In this paper, an analytical model is developed to assess the performance of the IEEE 802.11 distributed coordination function (DCF) for vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs). Vehicles velocity, transmission range and vehicle density are considered. Markov chain model based analytical analysis is provided. The correlation between the performance metrics and contention window is derived. Throughput, packet dropping rate (PDR) and delay expressions are obtained. Moreover, Simulation results are exhibited to explore the performance of the IEEE 802.11 DCF under different mobility condition for VANETs.