What is a high-sided vehicle in the UK?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “What is a high-sided vehicle in the UK? We will list the types of high-sided vehicles in the UK. Additionally, we will also describe a few tips to consider while driving a high-sided vehicle. At the end of this post, you will get to know the list of vehicles that are considered high-sided in the UK.

What is a high-sided vehicle in the UK?

A vehicle that is 2.9 meters in height or more is considered a high-sided vehicle in the UK. Apart from cars and small vans, most of the other vehicles are considered high-sided vehicles. If the height of the vehicle is more than the width, then it is considered a high-sided vehicle. Below are some examples of high-sided vehicles.

  • Articulated tippers
  • Rigid tippers
  • Car transporters
  • Double-decker buses
  • Luton vans
  • Transit style vehicles
  • Vehicles with trailers
  • Box trucks
  • Semi-trucks
  • Tractor trailers
  • Vans
  • RVs

Those are some of the vehicles that are considered high-sided in the UK. These are also known as high-profile vehicles, which means they are vehicles that have a large exposed surface. Having a large surface area will expose the vehicle to crosswinds. These vehicles can be affected by crosswinds, especially while driving on highways or open territory.

Articulated tippers

  • Articulated tippers are used for carrying loads and transporting materials. These vehicles fall under the high-sided category since they have a height of up to meters

Rigid tippers

  • Rigid tippers are similar to articulated tippers and they are mainly used for transporting construction materials. These tippers are huge and they have a height of 7.6 meters.

Car transporters

  • Car transporters are high-sided vehicles though most of them are open on the sides. The height of a normal car transporter is 4.52 meters. Hence, they fall under the high-sided vehicle category.

Double-decker buses

  • Double-decker buses are high-sided vehicles and they have a height of 4.4 meters, which is 14 feet high.

Luton vans or furniture vans

  • A Luton van is also used to transport goods and it has an enclosed body. The sides are high and it can go up to 3.10 meters or more depending on the type and model of the van. These are also known as furniture vans since they are used to transport furniture most of the time.

Transit style vehicles

  • Transit-style vehicles are a little smaller than Luton vans but they also have an enclosed body. The height of a transit van can range from 2.54 meters to 2.78 meters.

Vehicles with trailers

  • Any vehicle that is towing a trailer is also considered a high-sided vehicle. This is because trailers and fight wheels are tall and the height varies according to the brand and type of trailer.

Box trucks

  • Box trucks have a height of 4.55 meters with an internal height of 3.9. These trucks are enclosed and they certainly fall under the high-sided vehicle category.


  • A semi-truck is pretty huge on its own with an enclosed body. These trucks typically range from 4.2 meters in height.

Tractor trailers

  • A tractor-trailer is not only high but is also long. The height of a tractor-trailer is 4.88 meters and all types of tractor trailers fall under the high-sided vehicle category.


  • While some vans might be small, they are still considered to be tall with an enclosed body. These vans can range from 1.7 meters to 2.4 meters in height. However, there are a few vans that are more than 2.9 meters in height.


  • Recreational vehicles fall under the high-sided vehicle category. These vehicles are huge and they have various sizes depending on the Class and brand.

Those are the most commonly known high-sided vehicles in the UK. Most of these vehicles have enclosed bodies and they are prone to crosswinds. These vehicles need to be driven with extra caution on highways. In some cases, even semi-trucks are considered high-profile vehicles, especially vehicles that are more than 15 feet tall with large surface areas.

Tips for driving a high-sided vehicle

High-sided vehicles are always prone to crosswinds and several other dangers come along while driving these vehicles. Here are a few tips to help you drive high-sided vehicles safely.

Check the weather

  • It is always good to check the weather along the route you are planning to drive. Do this before heading out for a trip to know if there are rough winds or rain. Avoid driving under harsh weather conditions. It’s better to change the route or postpone the trip if required.

Never over speed

  • This is a common rule that has to be followed. Most people tend to go fast on highways forgetting that they are driving high-sided vehicles. There is a particular speed limit for high-sided vehicles, be sure to drive below the speed limit. Driving slow will give you more control of your vehicle.

Avoid sudden movements

  • Be sure to avoid sudden movements while traveling in harsh and aggressive winds. Gradually adjust the steering wheel and try to counteract the effect of the wind.

Drive responsibly

  • Driving responsibly is important and you must follow the rules at any cost. It is essential to drive responsibly when the winds are high and you are driving a high-sided vehicle. Drop your speed immediately if you feel that your vehicle is getting out of control.

Be aware

  • It is also important to be aware of your surroundings. Do not get close to other vehicles, especially other high-sided vehicle in harsh climatic conditions. Keep an eye out for other obstacles on the road to minimize the chance of accidents.

Watch out while overtaking

  • Overtaking can be dangerous and many accidents occur while overtaking takes place. Ensure that you are not overtaking at curves. Having the right judgment and timing is important when it comes to overtaking.

Check your mirrors

  • It is good to check your mirrors often to know if any other vehicles are coming behind you. It is also advised to check your mirrors before you plan on overtaking any vehicle.

Take enough breaks

  • While traveling for long distances, you must take enough breaks at regular intervals. Be it a high-sided vehicle or not, pit stops are important for you and your vehicle.

Avoid night driving

  • As much as possible, it is advised to avoid night driving since it can be pretty hard to judge the road at night. Most people prefer to travel during the day since there is better visibility on the road.

Check your vehicle

  • One of the most important parts is to check your vehicle and its condition. Your vehicle must be in good condition while going on long or short trips. Ensure to check if your tires are in proper condition. The tires of your vehicle are pretty important and they must have the right amount of air.
  • Ensure that your brakes and functioning properly. Check the pedals and the steering and the overall condition of the vehicle.
  • It is always good to give your vehicle a general check before heading out. You can take your vehicle to a mechanic to know if everything is functioning well.

Driving a high-sided vehicle comes with a few risks but not if you are well prepared. High-sided vehicles are common and driven around the UK every single day. It is essential to service your vehicle properly and look for any other obstacles while driving on highways and under crosswinds. The most important thing is to slow down if you find something going wrong.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “What is a high-sided vehicle in the UK? We have also listed the types of high-sided vehicles. Additionally, we have also described a few tips to consider while driving a high-sided vehicle. Drop us a comment below and let us know if there are any tips to consider for driving a high-sided vehicle.



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