You must not drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle. The speed limit is the absolute maximum - it doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.
A speed limit of 30 miles per hour (mph) or 48 kilometres per hour (km/h) usually applies, unless you see signs showing otherwise.
National speed limits
|Type of vehicle||Built-up areas mph (km/h)||Single carriageways mph (km/h)||Dual carriageways mph (km/h)||Motorways mph (km/h)|
|Cars, motorcycles, car-derived vans and dual-purpose vehicles||30 (48)||60 (96)||70 (112)|
|Cars, motorcycles, car-derived vans and dual-purpose vehicles when towing caravans or trailers||50 (80)|
|Motorhomes or motor caravans (not more than 3.05 tonnes maximum unladen weight)|
|Motorhomes or motor caravans (more than 3.05 tonnes maximum unladen weight)|
|Buses, coaches and minibuses (not more than 12 metres overall length)|
|Buses, coaches and minibuses (more than 12 metres overall length)|
|Goods vehicles (not more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight)||70 (112)
60 (96) if articulated or towing a trailer
|Goods vehicles (more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight) in England and Wales|
|Goods vehicles (more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight) in Scotland||40 (64)|
Vans, car-derived vans and dual-purpose vehicles
Most vans under 7.5 tonnes laden (loaded) weight, including Ford Transit vans:
- have a lower speed limit than cars
- must follow the speed limits for goods vehicles of the same weight
Motorhomes or motor caravans are classed as goods vehicles if they:
- carry goods for exhibition and sale
- are used as a workshop
- are used for storage
Locally set speed limits
Local councils can set their own speed limits in certain areas, and these must be clearly signed.
- 20 mph zone in a built-up area near a school
- 50 mph (rather than 60 mph) limit on a stretch of road with sharp bends
A speed limiter must be fitted on:
- vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats, eg buses, minibuses, coaches, stretch limousines
- goods vehicles with a maximum laden weight of more than 3.5 tonnes
Speed limiters are designed to reduce accidents. They limit the maximum speed of a vehicle by restricting the fuel supply to the engine. Having a speed limiter may mean that your vehicle can’t reach the speed limit.