Average Speed Calculator

Use this speed calculator to easily calculate the average speed of a vehicle: car, bus, train, bike, motorcycle, plane etc. with a given distance and travel time. Returns miles per hour, km per hour, meters per second, etc.

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Average Speed formula

The average speed calculation is simple: given the distance travelled and the time it took to cover that distance, you can calculate your speed using this formula:

Speed = Distance / Time

The metric unit of the result will depend on the units you put in. For example, if you measured distance in meters and time in seconds, your output from the average speed calculator would be ft/s. If distance was measured in miles and time in hours, then output will be in miles per hour (mph, mi/h), and so on for km/h, m/s, etc. - all supported by our tool.

How to calculate the average speed of a car?

Let us say that you travelled a certain distance with your car and want to calculate its average speed. The easiest way to do that would be by using the speed calculator above, but if you prefer, you can also do the math yourself. Either way, one needs to know the distance. If you have noted the distance on your odometer then you can use that number. Other options are to use a map (e.g. Google Maps) and measure the distance travelled based on your actual path (not via a straight line, unless you travelled by air in which case that would be a good approximation), or to use a GPS reading if you used navigation during the whole trip. Then you need to know the travel time. Make sure to subtract any rests or stops made from the total trip duration.

For example, if the total distance travelled was 250 miles and the time it took was 5 hours, then the average speed was 250 / 5 = 50 miles per hour (mph). If the distance was 200 kilometers and it took 4 hours to cover it, then the speed was 200 / 4 = 50 km/h (kilometers per hour).

Finding average speed examples

Example 1: Using the equation above, find the speed of a train which travelled 120 miles in 2 hours and 10 minutes while making four stops, each lasting approximately 2.5 minutes. First, subtract the time spent at the train stops: 2.5 x 4 = 10 minutes. 2:10 minus 10 minutes leaves 2 hours of travel time. Then, apply the avg speed formula to get 120 miles / 2 hours = 60 mph (miles per hour).

Example 2: A cyclist travels to and from work, covering 10 km each way. It took him 25 minutes on the way to work and 35 minutes on the way back. What is the cyclist's average speed? First, add up the time to get 1 hour total. Also add up the distance: 5 + 5 = 10 kilometers. Finally, replace in the formula to get 10 / 1 = 10 km/h (kilometers per hour) on average in total.


Average speed vs Average velocity

Average speed (what this calculator computes) and average velocity are not necessarily the same thing though they may coincide in certain scenarios. This is basic physics, but a lot of people find it confusing. Here are the differences in short.

Speed is a scalar value whereas velocity is the magnitude of a vector. Speed does not indicate direction whereas velocity does. The two coincide only when the journey from the start point to the end point happens on a straight line, such as in a drag race. If the movement path is not a straight line then the average velocity will be smaller than the mean speed.

Cite this calculator & page

If you'd like to cite this online calculator resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation:
Georgiev G.Z., "Average Speed Calculator", [online] Available at: https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/average-speed-calculator.php URL [Accessed Date: 20 Oct, 2020].