MPH and KPH: Which Country uses which metric

Depending on which country you are in, speed is measured in either kilometers or miles per hour. The designations for both may change, but most countries have adopted either kph, kp/h, or kmph for kilometers per hour, and mi/h, mph and m/h for miles per hour. Currently, only about 9% of the world uses miles per hour as a unit of measure, with the best-known among them being the USA and its dependencies. Despite the UK having officially converted to the metric system, they still use mph as well.

Japan is one of the countries that uses kph as a unit of measure, as well as Australia, China, India, the UAE, and rest of 81% of the world. These are the units used in displaying speed limits and other highway warnings in these countries, which is something you may need to keep in mind if you plan on driving during your visit in these countries.

Speed Limits

Of the countries that use km/h, Poland has the highest speed limit, at 140kph on the motorways.  In most of Europe however, the average speed limit is 80kph.

Speed limits in Japan are dependent on the roads you are on. On the expressway, for instance, the speed limit varies between 80 and 100kph, while urban areas and side streets are limited to 40 and 30kph respectively. Cars are driven on the left side of the road, and the road signs on major roads are conveniently in both Japanese and English. Driving in Japan is mainly done outside of the main metropolitan areas (the big cities of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya).

Countries that use MPH

The 9% of the world that still uses mph as a unit of measure includes the USA, Myanmar, Liberia, and the UK as stated earlier. Most of the countries and islands in the Caribbean also use miles per hour, including Antigua, Bahamas, Barbuda, and St Kitts and Nevis. Most of these are popular tourist destinations with good driving weather, and it is important for anyone traveling there to have this information. It is a good place to start your preparations especially if you plan on driving during your visit.

Below is a table detailing countries that still use mph.

Country
USA
UK
Puerto Rico
Bahamas
Antigua
Barbuda
British virgin islands
Burma
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
US Virgin Islands
Grenada
Gibraltar
St Helena
Samoa
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Guam
Liberia
Myanmar

Converting your speedometer KPH to MPH

Cars made in Europe and Japan are equipped with a speedometer using the KPH metric units. In the UK however, car speed is measured in mph. You are therefore it is necessary to either change the way the instruments read or constantly have to do mental sums in your head to avoid going over the speed limit. There are two ways to convert your speedometer to MPH and they are:

Using an inline converter: This is where you install an aftermarket converter to accurately change your speed readout to MPH in real-time. Your choice of converters is limited to either cord type or chip. Chip converters are placed on the harness of your current speedometer and adjust the signal without having to change the equipment. Cord type converters, on the other hand, replaces the entire speedometer harness. It is important to note that not all inverters may be suitable for your vehicle.

Changing the dials: This is done by changing the entire dial readout to reflect mph. This is, however, a delicate procedure that should be done by an experienced professional. This is because it involves the cluster from the dashboard.  This type of technical work varies depending on the car, and the level of difficulty varies as well. It is important to note that the dials are set up in different positions. Some charts have been made using speedometer types to help you pick out the right unit for our car.

It is important to make sure your view of the speedometer is not obscured after the change. It is not only illegal but also highly dangerous.

Sometimes it is not possible to have the vehicle’s speedometer changed. This is usually when you are in a foreign country on vacation or business. It is however still your duty to follow the local road regulations, and that means knowing and observing the speed limits.

This means doing mental conversions in your head. One kilometer is equal to 0.62 miles which means converting your speed can be done by simply multiplying the unit displayed by 0.62 to get the speed limit in miles per hour. This is something you will have to do in continental Europe including countries like Spain, France, and Germany.

Here is a simple yet useful conversion table for common speed limits around the world.

Speed in Kilometers per HourSpeed in Miles per Hour
2012
3019
5031
6037
7044
8050
9056
10062
11068
12075
13081
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