Half of UK drivers admit to overloading their vehicle 

In a recent survey conducted by Volkswagen, a startling 48% of UK van drivers confessed to overloading their vehicles, risking fines and potential legal consequences. This revelation comes despite 89% of drivers claiming awareness of the legal weight restrictions for their light commercial vehicles (LCVs). 

Volkswagen survey: Half of UK drivers admit to overloading their vehicle

Overloading a vehicle by as much as 30% of its gross vehicle weight could result in fines of up to £300, amounting to a staggering combined risk of £703 million in penalties for the nation’s van drivers. Exceeding the 30% limit may lead to more severe consequences, including court summons and potential custodial sentences. 

The survey also unveiled that young drivers aged 18-24 and those over 65 are the most likely to overload their vans, with 66% and 63% admitting to doing so, respectively. Furthermore, specific trades were identified as more prone to overloading, with carpenters (63%), builders (60%), electricians (55%), and painter decorators (55%) topping the list. 

The UK sets a maximum gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg) for an LCV, increasing to 4.25 tonnes (4,250kg) for alternatively-fuelled vehicles like the all-electric ID. The penalty charges for exceeding weight limits are structured as follows: 

  • 5 – 9.99% overweight: £100 fine 
  • 10 – 14.99% overweight: £200 fine 
  • 15 – 29.99% overweight: £300 fine 
  • Over 30% overweight: Court summons 

Emphasising the importance of adhering to weight regulations, a spokesperson from the DVSA stated, “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure their vehicle is safe to drive.” 

Driving an overloaded vehicle poses significant dangers to both the driver and other road users. The strain on the vehicle’s components, such as brakes and suspension, increases the risk of mechanical failure, leading to potential accidents. Moreover, overloaded vehicles are less stable and responsive, compromising their ability to manoeuvre safely. 

Recognising the severity of this issue, Micro Weighing Solutions (MWS Ltd) has observed a notable increase in police roadside checks utilising mobile weigh pads. Law enforcement agencies are employing these measures to curb the rising instances of overloaded vehicles on the road. These mobile weigh pads enable quick and efficient weight verification, allowing authorities to identify and penalise offenders promptly. It underscores the importance of compliance with weight regulations, emphasising the need for van drivers to prioritise safety, adhere to legal weight limits, and contribute to overall road safety.

Van drivers must prioritise compliance with weight regulations to avoid penalties, legal consequences, and ensure the safety of themselves and other road users. Micro Weighing Solutions, through its commitment to quality and innovation, encourages responsible vehicle management within the industry.

If you are concerned about overloading, speak to one of our weighing specialists today or view our extensive range of vehicle weighing solutions online.