Guide to Tachograph Offences

It is an offence to use any of the following vehicles without a fully functional Tachograph installed and running:

  • a public service vehicle;
  • a vehicle which can carry more than 12 people;
  • a heavy (large) goods vehicle; or

a vehicle which is designed to carry goods other than the belongings of passengers

To be considered fully functional the recording sheet must be capable of recording the following:

  • distance travelled;
  • speed;
  • driving time;
  • other periods of work or of availability;
  • breaks from work and daily rest periods;
  • the opening of the case containing the record sheet; and
  • (for vehicles built from 01/01/1996) a record of any interruption to the electrical supply to the distance and speed sensor.

It is also an offence to forge, falsify or alter Tachograph records.

Do I need an NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) for Tachograph Offences?

No, there is no requirement for an NIP for Tachograph related offences.


No Tachograph Installed: Fine up to a maximum of £5,000

Forgery or Altering Tachographs: Maximum of 2 years imprisonment with an unlimited fine.


These vary from showing that your actions were reasonable to you legitimately not knowing that there was a fault with the tachograph equipment.

Successfully relying on a defence is often dependent on identifying relevant facts and assessment of technical information. You can be assured that the prosecution will do their best to obtain a conviction and proving your case in Court is never an easy task

We recommend you seek legal advice if facing any charges relating to Tachographs, particularly the more serious charges which can result in you being sent to prison.

Disclaimer The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only and are limited to offences committed in England and Wales. No responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions, or misleading statements on these pages or any site to which these pages connect, including any feature or aspect of such site or pages, whether provided by Motor Defence Solicitors or by any organisation, company or individual. No mention of any organisation, company or individual, whether on these pages or on other sites to which these pages are linked shall imply any approval or warranty as to the standing and capability of any such organisations, company or individual on the part of Motor Defence Solicitors.