Advertisement

More than half of UK vans overloaded

Research by Volkswagen reveals over 50% of the UK's 3 million vans are exceeding their payload

The white van is a British icon, and businesses in the UK operate over 3 million light commercial vehicles on the roads each year. Research by Volkswagen has found that over half of these vans are being driven overloaded - exceeding their payload and potentially causing major problems.

Vans are rated with a maximum GVW (gross vehicle weight) which includes the van itself, driver, any passengers, and finally the remainder which is known as the payload. Exceeding this payload not only puts extra wear and tear on the van's mechanicals, it makes the van non-roadworthy in the eyes of the law, and so can incur heavy fines.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Best panel vans to buy now

In the event of a crash, should a van be found to be overloaded, the insurance will be potentially invalidated. Even worse, if the GVW exceeds 3.5 tonnes due to overloading then most standard driving licenses aren't authorised to drive it - subject to another hefty fine.

The DVSA stops around 10,000 vans each year as part of targeted checks, and a staggering 93% of these were found to be overloaded. The fines it hands out range from £100 up to £300, and if a van is found overloaded it's immediately immobilised until the problem is rectified.

You can calculate your vans payload with the GVW and the kerb weight. Kerb weight refers to how much the van weighs on its own, and can normally be found in the vehicle handbook - it includes a full tank of petrol but no driver. To find your vans payload simply subtract the kerb weight from the GVW. For example if you have a van with a GVW of 2,200kg and a kerb weight of 1,600kg, you are able to carry 600kg of payload.

Overloading your van - what you need to know

Ford Transit rear loading

The dangers...

 

  • • Overloading can cause excess wear and tear on the vehicle, invalidate insurance, and cause issues with driving licences
  • • Overloading your van makes it less stable, increases braking distances and can make it dangerous on the road
  • • Even a van that's not overloaded could be improperly loaded, causing extra stress on one axle
  • • Overloading could result in a large fine or a court summons

...and how to avoid them

 

  • • Know your maximum payload and if in doubt take your vehicle to a weigh bridge 
  • • Load your vehicle as evenly as possible and secure loads before setting off
  • • Remember to account for the weight of the driver and passengers
  • • Choose the right van for the job - it is best to have some payload in reserve
Check out the van reviews on our website for information on a specific van's payload.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

VW to pay customer £25,000 following new Dieselgate ruling
Volkswagen

VW to pay customer £25,000 following new Dieselgate ruling

Volkswagen has lost a landmark court case in Germany and must now pay significant compensation
26 May 2020
Volkswagen Golf, Polo, Passat set to die in all-electric markets
Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf, Polo, Passat set to die in all-electric markets

Famous VW nameplates make way for ID models only in markets that only sell electric cars
14 May 2020
VW emissions scandal: VW installed ‘defeat devices’ in thousands of cars, High Court finds
VW Emissions scandal update 2
Volkswagen

VW emissions scandal: VW installed ‘defeat devices’ in thousands of cars, High Court finds

The UK’s High Court has ruled that VW installed devices to cheat emissions tests in thousands of its cars
6 Apr 2020
Mountune52 releases Volkswagen Golf GTI boost
Volkswagen

Mountune52 releases Volkswagen Golf GTI boost

VAG division of Mountune announces Stage 2+ performance boost for Mk7 and Mk7.5 Volkswagen Golf GTI
31 Mar 2020

Most Popular

New Tesla Model Y 2020 review
Tesla Model Y

New Tesla Model Y 2020 review

The new Tesla Model Y has the potential to be the EV brand’s most successful model yet
4 Jun 2020
New 2020 BMW 4 Series arrives with bold new look and a huge grille
BMW 4 Series

New 2020 BMW 4 Series arrives with bold new look and a huge grille

Imposing grille leads the way as the new BMW 4 Series takes a new design direction away from its 3 Series sibling
2 Jun 2020
New Hyundai Santa Fe facelift adds plug-in hybrid power for the first time
Hyundai Santa Fe

New Hyundai Santa Fe facelift adds plug-in hybrid power for the first time

The Hyundai Santa Fe SUV has been overhauled for 2020 with a striking new look and a new plug-in hybrid powertrain
3 Jun 2020