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Which Countries use mph or km/h

There are 2 units of measurement, namely MPH (miles per hour) and km/h (kilometres per hour) used by different countries all over the world to set speed limits and you need to know which country uses MPH and which uses km/h before you hit the road.

Speed limits are implemented all over the world to ensure that the roads are as safe as they can possibly be (more on EU road accident statistics here). The authorities in any given country or state (more on US state speed limits here) set the speed limits for the type of road and the type of vehicle using that road. Whilst speed limit signs are generally standardized, or at least very clear, the unit of measurement isn’t always as obvious and few, if any speed limit signs actually state the unit. Use our world map to check which countries use mph and which use km/h. Just 17 countries use MPH of the 196 counties in the world (as of 2018), that’s just 9%.
  which countries use mph or kph
Countries that use MPH
Driving Guide
Driving in Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Driving in the British Virgin Islands
Driving in Burma
Driving in Gibraltar
Driving in Guam
Driving in Samoa
St. Helena
Driving in St. Helena
St. Kitts and Nevis
Driving in St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
US Virgin Islands
Driving in the US Virgin Islands

History of Speed Limits

The first speed limit was introduced by the United Kingdom in 1861 with a maximum speed of just 10 MPH. Imperial units were used back in the 19th century and was the unit of measurement until SI units (Système International d'Unités) were introduced in 1960. Most countries adopted this metric unit of measurement (kilometres rather than miles) and converted measured road distances and speed limits to kilometres (km) and kilometres per hour (km/h). The UK, USA and Canada retained the traditional MPH unit as well as numerous UK colonies as shows in the table above.

Converting km/h to mph

There are 1.609 kilmoteres in a mile so it’s quite simple to convert any speed limit from one unit of measurement to the other. The following table shows some of the most popular speed limits in km/h converted to MPH.
Convert mph to km/h
1 mile = 1.609km – simply multiply the unit in miles by 1.609 to get the speed limit it kilometres
Convert km/h to mph
1 km = 0.62 miles – simply multiply the unit in kilometres by 0.62 to get the speed limit in miles
km/h (kilometres per hour)
mph (miles per hour)

Is it mph or km/h when renting a car?

If you’re from the UK (which uses MPH) and renting a car in Spain (which uses km/h), leaving the airport and seeing a 130 speed limit sign on the motorway might be quite a shock. Of course, that 130 refers to km/h which equates to 80.78 MPH, still faster than you should be used to driving on UK roads but certainly not 130 MPH. Getting a speeding fine in a hire car on your way out of the airport is likely not the best start to your holiday. The table above shows all of the countries which use MPH and which use km/h so there is no excuse for not knowing the speed limit unit of measurement when driving anywhere in the world.

Of course, if you’re still unsure, the car dashboard symbols should give you plenty of clues. If the rental car has an analogue speedometer, the unit of speed will be the primary (bigger) numbers indicated and you should see km/h clearly shown. If the car has a digital speedometer, again km/h should be clear after the speed unit.

World Driving Guides

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Visitor Comments

  • 18/06/2020

    Will Carroll Hamilton

    It's not KPH. one thousands per hour. It's Km/h. one thousand metres per hour.
  • 24/10/2019

    Martin Vlietstra

    Two points: 1. The correct symbol for kilometres per hour is km/h, not kph. (See SI Brochure. 9th edition,pg 147) The term "km/h" is used worldwide, but "kph" is somethingthat comes from the British tabloids. In Italian, for example, "kilometres per hour" translates to "chilometri all'ora", yet the Italians use "km/h" on their road signs and speedometers. 2. Gibraltar uses km/h, not mph. (See
  • 15/01/2020


    Antigua and Barbuda are not countries. They are islands that are part of the country "Antigua and Barbuda." Many other listings are not countries but territories of countries such as the British Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico.
  • 22/09/2019

    Emrys Jones

    Falkland islands use miles & mph.
  • 27/07/2019


    Alaska is part of the USA, and uses miles.
  • 22/01/2019


    Canada switched in the. 70’s...
  • 03/01/2019


    Canada use kmh.
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