Vehicle Road Speed Limiters (RSL)

In February 1992 Council Directive 62/6/EEC was issued which required certain categories of vehicle to be fitted with Road Speed Limiters. This was followed by Council Directive 92/24/EEC which set out, in the annexe, the technical specifications for such limiters. These directives were then incorporated into UK legislation by amending Regulation 36 of the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 by inserting sections 36A, 36B and 36C. (SI 3048/1993). 

In November 2002 the European Parliament and Council issued Directive 2002/85/EC which amended the original Directive 92/6/EEC to extend the range of vehicles to which the Directive applies. The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 have now been amended (SI 2102/2004) to incorporate these new requirements which came into effect as of the 1st January 2005. 

Vehicle Speed Limiters 

Please find information below relating to Road Speed Limiters;

  • Who is affected 
  • Exemptions to the Regulations 
  • Requirements 
  • Changes to vehicles already fitted 
  • Table of Application 
  • Plating and Cab Display 

Speed Limiter Exceptions

The only vehicles exempt from the requirement for speed limiters to be fitted are vehicles:

  • being taken to a place where a speed limiter is to be installed or calibrated. 
  • used, in certain circumstances, for naval, military or air force purposes. 
  • being used for fire brigade, police or ambulance purposes. 
  • travelling less than six miles per week on public roads between lands occupied by the same person. 

A vehicle with a limiter cannot be driven on a road without the limiter functioning unless it is:  

  • completing a journey during which the limiter accidentally ceased to function. 
  • going to a place where the limiter is to be replaced. 

UK Speed Limiter Requirements 

Since 1 August 1992 all-new goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes maximum gross weight and with a speed capability of over 60mph have had to be fitted with a speed limiter calibrated at 60mphunless exempt from the speed limiter requirements or covered by the EU legislation. The UK retrofit programme which became effective on 31 July 1993 has, in practice, been overtaken by the EU requirements which have a wider application. 

EU Speed Limiter Requirements 

EU Directives 92/6 and 92/4 require speed limiters to be fitted to all goods vehicles capable of exceeding 56mph that are over 12 tonnes maximum gross weight and first used on or after January 1988, unless they meet the specific exemptions in the regulations. The directives have been amended to include new and most existing (registered from 1 October 2001) N2 motor vehicles, i.e. over 3.5 tonnes maximum gross vehicle weight. 

From 1 January 2007 additional vehicles came into scope under-speed limiter legislation, including goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes maximum gross vehicle weight and passenger vehicles with more than eight passenger seats. 

Limiter Fitment to LGV & HGV Goods Vehicles 

As of 1 January 2008, all goods vehicles over 3,500kg (3.5t >) require speed limiters to be fitted, subject to its age with maximum speed setting as detailed below;

First Registered from 

Design Gross Vehicle Weight 

Set Speed 

Jan 1988 



1 Aug 1992 – 30 Sept 2001 

7,501 – 12,000kg 


1 Oct 2001 – 31 Dec 2004 

3.501kg – 7,500kg 


1 Oct 2001 – 31 Dec 2004 

7.501kg – 12,000kg 


1 Jan 2005 

All vehicles over 3,500kg 


Limiter Fitment to Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV)

As of 1 January 2008, all passenger carrying vehicles (PCV) with more than eight passenger seats (Bus) require speed limiters depending on its age with maximum speed setting as detailed below. 

First Registered from 

Passenger Seating Capacity 

Design Gross Vehicle Weight 

Set Speed 

1 Apr 1974 – 31 Dec 1987 




1 Aug 1988 – 30 Sept 2001 


7,501 – 10,000kg 


1 Aug 1988 




1 Oct 2001  


7.501kg – 10,000kg 


1 Oct 2001 – 31 Dec 2004 



*(Euro III diesel or gas engine) 


1 Jan 2005 


All vehicles 


*Some vehicles in this category first registered from 1 October 2001 until 31 December 2004 may have been approved to Directive 70/220/EC or fitted with Euro II engines. These 
vehicles are exempt from speed limiter fitment requirements. Further information on this exemption and annual test requirements can be obtained from DVSA. 

With the amendment to Construction and Use Regulations by SI2102:2004 implementing Directive 2002/85, the speed limiter plate should show the speed to which the vehicle has been calibrated. 

Calibration and Unit Sealing 

The EU directive does not give detailed rules for calibration and sealing for vehicles within its scope but simply demands that speed limiters must be installed by workshops or bodies approved by member states. 

But UK legislation states that, while anyone can install a limiter, checking of the installation and verification of the calibration has to be done by an 'authorised sealer' unless it was fitted before 1 August 1992 or fitted outside the UK. The limiter will be sealed and a plate issued. 

Authorised sealers must check that the limiter complies with the constructional requirements, that it is correctly calibrated and maintained in good working order. Sealing must prevent improper interference, adjustment or interruption of the power supply. The regulations allow a charge to be made for sealing, but no set fee is specified. The plate must be fixed in a 'conspicuous and readily accessible position within the driving compartment' and must display clearly and indelibly the limiter's set speed. 

Vehicles fitted with a speed limiter before 1 August 1992 were not required to have it sealed by an authorised sealer, nor was a plate required. However, a vehicle that must be retrofitted must display a speed limiter plate as this forms part of the annual test. 

A check on speed limiters formed part of the annual test from 1 October 2002. 

Authorisation of Speed Limiter Sealers 

Sealers must be authorised by the Secretary of State for Transport and applications can be made by:

  • an individual proposing to seal speed limiters other than on behalf of another person. 
  • a firm or corporation. 

Operators who wish to become 'authorised sealers' may apply to DVSA. Manufacturers of speed limiters or vehicles can obtain block approval of their agents and dealers by sponsoring them through a scheme administered by the Vehicle Certification Agency. 

Authorised sealers have to:

  • be certified for each manufacturer's speed limiter. 
  • have sufficient equipment to be able to calibrate and seal a unit in a static condition for each manufacturer of speed limiters. 
  • keep a detailed register of all sealing works for at least five years from the date of the seal. 
  • carry out external and independent quality assurance checks at intervals no greater than 18 months. 

Applications from people without suitable premises may be acceptable if they plan to offer a mobile calibration and sealing service. 

Enforcement of the rules on authorised sealers is the responsibility of DVSA which has the right to enter premises during normal business hours, examine registers and watch calibration and sealing being carried out. 

New rules provisionally agreed by the EU mean that speed limiters will become mandatory for all vehicles sold in Europe from 2022. 

In a move which campaigners hope will revolutionise road safety, all vehicles in the EU would be fitted with a system that restricts them from breaking the speed limit. The Department for Transport said that the UK will follow suit even after its withdrawal. 

After being approved by the European Commission, mandatory speed-limiting technology, known as ‘Intelligent Speed Assistance’ (ISA) could be fitted to all new cars within just three years. 

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the body which supports the introduction of ISAs, says the limiters would reduce collisions by 30%, and save around 25,000 lives within 15 years. 

Source ETSC -  

Speed limiters and black boxes installed in new cars from 2022 and police can access data