How Can We Help?

Top Tips for Knowing Your Driving Speed Limits in the UK

You are here:
< All Topics

Learning to drive for many is exciting, but it can also be daunting. There are so many things to process when you’re out and about on the roads – checking mirrors, using the correct indicator, how to do the perfect parallel parking manoeuvre, which lane to choose on the roundabout. It’s easy to forget or miss things when you’re learning.

However, one thing that is really important to know are your speed limits. Not only will it help you pass your driving crash course, it will also make you a responsible driver (and help you avoid a hefty fine).

If you’re learning to drive and you’ve ever questioned what speed you should be doing, this blog is for you.


What are speed limits and when do they apply?

Speed limits are the maximum speed you are allowed to do and apply to all roads in the UK. Only emergency services are allowed to exceed these limits.


What are the UK speed limits?

Speed limits in the UK typically fall between 20 and 70 miles per hour. While 20mph might seem slow, this speed limit is often placed on roads near schools and residential areas to protect children and pedestrians. However, most built-up areas are 30mph.

Currently it’s against the law to drive faster than 70mph on any road in the UK, so it’s best to leave those high-speed car chase scenes to the movies.

You can also get marked down in your test for driving too slow, so it’s important to keep up with the flow of traffic.


Understanding the National Speed Limit:

The national speed limit is the highest speed you are allowed to drive in the UK and applies to three types of road:


Single carriageway = 60mph
Dual carriageway = 70mph
Motorway = 70mph


Just to confuse things a little, these national speed limits do not apply to every type of vehicle. For instance, motorhomes, vans, and goods vehicles have different speed limits. You can find out more on the official website.

However, for most cars, including the one you will be using to pass your test, the speed limits listed above are the ones you need to know.


How do you know what speed you should be doing?

Even to experienced drivers it’s not always obvious what speed you should be doing. However, we hope these quick tips will help you:
Speed limits are usually signposted at the side of the road, or sometimes even painted on the tarmac.

20 – 50mph are usually marked inside a red circle, whereas 60 – 70mph are indicated with a white circle and a black diagonal line – the national speed limit sign.

If you are not sure and you can’t spot any speed signs the general rule of thumb is to stick to 30mph, especially if you are in a built-up area.


The sooner you get up to speed on your speed limits, the sooner you can hit the road with a new-found sense of freedom.

Want to learn how to drive? GoGoGo Intensive offers a one week driving course in Peterborough so you can be on the road in no time. Check out the website to learn more about our driving crash course.

Table of Contents