Novadata dispels myths on Version 2 smart tachograph deadlines

Novadata dispels myths on Version 2 smart tachograph deadlines

Novadata dispels myths on Version 2 smart tachograph deadlines

Digital tachograph analysis and transport training experts Novadata, have outlined the facts about the forthcoming changes to the fitting and use of version 2 smart tachographs. There has been a lot of rumour and misinformation, especially about the necessity to retrofit version 2 smart tachographs in older vehicles from 2025, the company says. There is also the separate issue of new driver cards being issued by the DVLA, which will require devices compatible with version 2 smart tachographs in order to download them, even if you are using an older tachograph model.

“Judging by the questions we are frequently asked, many O Licence and Restricted O Licence holders believe that they will have to retrofit version 2 smart tachographs to their entire fleets from August 2025,” says Novadata Director Mark Lewin. “However, this is not quite right. It has been mandatory for all new vehicles (except those which are exempt from having a tachograph) to be fitted with a smart tachograph since 15th June 2019. There was also a firm deadline for all such new vehicles to be fitted with a so-called version 2 smart tachograph from 21st August 2023. However, that has been delayed until February 2024, simply due to a shortage of new tachograph units. Instead, priority is being given to vehicles that will be used for overseas journeys, as these will still need to meet the deadlines overseas, while for vehicles more likely to be used exclusively within the UK, the deadline has been put back to 21st February 2024.”

“While this delay has not helped the communication within the industry, what have proved more confusing are the requirements for updating vehicles with older tachographs. It has been widely perceived that all vehicles will have to be fitted with version 2 smart tachographs after 21st August 2025, but this is slightly misleading. It is true that some older vehicles will need to have version 2 smart tachographs retrofitted – if they are used for overseas journeys. Vehicles currently equipped with a non-smart tachograph will have to be retrofitted with a version 2 smart tachograph for international journeys by 31st December 2024. Those fitted with a version 1 smart tachograph must be updated to a version 2 smart tachograph for international journeys by 21st August 2025. There are even two separate deadlines being quoted, one on 19th August 2025, and one on 21st August 2025. Common sense dictates that you should aim to be compliant by the earlier date; then you can rest assured that you will be compliant by the later date.

“However, these deadlines will only apply to vehicles travelling internationally. Any vehicle which leaves UK shores to transport goods will indeed be legally required to be retrofitted with a version 2 smart tachograph; but vehicles which only operate within the UK will not.

“As long as they are well maintained and roadworthy, your UK based vehicles can be operated as before, using their existing tachographs, even in the case of a much older vehicle with an analogue tachograph,” says Lewin.

What is absolutely critical, says Novadata, is that operators ensure that they download each vehicle unit and driver card at the prescribed intervals; use an effective tachograph data analysis solution; and keep accurate, robust records; in compliance with their O Licence undertakings. For some, as they are issued with a new driver card, this will already mean updating their download devices to ensure that they are version 2 smart tachograph compatible – because all new cards work on this new technology. Even if you have no intention of uploading your vehicles, you may well need to update your download technology and ensure your analysis software solution or provider is also compatible.

As the widely shared deadline for Driver CPC renewal for LGV/HGV drivers approaches in September 2024, Novadata recommends that drivers include a course on Drivers Hours and tachographs as part of their 35 hours of periodic training which they must complete in order to renew their DQC card, also known as a Driver CPC card, which they much have in order to be entitled to drive professionally.