Why doesn't the speed shown on my car's speedometer and sat-nav always match? © Getty Images

Why doesn’t the speed shown on my car’s speedometer and sat-nav always match?

Driving about you may have noticed that your GPS may calculate a different speed than you car's meter.

Speedometers are allowed to overstate speed by up to 10 per cent, but never to understate it. Speedos therefore often indicate a higher speed than GPS. At a steady speed on a straight road, sat-nav is likely to be more accurate than the speedo.


GPS devices calculate speed by determining the time taken to travel a given distance, so bendy roads or rapid acceleration/deceleration distorts the readings. There’s also a short time lag while the GPS calculations readjust.


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