Driving times and rest periods for professional drivers

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Checked 2 Feb 2022
2 min read
Nederlandse versie

Are you a professional truck driver, or coach or bus driver? Or do you employ professional drivers? For journeys within Europe, you must follow the rules for driving times and resting period in road transport.

Drivers cannot drive for too long and must take breaks and resting times regularly. The vehicle's tachograph will record the driving and resting times. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) and the police will monitor if drivers keep to the rules.

Maximum driving times

Truck and coach drivers must observe:

  • maximum overall driving time: the total accumulated time per day, week, and per 2 weeks that they driver their truck or bus
  • maximum uninterrupted driving time: the total amount of time driven in between 2 breaks, or in between a break and a resting period.

Do you employ drivers? You must make sure the work is organised in such a way that drivers can return home or to their regular work base at least once every 4 weeks. You can find a summary overview of these driving times in Dutch on the government's website or you can consult the EU regulation for more information.

Mandatory rest periods

Drivers must take rest periods every day and every week. During these periods the driver is not allowed to drive or be available to their employer. Drivers can spend this time freely.

Suitable accommodation

Drivers should take their normal weekly rest periods in a suitable accommodation. This accommodation must be gender-friendly and offer suitable sleeping options and sanitary facilities. As an employer you must pay for the accommodation. Drivers are not allowed to rest in their cabin, except during the shortened weekly rest period.

More information on these rules for rest periods and accommodation is available on the government’s website (in Dutch) or in the EU regulation.

Night work and night shifts

Professional drivers who drive during the night, must keep to the rules for night work. This applies to all transport of persons or goods, except for taxi transport. For specific types of night work different rules apply. For instance, for the export out of the Netherlands of flower bulbs, plants, vegetables, and fruits. Also, some specific activities are exempted from the rules for night work. Examples are transport of live animals, and mail and postal packages.


A tachograph automatically registers information, among others the driving and rest times. New trucks and buses must be fitted with a smart tachograph type 2 (SMT2). A tachograph is not always mandatory. In that case you must register your driver’s driving and rest times on paper or a computer. The ILT must be able to check if you comply with the Working Hours Act (Arbeidstijdenwet).

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Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO