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Kerb Weight: What Is It?

March 16th, 2022

Overloaded vans are still a serious problem here in the UK. In 2015, the DVSA found that a staggering 89% of the vans it stopped were overloaded, to the point where they could become dangerous. While some of these van drivers may have been purposefully negligent, the vast majority were probably unsure of or unaware of the specifics surrounding legal weight limits for their vehicle.
If you’re looking to buy a van, whether it’s for personal or commercial use, you’ll need to make sure you’re in the know about vehicle weight restrictions. This blog from reliable van supplier Van Sales UK can help – keep reading to find out what you need to know about kerb weight.

What is kerb weight?

Put simply, the kerb weight is what a van weighs when empty – in other words, without its driver, passengers, or load. The kerb weight does include fuel and other fluids (e.g. oil, coolant) and the van’s standard equipment. It doesn’t include any extra features, technologies or equipment that can be added upon purchase, as these can add a lot of weight to a vehicle.

What is gross vehicle weight?

Gross vehicle weight is calculated by adding the van’s kerb weight and its payload (i.e. the weight of the driver, passengers, and load). This means that gross vehicle weight is the most accurate way of measuring the real-world weight of a vehicle when in use – it’s unlikely you’ll be driving around with nothing in your van, after all.
Kerb weight tells you how heavy a car is before it is loaded, whereas gross weight can be essential in some situations when transporting heavy cargo, towing, or using weight-restricted roads or bridges.

The importance of knowing your vehicle’s weights

The kerb weight is instrumental in calculating maximum payload, i.e. the weight of the driver, passengers, and load. To work this out, all you need to do is subtract the kerb weight from the legal weight limit. This means you’ll know exactly how much extra weight your vehicle can legally carry and can therefore ensure that your gross vehicle weight doesn’t exceed the limit.

Vans have clearly defined upper weight limits because overloading can negatively affect the functioning of critical components – for example, the steering, suspension, and brakes – which could cause serious harm to the van driver and other road users. Remaining within the legal weight limit for your vehicle is not only a practical matter but also a legal issue and a safety issue.

If the authorities deem a van overweight, the driver will likely be served with a fixed penalty notice. The amount varies depending on how much the van exceeds the legal weight limit. If the van is more than 30% over the legal limit, the driver will automatically be issued a court summons and could even face a dangerous driving charge.

From Small Vans to Full-Size Transit Vans: Van Sales UK Has Something for Everyone

Looking to buy a van? For a range of new, used and electric vans in a variety of sizes, visit Van Sales UK. We are a reliable and reputable van supplier that offers a quick and simple way to buy competitively priced vans. Based in Bristol, we supply quality vans on a sale or lease basis and can deliver to any city in the UK free of charge. Contact us today to find out more.


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