How To Master Speed Control

Last Updated: 10/04/2021

Controlling your speed is a key element in your driver education and if you were to break the speed limit on your driving test, it’s an immediate fail.

During your first few driving lessons, you will be driving well within the speed limits as you get used to the feeling of being behind the wheel., however, as your confidence grows you will find yourself speeding up.

One of the biggest issues on the UK roads today is drivers who break the speed limits.

It’s dangerous, placing both yourself, other drivers and pedestrians in harm’s way.

The truth is that, more than ever before, staying within the speed limits is a challenge.

Modern cars easily cruise along at much higher speeds and will not give you the sensation you are speeding either.

It’s so easy to creep above the speed limit that you need to constantly concentrate and be aware of how fast you are travelling.

If you’re caught speeding, penalties can include fines and points on your licence and more severe punishments for newer drivers.

So, it pays to adhere to the limits posted on signposts and to be aware of what national speed limits are in place.

Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you stay on the correct side of the law.

Three of the key skills you need to master to make sure you are within the speed limits are:


Always be in control of your vehicle and the speed at which you’re travelling.

Regularly check your speedometer.


Be aware of the road you are travelling on and the speed limits in force.

Check for signs which advise of the limit.


Drivers who do not fully concentrate are likely to speed.

Therefore, do not get distracted and caught up in what other drivers are doing.

What You Will Learn

To enable you to be confident of controlling your speed and driving within the speed limit, we’ve put together a simple guide which will give you the confidence and skills necessary to stay in control of your speed.

It will keep you, your passengers and fellow road users safe, not to mention keep you on the right side of the law.

You’ll also not fall foul of your driving test examiner by breaking speeding laws.

Our guide on how to master speed control consists of the following:

  • Step-By-Step Guide
  • Video Demonstration
  • Hints & Tips
  • Useful Information
  • Final Thoughts

Step-By-Step Guide

Unlike other manoeuvres, speed control is a skill that your examiner will be analysing throughout your test.

From the moment you leave the test centre until your driving test is finished, how you control your speed will be something under constant review.

It’s a vital skill which you should hone during your driving lessons with your instructor.

Speed control is not just limited to making sure you do not break the speed limit.

You also need to be driving at what is considered a safe speed throughout your test.

For this, you need to be mindful of these key scenarios beyond just the speed limit.

These include:

Weather Conditions:

Some weather conditions will require you to adjust your speed accordingly.

In icy conditions, for example, speeds should be reduced significantly to be considered that you’re driving safely and in control of the car.

Heavy rain can also be a problem – are you driving at a safe speed which gives you enough time and space to stop your vehicle on wet slippery roads in the event of an incident ahead or perhaps a pedestrian stepping into the road?

Visibility is another factor.

Mist and fog will also impact the speed at which you should be travelling.

Road Types:

Whether it’s bumpy or uneven road surfaces, narrow country lanes, humps in the road which prevents visibility beyond them, all of these are the types of roads on which you will be required to control your speed and reduce it.

Also, when entering villages or going around sharp bends, for example, while the speed limit may be 30mph, to be considered as driving safely and in control, you may need to be nearer to 20mph.

Your Surroundings:

This is incredibly important, and something your examiner will be hot on.

If, for example, you’re approaching a school or an area where elderly people may be crossing, you must demonstrate that you’re in control of the car and aware of the potential risks.

Without doubt, reducing your speed is a must.

Step-By-Step: How To Master Speed Control

  • Check your speedometer regularly, especially when leaving high speed roads or driving through residential areas. The more you get into the habit of checking your speed, the more it will become a natural reaction.
  • Always know the limit and if in doubt, slow down. You must stay vigilant to see what the speed limit of the road is and if you do not see a sign look for tell tale indications of what it may be in accordance with the national speed limits. If in any doubt, slow down.
  • If you’re driving in a 30mph limit, then try driving in third gear. This will make you more aware of when your speed creeps higher as the revs will be higher in the car and the speed is limited a little.
  • Use cruise control to manage your speed on quicker roads, when safe to do so.
  • Remember that speed limits are just that; limits. A maximum speed. You do not have to reach those speeds.
  • Be vigilant for speed limit signs at junctions when joining different roads.
  • Slow down in villages, near schools or in adverse weather.
  • Remove distractions and don’t be tempted to be distracted while driving. Concentration is key.

Video Demonstration

Hints & Tips

All of the information within this guide will help you to master speed control when learning to drive, however, there are also a couple of extra hints and tips to help you on your way.

Don’t Go With The Flow:

If other drivers are speeding, don’t be tempted to do so just to go along with the flow.

Be Confident:

Some drivers often feel intimidated if other drivers approach really close behind and end up increasing their own speed as a result.

Don’t be tempted to do so.

Obey the speed limits at all times, remain in control and leave other drivers to take care of themselves.

If someone is close behind, just make sure you give yourself plenty of stopping room to the vehicle in front so that you can gradually stop in the event of needing to do so.

Remove Potential Distractions:

Finally, a great way of ensuring you do not lose concentration is to remove anything which may divert your attention away from the road.

For example, put your mobile phone in the glove box or boot before setting off.

Useful Information

Here are a few extra pieces of useful information to keep in mind when considering the subject of speed control and why it is important.

Safety First:

Controlling your speed is not just about adhering to speed limits.

It’s about being safe and in control at all times.

Your instructor will fail you if they believe you have been driving too quickly in certain scenarios.

As mentioned earlier in this guide, weather, surroundings and road types are all key here.

Speed Limit Information:

The Highway Code contains lots of useful information about speed limits and how to identify what a speed limit may be when you do not see signage.

From lamppost distance to road markings, it’s all vital information.

Take the time to familiarise yourself with it.

Final Thoughts

Finally, the key to speed control is just that; control.

The moment your examiner believes you are not in full control of your vehicle from a speed perspective, you’re in trouble.

Maintaining a safe speed is as important as any other manoeuvre, so use your driving lessons as a perfect opportunity to practice and practice again.

The more confident and familiar you are when it comes to controlling your speed, the less likely you are to make that mistake on your test.