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Everything You Need to Know About UK Speed Limits

Speed restrictions in the UK are essential to the road system and crucial for our safety. As drivers we engage with them on a daily basis, as they not only make it easy to uniform regulations across the country, but also facilitate prosecution of those motorists who exceed the speed limit.

Speed limits range from 20 mph to our national speed limit, which varies depending on the vehicle and road you’re on.

Generally speaking, speed limits feature on white signs with a red border, including the writing 20,30,40,50 and sometimes 60mph. In addition, there is the National Speed Limit sign, a white circle with a black diagonal line through it. When you see this sign, the national speed limit applies; this is 60mph on a single-carriageway road or 70mph on a dual-carriageway.

Speed limits also vary depending on the vehicle you’re driving, whether that’s a car or a car towing a caravan.

Speed limits by road and vehicle type

Conventional cars, motorbikes and vans up to two tonnes:

  • Restricted road: 30 mph
  • Single carriageway: 60 mph
  • Dual carriageway/motorway: 70 mph

Car towing a trailer:

  • Restricted road: 30 mph
  • Single carriageway: 50 mph
  • Dual carriageway/motorway: 60 mph

HGV over 7.5 tonnes (UK/Wales)

Restricted road: 30 mph

Single carriageway: 50 mph

Dual carriageway/motorway: 60 mph

To clarify, restricted roads are roads which are in built-up areas. Always watch out for speed limits in these areas, as it may be challenging to work them out.

A road is considered a single carriageway if there isn’t a physical barrier separating the two opposing traffic streams. They include: from a five-lane road with a tidal flow in the centre (which helps to reduce traffic during rush hours) to a single-lane country road.

Lastly, another type of road is the dual carriageway, which uses a divider, either a concrete barrier or a grass verge.

Enforcing speed limits

Speed limits are enforced by police, fixed speed cameras or passive speed awareness devices, so always watch that you’re within the speed limit of the road you’re driving on.

Speed Penalties

Beware when you’re speeding as you may incur a penalty, depending on how fast you have been driving. However, if you get more than six penalty points within 24 months of passing your test, you driving licence may be taken away and you will need to retake both your theory and practice test.

Speed limit

Fixed penalty or speed awareness course over:

Court summons over:

































We hope this article has helped you better understand UK speed limits and what there is to know. However, should you have any queries, please don't hesitate to let us know.

Tags: *speed_limits *uk_speed_limits *driving_education

Written by Lucrezia | 1 min read
23 Nov 2023