Brexit And Its Impact On HGV Drivers

Brexit jigsaw illustration


I bet that’s not a headline you’ve read before? Over the past year, there have been all sorts of arguments and debates over Brexit and its impact on various things, from the economy and the value of the pound to passports and immigration. But not much has been said about the HGV and haulage industry, and what impact our parting from the EU will have on this fundamental sector of our economy. You see, many of our professional driving standards and regulations come from EU directives, so what will happen when we are no longer bound by them?


 HGV Drivers Working Hours


One of the main directives from the EU that affects HGV drivers is the EU Drivers Hour’s Rules, which are designed to ensure a minimum safety standard for all driving professionals. They do this by dictating a maximum driving time for each driver or passenger and goods vehicles. The rules also detail the length and frequency of all rest stops and breaks, the length of time between shifts and the cumulative hours spent driving in any fortnightly period. By setting out firm guidelines for this, governments are able to ensure no HGV driver is every driving for too long in one sitting, and therefore driving tired (which is one of the leading causes of motoring death, above even drink driving). Overall, these are very good rules to keep our roads safe. And the good news is that we won’t lose them, even if we leave the EU. This is because our government commuted the rules into UK law, in the form of the UK Transport Act 1968. So the regulations around timings and shifts will remain unchanged. What might change, however, is the Working Time Directive, which is due to come up for review in the near future. With business owners crying out for a consolidated way of calculating holiday and a change to the maximum working week, there could be some pretty big reforms in the pipeline.


Driver CPC Changes


Another important thing all HGV drivers must do before they can legally work in the industry is complete a Driver CPC qualification. This stands for Certificate of Professional Competence and means that the driver has met the safety and knowledge standards for the EU directive that drive it. Ultimately, if you don’t hold a valid Driver CPC, you cannot legally drive an HGV in or through Europe. After Brexit, this rule will not change – you still won’t be able to drive into, out of or through any European country without this qualification. So no changes there. But if you are working for a British domestic haulage company that never drives outside of Britain, or simply doesn’t service EU countries, then things get interesting. There have been talks of lobbying for changes to the Driver CPC for quite some time, and now it looks like there is some scope for that to happen. The idea of a professional qualification for driving HGV’s won’t disappear completely, but it might be replaced with a new and improved regulation instead.


Of course, Brexit won’t just affect the HGV industry. There are certain EU regulations that affect the ordinary vehicle driver too, and these will change or disappear entirely. To name just a few, fuel prices will likely increase, insurance premiums will shoot up along with moving to a more specific and selective insurance platform, and car purchase prices will go up thanks to additional import charges for a non-EU country. The good news is that you will still be able to use your standard license abroad when travelling or delivering, so you won’t need to take additional tests for an EU license. However, if you are a Brit living abroad for over 12 months, you may run into trouble and be required to hold an EU license as well. For more information, or to keep up with the latest HGV career and training developments, get in touch with the team today.