Yes, you can operate the van but only under certain circumstances. The regulations require a vehicle to have a working speedometer whenever it is used on a public road except when:
- The vehicle is being used on a journey during which the instrument became defective.
- As a result of the defect, the instrument has ceased to be in good working order and steps have been taken to have the defect rectified ‘with all reasonable expedition’.
At first glance, this appears to suggest that you can use the vehicle provided it has been booked in for a repair or replacement of the speedometer. However, a court’s interpretation of what is meant by ‘reasonable expedition’ may differ from yours. You will also need to consider how you would demonstrate this to either an enforcement officer or, ultimately, a court.
You also need to consider how the driver will be able to observe speed limits. Using a vehicle without an effective speed measuring device could lead to serious issues if the vehicle was involved in an accident where excess speed was alleged to be a factor.