Speed limits for big pick-ups are a 'grey area'

Bigger pick-ups that have recently started to arrive on the UK market could have to abide by light commercial vehicle speed limits.

Leasing company Arval says models such as the most popular double cab derivatives of the latest Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok can exceed the legal 2,040kg unladen weight classification for dual-purpose vehicles, which means they are no longer covered by passenger car speed limits.

This suggests that they should, in fact, not travel faster than 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways – although the standard urban 30mph and 70mph motorway limits continue to apply. This is of potential concern because these vehicles are often bought as a fleet alternative to a regular passenger car.

Eddie Parker, commercial vehicle consultant at Arval UK said: “Pick-ups sold in the UK have been getting bigger and heavier for several years, driven by demand for increased payload from both fleet and domestic buyers.

“The result of this is that, at least technically, they have become light commercial vehicles in the eyes of the law and should be sticking to the lower speed limits.

“Confusingly, there is also a possibility that individual examples of the same model might fall either side of the 2,040kg limit because of the fitting of optional equipment such as pick-up tops that are needed for some fleet applications.

“It is definitely a grey area and one of which fleet managers operating pick-ups should be aware.”

Parker added that Arval had contacted the DfT about the issue, who had conceded that the classification of some pick-ups may need to change in the future but that this could require a legal challenge to take place.

He said: “Our general advice would be that, where there is any doubt, it is probably best to advise your pick-up drivers to adopt the lower limits. There is little to be gained from potentially having to fight a test case if one of your vehicles is prosecuted for exceeding the speed limit.”

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  • Rusty - 16/08/2016 12:35

    the insurance also needs to be looked into,as a light commercial, people are not aware that these should not be driven on "drivers own insurance- third party" as their policy may state you can drive "any other CAR" etc - LCV is therefore not covered.

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  • Chris Harris - 16/08/2016 13:15

    Having just had the pleasure of attending a speed awareness course, the guidelines are clear. If the vehicle is used for commercial purposes ie carries tools or equipment it comes under the same restrictions as LCV,if however it is used for pleasure then it is governed under the same rules as a car.So in short best air on the side of caution

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  • Glyn Holloway - 16/08/2016 15:12

    The potential for big pick-ups being speed limited is something that brings joy to my heart. Unfortunately there is a number of drivers of these vehicles that use their size to intimidate other road users. My personal experience would put the VW Amorok head of this list

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  • Nick B - 18/08/2016 14:21

    Rusty has a very valid point as I have come across this in the area of van conversion to horse box

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  • Gerry - 02/02/2019 07:48

    It is quite clearly stated on the registration document what it is, if it says LCV, LGV or anything commercial then tha'ts what it is. There is no 'grey area' - the law is the law - simple!

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  • john4870 - 09/04/2020 11:55

    Rubbish - not a grey area, just that some folk don't know the law. It has been this way for some years... read the Highway Code.

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