Guide to van speed limits

Speed limits* were first introduced in the UK in the 1860s following the arrival of steam powered road locomotives! Whilst the speed ‘limit’ is the maximum, it doesn’t mean that it is safe to drive at this speed at all times and in all conditions and the limit is different depending on the type of vehicle and road being driven on.

van-speed-limit

There are three main speeds that drivers are taught to remember:

Area/road type Speed mph (kph)
Built-up/residential 30 (48)
Country Roads/Single Carriageways 60 (96)
Dual Carriageways/Motorways 70 (112)

However, there are some exceptions to these rules, particularly if you drive a larger van. There are many different van types, all of which follow different speed limits, so it’s important to know which limits apply to the type of van you drive.

As a general rule, most vans:

  • Have a lower speed limit than cars
  • Must follow the speed limits for goods vehicles of the same weight

Vehicles under 2 tonnes laden (loaded) weight may qualify as a ‘car-derived van’ or ‘dual-purpose vehicle’. These vehicles have the same speed limits as cars.

 

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Van speed limits UK and Wales

These are the general rules for vans of these types, however be sure to check the plated weight of your van if you are unsure, and never ignore signage dictating variable or fixed speed limits.

Road type Car-derived / dual-purpose vehicles / camper vans Other vans (not exceeding 7.5 tonnes) Trailers / Lorries & other goods vehicles (7.5+ tonnes)
Built-up areas mph (km/h) 30 (48) 30 (48) 30 (48)
Single Carriageways mph (km/h) 60 (96) 50 (80) 50 (80)
Dual Carriageways mph (km/h) 70 (112) 60 (96) 60 (96)
Motorways mph (km/h) 70 (112) 70 (112) 60 (96)

10mph (16 km/h) should be deducted from the above speed limits (with the exception of built-up areas) if towing a trailer or caravan.

Van speed limits Scotland and Northern Ireland

Road type Car-derived / Dual-purpose vehicles / Camper vans Other vans (not exceeding 7.5 tonnes) Trailers / Lorries & other goods vehicles (7.5+ tonnes)
Built-up areas mph (km/h) 30 (48) 30 (48) 30 (48)
Single Carriageways mph (km/h) 60 (96) 50 (80) 40 (64)
Dual Carriageways mph (km/h) 70 (112) 60 (96) 50 (80)
Motorways mph (km/h) 70 (112) 70 (112) 60 (96)

Speeding offences for vans**

Due to their weight and increased danger threat, speeding offences are generally considered worse for vans.

The fines for speeding in vans vary, just like speed limits, with the maximum fines limited to £2,500 on motorways and £1,000 on other roads.

Speeding offences are classified into 3 bands depending on their severity:

Band A B C
Max amount (% of weekly salary) 25-75 75-125 125-175
Additional fines/charges 3 points on licence 4-6 points on licence OR driving ban (between 7-28 days) 6 points on licence OR driving ban (7-56 days)~
Example of banded offence Travelling 31-40mph in a 30mph zone (1-10mph over speed limit) Travelling 41-50mph in a 30mph zone (11-20mph over speed limit) Travelling 51mph+ in a 30mph zone (21+mph over speed limit)

~In the event that the speeding incident is considered to be exceedingly over the limit, a driving ban of over 56 days may be implemented.

Factors such as the weather, number of pedestrians around or the number of people in the vehicle may also play into how the severity is calculated.

Speeding offences may lead to increases in the cost of insuring your van so if you want to keep your premium as low as you can, always stick to the speed limit!

Refer to the log book and plated weight of your van before setting out on your journey so that you’re aware of any restrictions specific to your van and check GOV.UK for full breakdown of UK speed limits and speeding penalties.

 

*All speed limit data are sourced from https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits

**All speeding offence data are sourced from https://www.gov.uk/speeding-penalties