BIGGER pick-ups starting to arrive could be caught in a double cab pick-up speeding trap – because some should be sticking to van speed limits rather than the higher limits for cars, warns Arval.
The major leasing company says models such as the most popular double cab derivatives of the latest Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok can exceed the legal 2,040kg unladen weight classification for dual-purpose vehicles, which means they are no longer covered by passenger car speed limits.
What are van speed limits?
In that case, like vans, they should not travel faster than 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways – although the standard urban 30mph and 70mph motorway limits continue to apply.
This is of potential concern because these vehicles are often bought as a fleet alternative to a regular passenger car because of their low tax advantages as much as their versatility.
Eddie Parker, commercial vehicle consultant at Arval UK comments: “Pick-ups sold in the UK have been getting bigger and heavier for several years, driven by demand for increased payload from both fleet and domestic buyers.
“The result of this is that, at least technically, they have become light commercial vehicles in the eyes of the law and should be sticking to the lower speed limits.
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“Confusingly, there is also a possibility that individual examples of the same model might fall either side of the 2,040kg limit because of the fitting of optional equipment such as pick-up hard tops that are needed for some fleet applications.
“It is definitely a grey area and one of which fleet managers operating pick-ups should be aware.”
Eddie added that Arval had contacted the DfT about the issue, who had conceded that the classification of some pick-ups may need to change in the future but that this could require a legal challenge to take place.
He said: “Our general advice would be that, where there is any doubt, it is probably best to advise your pick-up drivers to adopt the lower limits. There is little to be gained from potentially having to fight a test case if one of your vehicles is prosecuted for exceeding the speed limit.”