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Everything you need to know about van speed limits!

Everything you need to know about van speed limits!

You may have caught our blog about new speeding fines, but did you know on certain roads the van speed limit may differ? Vansdirect outlines everything you need to know about van speed limits, so you don't get caught out!


Speed Limits

Speed limits for vans in the UK are not always the same as those for cars and with speeding fines being as high as £2,500, it's important that you know how fast you can legally drive your van on the different UK roads. Did you know that different types of vans have different speed limits? Did you know that there were different speed limits for car-derived and dual-purpose vans in comparison to 3.5 tonne panel vans? And what about pick-up vans? Vansdirect aims to make sure everyone is informed of the speed limits, so that needless fines and points on your licence are avoided!


Van speed limits

The basic rules for speed limits in vans up to 3.5 tonnes are (subject to further restrictions):

Built-up areas 30mph - (same as a car)

Single carriageways - 50mph (10mph less than a car)

Dual carriageways - 60mph (10mph less than a car)

Motorways - 70mph (same as a car)


Pretty simple to remember, right?


The confusion comes when we look at car-derived vans and dual purpose vans.


Car-derived vans and dual-purpose vans

Car-derived vans

A car-derived van is defined as: "A goods vehicle which is constructed or adapted as a derivative of a passenger vehicle and which has a maximum laden weight not exceeding 2 tonnes." Prime examples of this type of van are the Vauxhall Corsavan and Ford Fiesta Van.

Dual-purpose vans

A dual-purpose van is defined as: "A vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage both of passengers and of goods and designed to weight no more than 2,040kg when unladen." The van must either have four-wheel drive or a rigid roof and at least one row of passenger seats behind the driver, with side and rear windows and the correct ratio of passenger space to load area.

Speed Limits for Car-derived vans and Dual-purpose vans

Built-up areas 30mph - (same as a car)

Single carriageways - 60mph (same as a car)

Dual carriageways - 70mph (same as a car)

Motorways - 70mph (same as a car)


To make this more complicated, some more conventional small vans such as the Mercedes Citan can technically be thought of as car-derived because they were based on platforms first used for cars. To be sure of this, the GVW needs to be under 2 tonnes. To be 100% sure you should check the V5 registration document of the van and this will list the body type as a car-derived van, if it doesn't the first set of speed limits apply regardless of how small your van is!


Pick-up vans and camper vans

Most pick-up vans and camper vans are considered as dual purpose vans and hence can be driven with the second set of speed limits, however do check the GVW is under 2040kg. If the GVW is higher than this figure, then they will have to abide by the first set of speed limits.

Single cab pick-up vans without four-wheel drive are also not thought of as dual-purpose and have to abide by the first set of speed limits.


Kombi vans and crew vans

It is this area where the most confusion can arise over speed limits. They should qualify as dual-purpose vans (if GVW is under 2,040kg), however their van like appearance can mean areas of confusion amongst police enforcement.


Towing a trailer

Any van towing a trailer on dual carriageways or motorways has to abide by a speed limit of 60mph, regardless of the prior category that the van falls into.



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