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Van Speed LimitsAs a van driver it's really important to be safe and considerate on the roads. Large vans present a distinct danger to other road users in a road accident and the speed at which you drive will have a significant impact on the level of damage caused or injuries suffered.

If you're caught speeding, your van driver employment could be affected; the cost of your van insurance will rise once you have points on your licence and the fines can be pretty hefty.

What are the speed limits?

All vehicles must adhere to the specified local speed limits in designated areas, such as outside schools etc. These speed limits are set by local councils and must be clearly signed.

The speed limit for all vehicles in built-up areas (unless otherwise signed) is 30 mph (48 km/h). This is the same for all single and dual carriageways with street lights (unless otherwise signed).

Once you get onto single carriageways, dual carriageways (without street lighting) and motorways, the speed limits for vans are not the same as for cars.

Car-derived vans* have the same speed limits as ordinary cars on single carriageways 60mph (96 km/h), dual carriageways and motorways 70 mph (112 km/h).

If a car-derived van is towing a trailer the speed limits are as follows: single carriageways 50mph (80km/h), dual carriageways and motorways 60 mph (96 km/h).

Vans and commercial goods vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight must stick to the following speed limits: single carriageways 50mph (80 km/h), dual carriageways 60 mph (96 km/h), and motorways 70 mph (112 km/h) or 60 mph (96 km/h) if articulated or towing a trailer.

In England and Wales, vans and commercial goods vehicles of more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight must stick to the following speeds: single carriageways 50mph (80 km/h), dual carriageways and motorways 60 mph (96 km/h).

In Scotland, vans and commercial goods vehicles of more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight must stick to the following speed limits: single carriageways 40mph (64 km/h), dual carriageways 50 mph (80 km/h) and motorways 60 mph (96 km/h).

Other rules for van drivers

Vans and commercial vehicles with a maxim laden weight of more than 3.5 tonnes must have a speed limiter fitted. These devices restrict the fuel supply to the engine and may mean your vehicle is unable to reach the speed limit.

Motorhomes will be classed as "goods vehicles" if they are carrying goods for sale or exhibition, are used as a workshop, or used for storage.

What is maximum laden weight?

There are a number of terms for "maximum laden weight", including maximum laden mass, maximum authorised mass, revenue weight, and gross vehicle weight.

All refer to the gross (all inclusive) weight of the vehicle and everything loaded onto it, including the people.

What are the penalties for speeding in a van?

Speeding offences are often handled via a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) which could be handed to you on the spot or you might receive it through the post.

If you plead guilty to the driving offence you won't need to go to court. The minimum penalty for an FPN is £100 fine with three penalty points on your driving licence

If you do not plead guilty you will need to go to court. If you are found guilty of the speeding offence, the amount of fine and penalty will be decided by the court. The fine will be a percentage of your weekly income. This is capped at £1,000 or £2,500 for speeding offences on the motorway. (January 2022)

The court has the power to suspend your licence or disqualify you from driving.

Motoring offences are bad for your van insurance

If you get points on your licence from a speeding offence your van insurance premium will almost certainly go up at renewal.

Many companies require their drivers to have clean licences to help them keep the cost of any driver van insurance as low as possible. This might mean that getting caught speeding could be a sackable offence.

So, it's a really good idea to get to know the speed limits for your particular van and keep a close eye on your speed at all times.


* a goods/commercial vehicle which is constructed or adapted as a derivative of a passenger vehicle and which has a maximum laden weight not exceeding 2 tonnes.