The tax-free overnight subsistence allowance which be may be available to employed lorry drivers is updated annually by HMRC.

The rate is £34.90 from 1 January 2013.

  • This allowance is payable by employers when drivers have to spend the night away from home and their permanent workplace (if any).
  • The cost of meals is included in the overnight rate. Employers should not also pay or reimburse the cost of these meals on either an ‘actuals’ basis or using the benchmark rates.
  • Where drivers have a sleeper cab 75% of the allowance may be paid. An HMRC approval notice must be applied for by the employer.
  • The allowance is subject to the rules in sections 337 and 338 ITEPA 2003.
  • This allowance is NOT available to self-employed individuals.

Employers can also agree their own scale rate paid with HMRC.

Where the employer knows that the driver uses their sleeper cab, the amount paid free of tax should not exceed a reasonable reimbursement of:

  • Evening meal and breakfast.
  • Washing facilities.
  • Upkeep of bedding in the cab.

See HMRC lorry drivers subsistence allowance: EIM66110.

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Can the night allowance be counted as part of your weekly wage or is it classed as a benefit and therefore deducted from the overall weekly wage before calculating NMW?

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