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Don't Get Caught Speeding on Holiday - Know The Speed Limits

One of the commonest reasons for encountering the police on a summer holiday isn’t as you might expect, reporting something lost or stolen but actually being stopped for speeding.

That feeling as you look in your mirror and see the police lights indicating for you to stop, the fear that you won’t be understood and possibly in some cases the fear of what the punishment is going be, are all racing through your mind. In a lot of cases you’ll find that you’re either given an ‘on the spot’ fine or a ticket which you’ll need to pay at a police station within a certain amount of time or, in some cases with a little knowledge of the language, a lot of humility and acceptance of your error, you may just be given a warning.

Speeding on Holiday

Interestingly, this is becoming more prevalent, especially in countries such as Cyprus where hire cars are more easily distinguished from locals. In these harsh economic times when the tourist euro is very important to the host country, the last thing they want is to send you home with a low opinion of the country gained through heavy-handed policing. For this reason, tourists are much more likely to escape with a warning rather than a fine, and in most cases it may be accompanied by a well-trained warm and welcoming smile!

By far the best approach though is not to get into the situation in the first place and it’s useful to find out what the speed limits are before you travel so to help you, we’ve listed the limits for the most commonly visited holiday destinations below. Once there, if you find you can’t remember, err on the side of caution and common sense and look out for speed limit signs which are almost universally used.
Country In Town (km/h) Out of Town (km/h) Motorway (km/h)
UK 48 (30mph) 96 (60mph) 112 (70mph)
Spain 50 Up to 90 120
France 50 Up to 130 Up to 130
Portugal          50 100 120
USA Up to 72 Up to 113 Up to 129
Germany 50 100 *No limit, 130
Italy 50 80 Up to 150
Holland 50 80 Up to 130
Greece 50 80 130
Cyprus 50 80 100
Turkey 50   90   Up to 120
*limited sections of the Autobahn in Germany remain unrestricted, however many have a max of 130kph
and this is still recommended on unlimited sections.
These figures are liable to change and are for cars only, check for accuracy nearer the time of travel.

Of course, these figures are maximums and so use common sense to drive at a speed that’s comfortable and safe for the conditions, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar country. Drive carefully, stay safe and enjoy your holiday car hire experience.
Phil Partridge
Posted: February 05, 2013 by Phil Partridge 0 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Friday, July 3, 2020
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