Van speed limits UK 2020: a quick guide

Van advice

26 February 2020

When you run your own business, you’re living life in the fast lane. You’re constantly going at 100mph, pedal to the metal to keep all those plates spinning and your business ticking over.

But rushing from A to B and racing to make ends meet doesn’t mean you need to be a speed demon in your van. In fact, most vans actually have a lower speed limit than cars, so the speed sign you see on the road might not apply to the van you’re driving.

No matter how much of a rush you’re in, staying safe on the roads should still be your top priority. Not only could you put yourself, others and your business in danger by speeding, but you could also face fines of up to £2,500, get penalty points on your licence and potentially be disqualified from driving.

So, to keep your business moving, hit the brakes and read AXA’s guide to make sure you know the latest speed limits for vans driving in the UK.

 

What are the speed limits for vans?

The national speed limit changes depending on the vehicle you’re driving, which can cause confusion for van drivers. There are different rules depending on the size of your van, the type of roads you’re driving on, and where in the UK you’re driving to. To save you the exhaustion of doing the research on van speed limits yourself, we’ve done it for you.

 

Van speed limits (weighing up to 3.5 tonnes)

The speed limit for small, medium and larger vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes are usually the same. For example, the small Citroën Berlingo follows the same speed restrictions as larger models like the Ford Transit or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

For built-up areas and motorways, vans should follow the same speed limit as cars. But on single and dual carriageways, the speed limit is 10mph lower than the speed limit for cars.

These rules also technically apply to vehicles weighing up to 7.5 tonnes. However, current legislation means that larger commercial vehicles, or those designed to carry more than eight passengers, must have a speed limiter fitted to them.

Built up areas and cities

30mph

Single carriageway

50mph

Dual carriageway

60mph

Motorways

70mph

It’s important to note that some local councils will implement different speed limits. So, remember to keep an eye out for any signs that might indicate this.

 

Van and trailer speed limits

The speed limit for vans towing a trailer or caravan is reduced to 60mph on dual carriageways and motorways, even if they’re allowed to do 70mph in other circumstances. In fact, the speed limit for any vehicle towing a trailer is reduced to 60mph on dual carriageways and motorways.

Built up areas and cities

30mph

Single carriageway

50mph

Dual carriageway

60mph

Motorways

60mph

 

Car-derived van (CDV) speed limits

According to the Department for Transport, a car-derived van (CDV) is a passenger vehicle that’s been adapted to become a light goods vehicle that weighs no more than 2 tonnes. Or in other words, it’s a van that looks like a car.

If your van is a CDV, it should be recorded on the registration document (V5C) under the ‘body type’ section. The most common CDVs are Ford Fiesta vans, Vauxhall Corsa vans and Renault Clio vans.

CDVs are the only commercial vehicle with the same speed limits as cars.

Built up areas and cities

30mph

Single carriageway

60mph

Dual carriageway

70mph

Motorways

70mph

 

Dual purpose vehicle (pick-up truck) speed limits

A dual purpose vehicle is defined as one that’s been designed to carry passengers as well as goods. It must have four-wheel drive or a rigid roof and at least one additional row of passenger seats behind the driver as well as side and rear windows.

You probably see dual purpose vehicles on the road every day without realising it. Common examples are vehicles like the Ford Ranger and the Mitsubishi L200, and these follow the same speed restrictions as cars. You’ll need to check the vehicle’s unladen weight before setting off, as some models exceed 2,040kg which means they’ll be subject to the same speed limits as vans.

Built up areas and cities

30mph

Single carriageway

60mph

Dual carriageway

70mph

Motorways

70mph

 

What happens if I get caught speeding while driving a van?

Guidelines introduced in 2017 mean speeding penalties are now much stricter. If the police catch you speeding, you’ll get penalty points on your driving licence and you might need to pay a hefty sum. If you go to court for speeding, you could be fined up to 175% of your weekly salary and even be disqualified from driving.

Speeding in a van is more dangerous than in a car because of its size and weight. This is reflected in the fines and penalties van drivers receive because the type of vehicle is considered when deciding on a punishment. There are also further considerations to keep an eye on – for example local councils could impose even lower speed limits around schools or village roads.

 

Top three tips to avoid speeding

There are lots of things you can do if you’re concerned about your speed on the roads. Obvious things like leaving earlier might not always be possible and it’s easy to forget to regularly check the speedometer. So, here are some practical things you can do to help you stay within the speed limit and ultimately make you a safer driver.

1. Use cruise control

Turning on cruise control when you reach the road’s speed limit is an easy way to stay on track, especially when you’re on a motorway. It means you can relax without having to constantly keep your foot on the accelerator. But, be careful to pay attention to the road signs so you know when the speed limit changes.

2. Don’t rely on your sat nav

Many sat nav devices and apps will display the speed limit of the road the vehicle is travelling on. However, research carried out by uSwitch suggests 17% of drivers receive the wrong information from their sat nav, including the wrong speed limit. More importantly, your device might not know you’re driving a van and may display the speed limit for cars as its default setting.

3. Install a speed limiter

Speed-limiting technology stops vehicles exceeding a certain speed, no matter how hard the driver presses the accelerator. It’s a great option for people who do a lot of motorway driving and struggle to maintain their speed. But remember, if you do install a speed limiter, make sure to tell your van insurer about it or you may invalidate your policy.

For more speed limit information, take a look at AXA’s guide to slowing down safely in your van .

 

Keep your drive safe with AXA.

With road rules changing year in, year out, it’s important to keep up to date to make sure you and your van are safe when hitting the road. Protection from AXA van insurance will keep you on track, no matter what lies ahead.