In RC158, Meuryn Howell asks if a vehicle does not have a speedometer whether this is a legal get out if caught speeding. As Rowena rightly said, the short answer is no. Is it an offence not to have a speedometer fitted? The answer is both yes and no, as some vehicle are exempt. Here’s the relevant passage from the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.
Save as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), every motor vehicle shall be fitted with a speedometer which, if the vehicle is first used on or after 1st April 1984, shall be capable of indicating speed in both miles per hour and kilometres per hour, either simultaneously or, by the operation of a switch, separately.
This does not apply to:
a vehicle having a maximum speed not exceeding 25mph; a vehicle which it is at all times unlawful to drive at more than 25mph; an agricultural motor vehicle which is not driven at more than 20mph; a motor cycle first used before 1st April 1984 the engine of which has a cylinder capacity not exceeding 100cc; an invalid carriage first used before 1st April 1984; a works truck first used before 1st April 1984; a vehicle first used before 1st October 1937; or
a vehicle equipped with recording equipment marked with a marking designated as an approval mark by regulation 5 of the Approval Marks Regulations and shown at item 3 in Schedule 4 to those Regulations (whether or not the vehicle is required to be equipped with that equipment) and which, as regards the visual indications given by that equipment of the speed of the vehicle, complies with the requirements relating to the said indications and installations specified in the Community Recording Equipment Regulation.
My BSA was dispatched from the factory on 21st July 1937 so unless the dealer ordered (and paid extra for) one he wouldn’t have got a speedometer, and it still doesn’t have one. John Lay, member 3626
I am sure that Rowena answered a question that was not asked in the letter from Meuryn Howell. She is correct that the non-fitment of a speedometer would not be a defence to an offence of exceeding the speed limit. However she then outlines the offence of failing to have a speedometer to which, unless the regulations have recently changed, there are a number of exemptions as follows.
Regulations 35 and 36 of Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 exempt certain vehicles from the requirement to be fitted with a speedometer:
1. Maximum speed of 25mph 2. Unlawful to drive at more than 25mph 3. Agricultural vehicle not driven at more than 20mph 4. Motorcycle first used before 1/4/84 not exceeding 100cc 5. Invalid carriage first used before 1/4/84. Note: a blue Greeves Invacar is not an invalid carriage as defined under the Acts, think more of a mobility scooter or Bath chair 6. Works truck first used before 1/4/84 7. Vehicle first used before 1/10/37 8. Vehicle fitted with approved recording equipment indicating the speed
Just to head off the hoary old canard that you need to have a working speedometer for the MoT, it is not a testable item even if required by law. You will get an MoT but still be committing the offence unless exempt as above. Nick Crook, member 1342
I think we all need a nice lie down now. Maybe a cup of tea. FrankW