U.K. speed limits

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Obey the speed limits of pay the (high) price

I know: obvious one, right?

Problem is, there's this persistent myth that there are no speed limits in Europe. This is untrue.

Except when posted otherwise, the following speed limits apply all across the U.K.:

  • 112 kmph (70 mph) is the speed limit on major highways in the U.K. (motorways—desingated "M#"—and divided highways, or "dual carriageways").
  • 96 kmph (60 mph) is the speed limit on non-major highways in the U.K. (single carriageways).
  • 48 kmph (30 mph) is the speed limit in "built-up areas" in the U.K. 

Basically, unless you see a sign saying you can go faster, stick to 48 kmph (30 mph).

Yes, you will get a ticket

The U.K. has always been a bit stricter than the rest of Europe in enforcing speed limits, and has only gotten more stingent in recent years.

More and more cops have begun writing speedung tickets and—more insidiously—the U.K. just might be the world leader in traffic cams that can automatically issue tickets.

The minimum penalty for speeding is £100.

Since most speeding tickets only find their way to you via the rental car company—and the rental company will tack on enormous fees of their own to pass them along to you, you would be very wise to stick to the posted limits. 

(I once got a $300 bill for having gone 6 mph above the speed limit on a country road in Sardegna).