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Motorhome Speed Limits

VOSA statement on speed limits for motorhomes (2007):

"Regarding speed limits, provided the motor homes are "motor caravans" then they are subject to passenger vehicle speed limits, which are 70 mph on a motorway or dual carriageway and 60mph on other roads unless a lower speed limit applies, provided the unladen weight (not MAM) is not over 3050 kg.
If the UW is over 3050 kg then the speed limits are 70 mph on a motorway, 60 mph dual carriageway and 50 mph on other roads."

 

"Provided that motor homes are not constructed to carry more than 8 passengers, or used to carry goods or burden other than those items necessary for the purpose of living in the vehicle, then they are not subject to speed limiter fitment regardless of weight. They are considered as "motor caravans" which are passenger vehicles with as many passenger seats that the vehicle was designed to transport so excluding from the passenger count seats in living or seating areas not intended for use in transport."

For speed limits in mainland Europe the Caravan Club have produced this useful table: European Speed Limits Ext Link (PDF 75.4kb) (The contents are believed to be correct as of April 2015). It lists the speed limits for cars, car/caravan combinations, motorhomes up to 3.5t and motorhomes from 3.5t to 7.5t.

In the UK motorhomes are subject to the same speed limits as private cars, unless they exceed 3050kg unladen weight, or they are classed as 'living vans' which are subject to goods vehicle speed limits:

Vehicle
Carriageway
without trailer
with trailer
single
dual
motorway
single
dual
motorway
Passenger vehicle, dual purpose vehicle, motor caravan not exceeding 3050kg unladen or 8 passenger seats
60mph
70mph
70mph
50mph
60mph
60mph
Passenger vehicle, dual purpose vehicle, motor caravan exceeding 3050kg unladen or 8 passenger seats and :- NOT exceeding 12 metres in length
50mph
60mph
70mph
50mph
60mph
60mph
exceeding 12 metres in length
50mph
60mph
60mph
50mph
60mph
60mph

[source: Section 86 (1) and Schedule 6 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984]

VOSA's definition of 'unladen weight' is:

'The weight of a vehicle inclusive of the body and all parts which are ordinarily used with the vehicle when working on a road. Unladen weight does not include the weight of water or fuel used for the propulsion of the vehicle, or of loose tools and loose equipment.'

We take that to mean, in the case of motorhomes, the weight of the bare vehicle, without any posessions, portable equipment, water, gas, etc. Many motorhomes with a GVW of 3500kg or less will have an unladen weight of less than 3050kg, but if you are in doubt about the unladen weight of your motorhome you should get the figures from the motorhome manufacturer.

'Living vans', i.e. motorhomes which carry goods or burden not directly necessary for the purpose of living in the vehicle, are classed as goods vehicles and subject to current goods vehicle requirements for speed limits and the fitting of speed limiters.

"Goods vehicles up to and including 3500 kg MAM do not and will not need a speed limiter. Those over 3500 kg but not over 7500 kg MAM newer than 1 October 2001 need or will need a speed limiter. Those over 7500kg but not over 12,000kg MAM newer than 1 August 1992, and those over 12,000 kg MAM newer than 1 January 1988 also need a speed limiter."

'Living vans' are most commonly those motorhomes used by, for example, motorcycle race teams where part of the vehicle is used as storage or workshop purposes, the definition will also include any motorhome used to carry goods for exhibition or sale, for example traders at motorhome shows that carry stock, equipment, etc., in the vehicle. Owners who think that their use of a motorhome could mean that it is classified as a living van would be well advised to acquaint themselves with goods vehicle legislation.

Information on goods vehicle legislation Ext Link

Speed limits for goods vehicles:

Vehicle
Carriageway
without trailer
with trailer
single
dual
motorway
single
dual
motorway
Goods vehicle NOT exceeding 7.5 tonnes which is not an articulated vehicle or car derived van
50mph
60mph
70mph
50mph
60mph
60mph
Car derived van (Good vehicle which is constructed or adapted as a derivative of a passenger vehicle, which has a maximum laden weight not exceeding 2000kg).
60mph
70mph
70mph
50mph
60mph
60mph
Goods vehicle exceeding 7.5 tonnes which is not an articulated vehicle
40mph
50mph
60mph
40mph
50mph
60mph


[Source: Section 86 (1) and Schedule 6 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984]

We would like to express our thanks to Steve Whitehart from VOSA for taking the time to respond to our query.

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