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  1. #1
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    Default Speed Limits for "Vans"

    This topic was last aired in 2009 so wondering if anyone is any the wiser now! I have a T5 Shuttle/registered as a Diesel Car ( i.e. not commercial) and I pay the full road tax unfortunately. This however appears to be irrelevant! I have researched advice from the DfT, the VW Forum, and read the various Statutes...and still cannot determine whether I can travel at the same speed as cars or whether I am limited to the same speeds as commercial vans. My reg doc gives "Body Type" as "minibus". Minibus is however defined by law as a passenger vehicle with more than 8 passenger seats ( excluding the driver) ....the Shuttle has 7 passenger seats or 8 if a double front seat is specced, ( mine is 7) so it is not a minibus. As far as definitions go, it conforms with the Road Vehicles Construction and Use Regs 1986 definition of a motor car ( constructed to carry passengers and their effects/no more than 7 passengers and under 3050 kg unladen. The advice on speeds limits issued by GOV.UK ( DfT) lists the lower speed limits as applying to Goods Vehicles/Bus Coaches and minibuses/cars towing trailers. Motor cars and motor homes are the standard speed limits.
    YET I know someone recently done for doing 59 in a 60 limit ( A class road) and being told at a subsequent "Training Event" to avoid the points.....that VW Kombis, Shuttles,Caravelles, window vans..........are all still considered to be vans and therefore subject to the lower speed limits. The rationale apparently being that any of those variants can be emptied of seats etc and loaded to the max laden weight. whether or not that is ACTUALLY) how the vehicle is being used is not relevant. It is the potential.
    As far as I can see The road Traffic Act and associated regulations conflict with each other.

    The only thing that seems reasonably likely is that if you caught travelling in excess of the lower limit, by a speed trap ( mobile or fixed), and your vehicle is a Kombi, Shuttle , Caravelle or similar types of other brands, the one thing that is most likely to determine whether you get done or not is the method used to determine your vehicle class. That appears to be the section 4J on your V5C ( Reg Doc). For a Transporter, if that is M1...it is classed as a car, if it is N1 it is a good vehicle.
    Note that a Kombi for example could be either because VW changed the way it classified the vehicle at some stage.

    In summary..........a "blind check" back to the DVLA database done automatically by speed traps may define your vehicle as a car and you are OK. The same vehicle may still be subject to a fine however if actually stopped by police. Its a mess!

    ps If you convert ( even DIY) to a camper....and provide all the evidence to DVLC that the vehicle is now fully equipped as a camper ...and ( no joke) it looks like a camper inside and out......you can get the classification changed and then travel the same speed as cars. On the downside you would then no longer be able to get away with subsidised fixed price road fund licence fees.....the vehicle would be taxed on emissions.

  2. #2

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    Isn't it just about having windows (or a window) in the side?

    My T4 has no windows and, ahem, I'm often chugging up and down a motorway at 70mph or more. How well is the 60mph limit on dual carriageways enforced?

    Meanwhile, here in Brighton & Hove, a stupid and car-hating Green council is trying to impose 20mph speed limits on most roads – a bit annoying when you can't get out of third gear.
    Blank space

  3. #3
    Senior Member TwoFish's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by basher View Post
    Isn't it just about having windows (or a window) in the side?
    No.

    I'm not best placed to answer this one. However I'm fairly clear that there's a lot of ******** talked about 'van law', probably because it's complex and because there is different legislation / rules applying for different purposes, including:


    • VED class / duty
    • Speed limits
    • Taxation of benefits in kind for vehicle use
    • Ferry fares
    • Road tolls
    • Whether you're barred from the campsite for fear you're an uncouth, thieving gypsy *******


    Oh, and maybe also add London Emissions Zone regulations / charges to that list.

    Understandably, folk get confused between the various legislation / regulations / rules / pub rumour.

    For the purposes of van speed limits (per Schedule 6 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984), the 'goods vehicle' definition is deemed to be that per s192 Road Traffic Act 1988: goods vehicle” means a motor vehicle constructed or adapted for use for the carriage of goods, or a trailer so constructed or adapted" where 'goods' "includes goods or burden of any description". That's not entirely helpful, but I think Mikerb is right when he concludes that it's normally taken to be determined by the 'Tax Class' per the V5C, which I think is in turn normally determined by the vehicle 'type approval'.

    Clear as mud?
    Last edited by TwoFish; 27th November 2013 at 11:40 PM.
    Eeeh 'tis grim dahn Sarf.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Simply put, if it is not a van directly derived from a car and under 2 tonne all up ( even that definition is not clear from one small van to another) then it is a van ( i.e. goods vehicle) regardless how it is configured in terms of windows etc. Well that is one definition! The vehicle ( specifically those like the Kombi shuttle and Caravelle) could also be considered a passenger vehicle ( i.e. a car) or a multi purpose vehicle. It seems however no one in the DfT is prepared to specify vehicle by vehicle whether that is the case or not, so it can only be contested by going to court. Almost regardless what the vehicle actually looks like, if the log book says it s a van...then its a van because it appears that is the cross check used by the police/Road Safety Camera teams.
    No confusion it would appear in your case. Its a van ( whether taxed privately or as a commercial) and speed limits are 30/50/60/70.
    I raised this now because it does appear that a number of Police Forces are currently running campaigns on speeding by these types of vehicles. In some more enlightened areas this amounts to vans being stopped by Police and given advice ( and stickers apparently) on their applicable speed limits; in other cases people are just receiving NIPs in the post.

  5. #5
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    @Twofish..............yes and the point being that a Shuttle or Caravelle is none of those categories since they are clearly designed as people carriers. The issue is that these types of vehicle did not exist when the reulations were made and no one has seen fit to amend them since. It is possible to prove from some of these regulations that big cars like Rollers etc may not be cars at all! Just based on this specific Regulation the Kombi is however less clear. Elsewhere in the regulations ( Road Vehicles Construction and Use Regs 1986) the waters are muddied for the Shuttle and Caravelle ( and probably other similar vehicles as well). It goes into some detail about what defines a passenger vehicle or multi purpose vehicle ( no more than 8 passengers..or it becomes a minibus/ fixed seating behind the driver... but does not define fixed)/seat belts/through vision to the back .... block up the tailgate window or obscure it and you start to fail the definition / some specifications re side glass and total area of glass/ even measurements in terms of where the rear seats are positioned in relation to the total length of the vehicle).

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  7. #7
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    Guys the emissions levels in london are a problem . If your say T4 is older than 2003 you cant enter The inner circle of the M25 .eg A127 or A12 to M25 ok, go into Romford/Upminster/hornchurch etc your camrea,d and automatic fine sent out to you . Nightmare . any of you had similar problerms

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