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The Difference Between Unladen Weight And Kerb Weight

Unladen Weight Vs Kerb Weight Feature Image

The difference between unladen weight and kerb (curb) weight is where the unladen weight of a vehicle is the total mass of the vehicle minus fuel, passengers, goods, spare wheel & toolkit, and anything else that is not fitted to your car or van in order for it to function. The kerb weight is the total mass of the vehicle minus passengers and goods only.

The kerb weight of a vehicle includes a 90% full tank of fuel, spare wheel and toolkit, whereas unladen weight does not.

According to the DVSA website, the following is true.

Unladen weight

The unladen weight of any vehicle is the weight of the vehicle when it’s not carrying any passengers, goods or other items.

It includes the body and all parts normally used with the vehicle or trailer when it’s used on a road.

It doesn’t include the weight of:

  • fuel
  • batteries in an electric vehicle – unless it’s a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair

However, according to the Ask Ford website, the following is stated.

Kerb Mass

Unladen weight (i.e. not carrying a load) of the vehicle, with fluids, 90% fuel, standard and any optional equipment, but excludes load/cargo weight and weight of the driver. Higher series vehicles will be heavier due to higher spec.

Ask Ford

So, it really depends on who you ask. The information by Ford, however, is incorrect and you shouldn’t be misled by statements or quotes, even from seemingly reputable sources.

Although similar, kerb weight and unladen weight are not the same. The differences between the two have legal implications if your van is found to be unwittingly over-loaded, for instance.

Weight Limits And You

Regardless of what you drive, cars, vans, trucks, or even a lorry, your vehicle has a weight class of its own which must be adhered to. You can find the weight specifications of your respective vehicle on its VIN plate.

Unless you’re towing, there are 3 main weight classes you should pay attention to:

  • Unladen Weight (UL)
  • Payload (PLW)
  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

With UL & PLW being mainly informational, GVW is a legal obligation on your part and should never be exceeded.

The last thing you’ll ever want is the DVSA taking an interest in you and your over-loaded vehicle.

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