AS Miles

01455 389053

The background

Back in 2018, in a move to encourage the greater use of Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (AFV), in place of the then workhorse of the delivery world, the 3.5 tonne diesel powered van. There were some changes to the entitlement of Cat B driving licences to assist the expansion of the use of AFV’s.

The Derogation

The derogation was to allow those who adopted Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (AFV) to not be penalised in the payload that they could carry. It was in effect to give a level playing field to encourage users to move to AFV with the additional GVW to allow for the AFV’s heavier equipment, such as batteries etc.

The derogation is to allow those who drive AFV’s with a Cat B licence to drive an AFV up to 4.25 tonnes and was extended, in March 2022, for a further 2 years.


In order to be able to drive the heavier vehicles, drivers have to be able to demonstrate that they have received an additional 5 hours of training by an approved provider.

Drivers’ Hours Issues

So, that solved the driving licence issues – but what about the requirement for Tachograph recording equipment and operating to drivers’ hours regulations?

There is a GB wide derogation for AFV that exempts the drivers of AFVs from the requirements of the EU Drivers hours regulations and the use of Tachograph equipment to record those hours so long as:

  • The vehicle is propelled by Electricity or LNG,
  • It is only driven within a 100km radius of the base (depot) and,
  • It must only be used to carry goods.

100 kms No More – What If You Exceed This.

Any vehicle operating outside of the 100km radius or a 100km route – there is NO tolerance on this figure – is required to fit AFV’s over 3.5 tonnes with Tachograph recording equipment and the driver falls in scope of EU drivers’ hours regulations and the requirement to use a digital tachograph card to record all duties, including rest days, training and all other work. The EU drivers’ hours in relation to rest on a daily and weekly basis are also required.

DVSA Attention and Prosecutions

The position in relation to people who hold a Category B driving Licence and the changes brought in by the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) Reg 2018 have been in some focus of late.

A number of large and well know companies have received DVSA attention and prosecutions for failing to comply with the strict and clearly defined changes that this legislation brought about.

Proof of Compliance

The onus to prove the vehicle is being used within 100km of its base / depot is down to the business.

They must be able to demonstrate to any ‘officer having cause or reason to inspect’ route plans, driver’s shift, loading documentation, delivery day plans or any other documents that show the route and distance from the base.

Failure to be able to demonstrate compliance is likely to lead to a prosecution.

Prosecutions and Operator Licence issues

Where an operator has failed to plan routes to comply – some have been perceived as deliberate, some due to companies getting complacent with a mixed fleet – the outcome has been the same.

These have included such offences as:

  • Failing to keep driver records.
  • Failing to comply with EU drivers’ hours.
  • Insufficient rests
  • Operator repute issues and potential calls to Public Inquiry

It cannot be emphasized enough that the onus of proof is on the company to show that they have complied with the GB Derogation and can therefore claim to exemption to not conform to EU regs.

If you have any concerns on your operation, its compliance and wish to discuss the matter in confidence please call our team on 01455 389053 or email:

by Ben Trott