If you’re thinking about hiring a van to move house, there’s lots to get your head around. Not only have you got to be aware of the maximum weight that your van can carry, but you’ve also got to understand the jargon that goes along with hiring a van.
We’ve put together a jargon buster to help you get on the road and answer the most commonly-asked questions.
Large van / long wheelbase van: this is a typical large panel van that you might hire to move house, such as long
Luton van: This is a van with a box body on the back. These are popular with small removal companies as they offer more space and a wider, flat floor with no wheel arches in the loadspace.
3,500kg or 3.5 tonne: These are the same thing, as 1 tonne = 1,000kg. Most big hire vans are described as 3,500kg vans. This means the maximum permitted weight of the van itself plus the load and any passengers is 3,500kg.
Payload: This is vital — the payload is the maximum load weight you can put in the van, including passengers.
- For a 3,500kg panel van, the payload is typically around 1,200kg – 1,400kg
- For a 3,500kg luton van, the payload will be a bit less, maybe 1,000kg – 1,200kg
- These numbers vary between models. Any reputable hire company should be able to tell you the maximum payload for the van you are hiring
Overloaded: This is what happens if your 3,500kg weighs more than 3,500kg when you are stopped by the police — whether in the UK or Europe. Depending on how much over the weight limit your van is, you will be fined and/or forced to remove the surplus weight from the vehicle before being allowed to continue.
Ignorance is no excuse if you’re overloaded: you, the driver, are always liable, regardless of circumstances.
I don’t know how much any of my stuff weighs…
If you’re shifting boxes of wine or bags of cement (for example), it’s easy to know how much your load weighs. Each item is labelled with its weight, and they’re all the same.
Unfortunately it’s not so easy with household goods. You can’t realistically weigh your furniture, for example.
The solution, if you want to be sure, is to take your loaded van to your nearest public weighbridge before setting off. You can usually find details of these on your local council website (or try your nearest major recycling centre).