 24.00 on Sunday.

Break 45 minutes (Article 7)

After a driving period of four and a half hours, a driver shall take an uninterrupted break of not less than 45 minutes, unless his/her daily rest period or weekly rest period begins.

The break may be taken in two parts: the break may be replaced by a break of at least 15 minutes followed by a break of at least 30 minutes. The second part of the break must be taken so that the combined driving time does not exceed four and a half hours before the second part of the break begins.

No other work may be done during the break. The break is intended for resting. In the case of multi-manning, a driver may take a break while the vehicle is in motion.

After a break of at least 45 minutes, whether taken in one or two parts, the driving time accumulation begins again, and no previous driving periods or breaks are taken into account.

Note that under the Finnish Working Hours Act, the driver of a motor vehicle must have a break of at least 30 minutes, in one or two parts, per each work period of five hours and 30 minutes. A work period is defined as consisting of both driving time and other work.

Daily rest period 11 hours

The daily rest period must be uninterrupted and at least 11 hours long per each 24-hour period. The period of availability, meaning the driving time, other working time, waiting time and breaks combined, may be no more than 13 hours.

Between two weekly rest periods, a driver may have no more than three reduced rest periods of at least nine hours. This reduction does not need to be compensated with free time. The period of availability may be no more than 15 hours.

A daily rest period that is not a reduced daily rest period may be divided into no more than two periods, the first at least three hours and the other at least nine hours. A new 24-hour period begins when the daily rest period ends.


If there are two drivers in a vehicle at the same time, the period considered is 30 hours, within which both drivers must have a consecutive rest period of at least nine hours. The period of availability may be no more than 21 hours.

In a multi-manning situation where both drivers are required to drive a trip in the same vehicle, the other driver does not need to be in the vehicle during the first hour. Driven by these two drivers, a vehicle may remain in uninterrupted motion for a maximum of 20 hours, as both drivers may drive a maximum of 10 hours and because rest breaks may be taken in a vehicle in motion. A daily rest period, on the other hand, may not be taken in a vehicle in motion.

Weekly rest period 45 hours

The weekly rest period must be uninterrupted and must last at least 45 hours. It must begin no later than six 24-hour periods after the end of the previous weekly rest period.

A weekly rest period may be reduced to 24 hours once in any two consecutive weeks. Each reduction of a rest period shall be compensated by an equivalent uninterrupted period of rest adjoining another rest period of at least nine hours, before the end of the third week following the week in question.

In any two consecutive weeks, a driver shall take at least:

- two regular weekly rest periods (of at least 45 hours each), or

- one regular weekly rest period and one reduced weekly rest period (of at least 24 hours).

Interrupting a daily rest period, and travelling to or from a vehicle (Article 9)

Interrupting a daily rest period

Where a driver accompanies a vehicle which is transported by ferry or train, and takes a regular daily rest period (at least 11 hours), that period may be interrupted not more than twice by other activities not exceeding one hour in total. During that regular daily rest period, the driver shall have access to a bunk or couchette.

This means that an 11-hour daily rest period or a divided daily rest period (3+9 hours) may be interrupted by boarding or leaving a ferry or train. The interruptions may not last longer than one hour altogether. In a divided daily rest period, the number of interruptions (no more than two) applies to the entire daily rest period and not separately to each portion of the divided regular daily rest period. Under no circumstances may the time used for interruptions shorten the rest period; the daily rest period must be contained within a 24-hour period from the beginning of the shift, interruptions notwithstanding.

Travel time

Travel time is the time spent:

  •  travelling to a location to take charge of a vehicle where the trip subject to the application of the Driving Time and Rest Period Regulation begins, and
  •  returning from that location when the vehicle is neither at the driver’s home nor at the employer's operational centre where the driver is normally based.

This travel time shall not be counted as a rest or break unless the driver is on a ferry or train and has access to a bunk or couchette.

Any time spent by a driver driving a vehicle that falls outside the scope of the Regulation to or from a vehicle that falls within the scope of the Regulation, which is not at the driver's home or at the employer's operational centre where the driver is normally based, shall count as 'other work'.

This limitation does not apply to the driver’s normal commute to or from the location where he/she is normally based.

Work during minimum rest periods (Articles 4 and 6)

During the minimum daily rest period and minimum weekly rest period specified in the Regulation, no work at all may be done in a private or public employment relationship, whether in the transport business or not.

Private entrepreneurs and self-employed persons, however, may work during the minimum weekly and daily rest periods. If such entrepreneurship or self-employment is undertaken in the transport business, the legislation concerning entrepreneur drivers must be complied with regarding driving time and other work.

If a driver is employed or available to more than one transport undertaking or other enterprise, he/she must submit to each of these companies in writing sufficient information concerning all other work he/she has done in a public or private employment relationship for other companies. Such a driver is required to provide this information to his/her employer at his/her own initiative.