Generally, the rules for speedo accuracy allow for a 10 per cent variance.
Generally, the rules for speedo accuracy allow for a 10 per cent variance. Iain Curry

OPINION: My speedo is on the slow side

EVERY time speeding comes up as an issue on the news, the questions and complaints about speedometer accuracy roll in to us at RACQ.

A common complaint from drivers is that even when the car's speedo shows the car to be travelling at the correct speed, some motorists say they find themselves being continually passed by other traffic.

Generally, the rules for speedo accuracy allow for a 10 per cent variance. However for all vehicles built since 2007, it is actually 10 per cent plus 4km/h and the vehicle can't travel faster than the speed indicated by the speedo.

Doing the math, this means for a vehicle travelling at a true speed of 100km/h it's acceptable for the car's speedo to read between 86km/h and 100km/h.

This isn't much of a variable in the grand scheme of things but some manufacturers are a bit conservative and their speedos end up reading closer to the lower end of the speed range, with predictable results.

 

Speedos can legally have a 10 per cent variance.
Speedos can legally have a 10 per cent variance. Rob Williams

 

So what can be done about it? The answer is: very little. That's because it's a federal rule and aligns with international standards, so vehicle manufacturers are simply complying with their obligations.

If you feel strongly about it, don't try to drive faster to correct the speed yourself, find an automotive instrument repairer and investigate what can be done to reduce the error.

But better yet, stick to your speedometer reading and allow an extra five minutes to get to your destination - that way you're less likely to end up in the news as a speeding statistic.


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