Speed surveys are conducted at randomly selected sites around New Zealand annually to provide an estimate of the national speed profile. The results are broken down to a regional level and into light and heavy vehicles. This page shows the car speed survey results.

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In 2015, speeds were surveyed for 14,632 cars on the open road (speed limit 100 km/h) and 19,520 cars on urban roads (speed limit 50 km/h). Surveys were spread over 70 open road and 66 urban sites.

Open Road Car Speeds
Open Road Car Speeds
YearMean speed (km/h)85th * percentile (km/h)Percent travelling over 100 km/h
1996 102.3 115 56%
1997 101.6 113 54%
1998 102.2 113 57%
1999 101.8 112 56%
2000 101.4 111 52%
2001 100.2 109 47%
2002 99.1 107 43%
2003 98.0 105 39%
2004 97.8 105 39%
2005 97.1 104 36%
2006 96.4 103 32%
2007 96.3 103 29%
2008 96.6 103 30%
2009 96.3 103 29%
2010 96.2 103 29%
2011 96.5 103 31%
2012 95.6 102 25%
2013 95.7 102 25%
2014 95.3 101 22%
2015 95.7 101 23%

* 85th percentile speed means 15 percent of the vehicles surveyed were travelling faster than this speed.

Urban Road Car Speeds
Urban Road Car Speeds
YearMean speed (km/h)85th * percentile (km/h)Percent travelling over 50 km/h
1996 56.5 64 82%
1997 56.3 63 82%
1998 55.9 63 81%
1999 55.8 63 80%
2000 55.3 62 79%
2001 55.2 62 79%
2002 54.3 61 76%
2003 53.7 60 72%
2004 52.9 58 67%
2005 52.4 58 63%
2006 52.6 58 63%
2007 52.5 58 63%
2008 52.6 58 64%
2009 52.3 57 61%
2010 52.0 57 58%
2011 52.0 57 59%
2012 51.3 56 53%
2013 51.7 57 56%
2014 51.1 56 52%
2015 50.4 55 46%

* 85th percentile speed means 15 percent of the vehicles surveyed were travelling faster than this speed.

Graph showing percent of cars exceeding speed limits
Graph showing open road speeds
Graph showing urban speeds
The following two charts show how the open road and urban speed distributions have changed over the last ten years.

Graph showing open road speed distribution
Graph showing urban speed distribution

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