Van drivers admit to overloading their vehicle

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Almost half (48%) of UK van drivers admitted that they overloaded their vans last year, according to a survey by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

This figure is despite 89% of drivers claiming to know the legal weight restriction for their light commercial vehicle (LCV).

Overloading your vehicle by as much as 30% of its gross vehicle weight could lead to a fine of up to £300, meaning the nation’s van drivers are risking a combined £703 million, in penalties. Anything above 30% overloaded and offenders may even be issued with a court summons and a custodial sentence in the most serious cases.

The survey found that 66% of young people (aged 18-24) had driven their van overloaded in the year, followed by 63% of over 65 year olds.

Additionally, the survey showed that carpenters are the tradespeople most likely to overload their vans (63%); closely followed by builders (60%), electricians (55%) and painter decorators (55%).

A DVSA spokesperson said: “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. They should make sure they know the maximum permitted gross vehicle weight and limits on each axle of their vehicle.“We take enforcement action against drivers and operators who risk people’s lives by overloading or not securely loading their vehicles. Our accessible online guidance provides everyone with the information they need to load their vehicle safely and avoid risking the lives of other road users.”It is essential that drivers know and adhere to the DVSA’s regulations, purchasing the right-sized van in order to minimise the risk of overloading vehicles.Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ ‘Working With You’ promise supports customers throughout the entire vehicle purchasing process, including the selection of the correct van for business requirements.

  • 48% of van drivers admit to overloading their vehicles, despite 89% knowing the legal limit*
  • Overloaded vehicles are at risk of a £300 fine or a court order***
  • Drivers aged 18-24 are most likely to overload their vehicle, followed by over 65s
  • Gross Vehicle Weight for an alternatively-fuelled LCV, such as ID. Buzz, is 4.25 tonnes