Renault Trafic 2900 High Roof
Van Drivers Know Your Limits

Welcome to:

Van Drivers Know Your Limits

I was done for speeding (April 2016), 61mph on a 60mph single carriageway road, and I thought,


Well you would wouldn't you?

Unfortunately for me and apparently nearly 85% of other van drivers I didn't know that because I was driving a VAN, and have driven a van for many years as a courier, for companies large and small, that there were SPEED RESTRICTIONS on VANS!!

The offence I was actually done for was exceeding the

50mph  SPEED LIMIT on a

Class of Vehicle, I hear you cry?

That's right, VANS
(2 tonnes and over, *MLW)
are in a CLASS called


The provisions of this act came into force on 1st January 1996
Data aquired from - Transports Friend - But I haven't been able to corroborate it.

So this has been law for 20 years,
but only find out when I get booked??

You need to check the HIGHWAY CODE regularly,
at least once a year.
(GOV.UK web site, click on DRIVING and TRANSPORT and explore)

Legal bit:

Vans UNDER 7.5 tonnes Maximum Laden Weight (*MLW), including Ford Transit type vans
have a lower speed limit than cars and
MUST follow the speed limits for goods vehicles of the same weight.

That means any vehicle from 2 tonnes to 7.5 tonnes.
(*Maximum Laden Weight (fully loaded weight)).

*Maximum Laden Weight (MLW),
is the weight of the vehicle +
the weight the manufacturer says the vehicle can carry,
AND that includes YOU, FUEL and ALL your gear.
If you don't stay out overnight or
go abroad, that's probably not much,
but it all has to be included.

My van is a Renault Trafic, it's MLW is 2.9 tonnes.
The van unladen is about 1.7 tonnes and the load it can carry can be up to 1.2 tonnes, equalling 2.9 tonnes.
So I don't carry much more than a tonne, just to be safe.

My van is inside this class and most vans are.
Transits, Vivaros, Sprinters, Connect and a VW Caddy to name just a few.

Ford Connect Vauxhal Vivaro & Renault Trafic Sprinter

But it's a bit of a grey area below the 2 tonne weight limit.

Another legal bit:

A vehicle qualifying as a ‘car-derived van’ or ‘dual-purpose vehicle’ has the same speed limits as a car.

What is a "car derived van"?

Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, 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."

The important word in this definition is "AND" as there are goods vehicles that look as if they are based on a passenger vehicle, but when the manufacturer puts a gross laden weight on the goods vehicle, which is the design weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load that it is designed to carry, and this exceeds 2 tonnes, that vehicle is no longer a car derived van. The van becomes an ordinary goods vehicle under 7.5 tonnes gross weight, and is therefore subject to the speed limits as shown in the Highway Code.

As a "rule of thumb" any van LARGER than a Vauxhall Astra van, will probably have a gross weight in excess of 2 tonnes and is therefore subject to the reduced "class of vehicle" speed limits. Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Mercedes Vito, Peugeot Expert and Ford Connect, for example, are restricted vans.

Even some manufacturers don't know.
Some register them as cars, while others as Light Goods Vehicles.
So the same van bought at different
retailers could have different maximum speeds on the same stretch of road.

Vauxhall Astra van Vauxhall Corsa van Ford Fiesta van

It is immaterial that a goods vehicle may be UNLADEN at the time it is detected exceeding the speed limit.
The construction of the vehicle that enables it to be used up to the 7.5 tonnes maximum weight is the relevant criteria.

So there you have it, except for Motorways, where we can do a maximum 70mph, unless towing then all vehicles are LIMITED to 60mph, our limits are the same as 'artics' carrying 10 or 15 times our gross weight.

I would advise you to check the label stuck inside your van 'door shuts', your vehicle registration document, with your employer or with your van manufacturer to find out the MLW of your vehicle, to know whether you need to drive a little slower,


To find out more,
either Google - "Van Speed Limits"
or check out the sites below for your own peace of mind.

DofT - Speed: Know Your Limits.pdf

Speed Limits -

These are a selection of sites that I've found decussing this very subject.

1996 - Transports Friend

2004 - Pepipoo Forum

2005 - Fleet News

Driving Hours!

I believe that we, that's vans less than 3.5 tonnes, come under the GB Domestic Driving Hours Rules.
I haven't done much research on this,
but have found a few sites below for further infomation.

Courier Business Stuff - Driving Hours
seems to explain it better than

A maximum of 10 hours driving in a 24hr period.

And you must have regular rest breaks, 15mins, every 2 hours.

If you cause an accident, especially a fatal accident,
you are in deep shit
if you haven't had regular breaks and can't prove it,
keep a daily run sheet,
it will help show you are responsible
and the company you work for is also in the shit if they haven't made allowances for them.

I'm talking a prison sentence here, heavy stuff, so check!!!

If you are self-employed and work for just one company,
try and educate them, leave or live with it? Your choice!!

I'm finding out so much about this,
that it's really doing my head in.
I've been driving vans for years and
didn't know any of this stuff.

and I'm so pleased about that.

Check the official Gov.UK site - Driving Hours

Transport Cafe - Driving Hours

I hope that by setting up this page I can help keep van drivers out of the clutches of the Police & VOSA.

Drive Safely.

I was hoping to have the image below, printed up, ready to stick on,
to spread the word, and warn others why you are not driving as fast as they would like.
But when I found out it would cost about £10.00, mostly p&p, I thought that was too much!!

So if you would like a FREE COPY of the image, just click on it to show the full size image,
 then right click and 'Save Image As' to download.

Please be aware that it is 2.7Mb if you are on a mobile.

The image is A3 size, but of course you can print it A4 if you like, to fit your van.

Please get the message out there, Van Drivers Know Your Limits.

Best Regards Paul

I take no responibility for the accuracy of the information I have supplied here
and encourage you to seek more information elsewhere.

Last updated 08/09/19

Just a few of the Companies who's products and goods I've carried.

L&F Express Transport Instant Promotion - Custom Printed Gazebos and More Royal Mail Sameday HCS Express Praxair Surface Technologies Dynamatic-Oldland Aerospace Rolls Royce Clip - Exhibitions & Display GWR-First Great Western Bribex - Exceptional Signs Huge Media - Outdoor Advertising Kawasaki DHL - Express & Logistics TNT - Sure we can Ceva Logistics Fedex

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