A new model for the depth-averaged velocity for flow in presence of submerged vegetation is developed. The model is based on a two-layer approach, where flow above and through the vegetation layer is described separately. Vegetation is treated as a homogeneous field of identical cylindrical stems, and the flow field is considered stationary and uniform. It is demonstrated that scaling considerations of the bulk flow field can be used to avoid complications associated with smaller scale flow processes and that still the behavior of depth-averaged flow over vegetation is described accurately. The derived scaling expression of the average flow field is simple in form, it follows fundamental laws of fluid flow, and it shows very good agreement with laboratory flume experiments. The new model can be used for quick evaluation of a river’s hydraulic response in cases where vegetated floodplains are inundated.