Van overloading risk exposed

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【Summary】Almost half of van drivers in the UK admit to overloading their vans, even though they claim to know the legal weight restrictions. Overloading a van by 30% can lead to a fine of £300, and anything above that could result in a court summons and even a custodial sentence. A survey found that young people and those over 65 were the most likely to overload their vans. Carpenters were identified as the tradespeople most likely to overload their vehicles.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 06, 2023 8:15 AM PT
Van overloading risk exposed

According to new research from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, van drivers are putting themselves at risk of a £300 fine or a court order by overloading their vans. Surprisingly, almost half of the drivers questioned admitted to overloading their van, despite claiming to know the legal weight restriction for their vehicle.

Overloading a vehicle by up to 30% of its gross vehicle weight could result in a fine of £300, while anything above 30% could lead to a court summons and even a custodial sentence in serious cases. The survey also revealed that young people aged 18-24 were the most likely to drive their van overloaded, followed closely by those over the age of 65.

The research also highlighted that carpenters were the tradespeople most likely to overload their vans, with 63% admitting to doing so. This was followed by builders, electricians, and painter decorators.

In the UK, the maximum gross vehicle weight for a light commercial vehicle is 3.5 tonnes, rising to 4.25 tonnes for an electric van. There are penalty charges for different levels of overweight vehicles, ranging from a £100 fine for 5-9.99% overweight to a court summons for over 30% overweight.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) emphasized that their priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles. They stated that it is the driver's responsibility to ensure their vehicle is safe to drive and that enforcement action will be taken against those who risk people's lives by overloading or not securely loading their vehicles.

It is crucial for drivers to be aware of and adhere to the DVSA's regulations. This includes purchasing the right-sized van to minimize the risk of overloading vehicles. Fleet News provides a guide on how to avoid vehicle overloading for further information.

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