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Campervan and motorhome speed limits explained

Some campervans and motorhomes are subject to lower speed limits than cars, but which apply to you? We tell you everything you need to know...

Mercedes V-Class Marco Polo

If you've bought or are planning to buy a campervan or motorhome, you've probably heard mention of speed limits being lower than they are for cars. While this is sometimes the case, whether the lower speed limits apply to you depends on what you're driving, as well as what you're using it for.

There are two main categories for campervans and motorhomes, and which yours fits into (if either) mostly depends on its weight. Usually, campers weighing up to 3.05t fit into one category, while heavier ones fit into the other.

We say mostly, because it's unfortunately not quite that simple. In order for one of these categories to apply, first you have to check your vehicle's V5C registration document to make sure that your campervan or motorhome is registered correctly. Some DIY camper conversions won't have been reregistered as campervans, so instead you will have to obey the correct speed limits for the vehicle on which your camper is based.

While most of these conversions are from vans, some may be from van-based MPVs such as the Volkswagen Multivan or Volkswagen Caravelle, which are typically classed as passenger vehicles, and so are permitted to travel at the same speeds as normal cars.

Additionally, even if your vehicle is classed as a campervan or motorhome, you will have to obey goods vehicle speed limits if you use it as a workshop, for storage or to carry goods for exhibition or sale.

Here we'll take you through the speed limits for each category, as well as the rules for caravan owners. If you're looking for the speed limits relating to vans and other commercial vehicles, we've covered that in a separate story.

Motorhomes or motor caravans; maximum unladen weight up to 3.05t

The Caddy California: Tent

Built-up areas 30mph
Single carriageways 60mph
Dual carriageways 70mph
Motorways 70mph

Lighter motorhomes such as the Volkswagen Caddy California are allowed to follow the same speed limit rules as regular passenger cars – again, you should take care to check the V5C registration document to confirm that the vehicle is registered as a motorhome or motor caravan.

Motorhomes or motor caravans; maximum unladen weight of more than 3.05t

Volkswagen Grand California 2019 front tracking shot

Built-up areas 30mph
Single carriageways 50mph
Dual carriageways 60mph
Motorways 70mph

If your motorhome weighs more than 3.05t, these are the speed limits you have to follow. They are important because extra weight increases stopping distance for a given speed, reducing your ability to avoid a collision. As an example, the Volkswagen Grand California belongs in this category.

Towing

Tow Car Awards 2022 - Kia EV6 front

Built-up areas 30mph
Single carriageways 50mph
Dual carriageways 60mph
Motorways 60mph

If you’re towing a caravan or trailer, the above limits apply. They reduce the likelihood of the trailer beginning to sway due to crosswinds or other disturbances. If the load does begin to sway at lower speeds, it will be less severe and you will have more time to react and bring it under control.

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