Speed Limiters

From 7 July 2024 all new vehicles sold will need to have speed limiters installed. The law has been introduced further to an EU law enacted in 2022.

The requirements came into force after various publications and research showing that exceeding the speed limit contributed to a significant proportion of road traffic accidents. The EU Commission believes that the introduction of limiters may reduce deaths by up to a third.

This new law is for newly manufactured cars and all new vehicles not yet sold. So any new vehicle being sold on or after this date must have a limiter fitted – including cars currently sat on forecourts (which therefore may have to be retrospectively fitted).

It does not apply to old/current vehicles. If any person wants to sell their car, there will be no legal requirement to get it fitted with a limiter before they sell it.

The limiters themselves work with GPS data to automatically find the speed limit on a road and then either:

    • automatically reduce the speed of the car;
    • increase pressure on the accelerator to make it harder to accelerate; or
    • warn drivers with a symbol/noise when they are exceeding the limit.

Which method to use will be down to the manufacturer.

The GPS data will automatically update with new speed limits but there is always the risk that roadworks/gantries will not be picked up and the vehicle may not recognise a temporarily reduced speed limit.

Currently there is no defence in law for a driver to say they didn’t realise they were speeding because the GPS system didn’t pick up roadworks, so drivers will always still have to stay aware of the speed limit and reduce their speed accordingly.

While you cannot remove a speed limiter, they can be overridden either manually through the car’s on-board computer, or by pressing the accelerator hard to give the car a sudden burst of speed. The latter is required under safety provisions to allow the driver control to remove themselves from danger if necessary.

But the law is for manufacturers – not drivers – so there is no law against switching them off (although the limiters will automatically be switched on every time the car is restarted).