Van speed limits explained

Last updated by on April 4th, 2018

If you drive a van, then you’ll probably know that speed limits for vans and cars aren’t always the same. If you drive a van and didn’t know that, then this is the guide for you – here, we’ll explain exactly what the legal limits are for the vehicle you drive.

Types of van

Van speed limits are typically lower than speed limits for cars on single and dual carriageways (10mph less).

Whether your van is subject to the lower limit depends on what it is, its purpose and its weight – here’s how to identify the sort of van you have:

    Car derived van (CDV) – these are vans that are built on the same basic design as cars and shouldn’t weigh more than two tonnes when fully loaded; examples include the Ford Fiesta van and the Vauxhall Corsa van. If in doubt, check your log book (V5C); it’ll specify ‘CDV’ under the heading ‘body type’.
    Dual-purpose vehicle – these are designed to carry both goods and passengers, and should weigh no more than 2,040kg (unladen). They also need to meet certain criteria and have either 4×4 capability; or, have a rigid roof with more than one row of seats, have side and rear windows and the passenger and stowage areas need to meet a minimum ratio.
    Pickup  – by the nature of their design, most pickups will be categorised as a dual-purpose vehicle. It’s not dual-purpose if it has a single cab and doesn’t have 4×4 capability.
    Double cab vans  – these can qualify as dual-purpose vehicles as long as they meet the criteria.
    Camper vans – only the Mercedes Marco Polo and the VW California qualify as camper vans in the UK.
    Vans weighing 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes – the weight limits refer to the gross vehicle weight (GVW); by law, these vehicles should be fitted with a speed limiter.


So, what’s the speed limit for my van?

Needless to say, all vehicles should obey any specific limits set out in areas – such as 20mph outside schools or restricted speed zones on the motorway.

Otherwise, the speed limit for vans needs to be appropriate to their category – here are the current limitations:

Vehicle type Built up areas (mph) Single carriageways (mph) Dual carriageways (mph) Motorways (mph)
Cars, car derived vans (CDVs), dual-purpose vehicles, camper vans 30 60 70 70
Cars, car derived vans (CDVs), and dual-purpose vehicles, if towing trailers or caravans 30 50 60 60
All other vans weighing no more than 7.5 tonnes (laden) 30 50 60 70 (60 if articulated or towing a trailer)

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So, whether you want to find out about the different types of van insurance, or just want all the jargon explained – we’ve got the answers. Plus, our Cheapest Price Guarantee* means you can be confident about getting real value for money.

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