In this article, we will answer the following question: What is minimum kerb weight? We will discuss the difference between kerb weight and the gross weight of a car. We will also explain how to calculate both values.
What is minimum kerb weight?
The minimum kerb weight of a car is the weight of a vehicle supplied with oil, water, brake and clutch fluids and tool kit, but without fuel. This is the weight of a vehicle without passengers or cargo, but with all the components necessary for the vehicle to function properly – cooling water, gas, oil, and other standard equipment.
You will need to know the vehicle’s kerb weight if you are looking to find the total weight of your vehicle since the gross weight is calculated by adding the curb weight with the weight of the passengers and the weight of the cargo.
How to calculate the kerb weight of the car:
- Consult your vehicle manual and determine the factory specified amounts of fluids required for a vehicle that includes a full tank of gas. Fill in your vehicle according to this information. Be sure to top up all the fluids and fluids in your vehicle, including brake fluid, antifreeze, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and oil.
- Call for your vehicle to be towed to a garage or landfill, as both institutions must have scales strong enough to ease the weight of your vehicle. Make your heavy vehicle the way it is, without any added cargo or accessories.
- Match your vehicle’s weight as determined at the auto garage or landfill with a reduced vehicle tare list. You can find vehicle kerb specific gravities online, by consulting your vehicle manual, or directly by your vehicle manufacturer.
What is the difference between gross weight and kerb weight?
When a car is a finished product, it does not yet have the weight that the end-user will get. And it’s not that it’s missing parts: it’s missing fluids. To be ready, the car must be with a full tank of fuel, have coolant, motor oil, box oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, etc.
The weight that the car has when it already has all these elements is called the net weight.
But even so, that will not be the weight that the car will have when it is driving on the tracks: the car does not drive itself! Then you have to calculate the maximum allowable load capacity. This is calculated taking into account the maximum number of passengers, assigning each one an average weight of 75 kilos.
Then, the gross weight is obtained by adding the net weight and the maximum allowable load.
Gross Weight = Net Weight + Maximum Load Capacity
When the actual weight of the car exceeds its gross weight, the difference between the two is called overload. And it is not convenient because all the elements of the car are overstressed, shortening its useful life and accumulating small damages that in the end will result in a big problem.
How much does an average car weigh?
The weight of a car depends on the segment to which it belongs. Two cars in different segments will have different kerb weights.
A small hatchback like a Ford Fiesta weighs around 2,570 lbs. Or 1,165 kg. That means most cars in the small hatchback segment will have a curb weight close to 2,570 lbs.
A full-size hatchback like the Volkswagen Golf has a curb weight of around 3,030 lb or 1,376 kg. This means that all cars in that segment will have a curb weight around that.
The weight of the car depends on the segment, so the bigger the car, the more it weighs. The segment in which we find huge and heavy cars is the full-size SUV segment. In this segment, a car could reach up to 6000 lb or 2.7 tons.
Having a light or heavy car depends on the type of material used to make the car. We see it a lot in supercars and hypercars because all manufacturers try to make the car as light as possible by using materials like carbon fibre, aluminium and magnesium. This makes the weight of a new supercar unpredictable because it is unrelated to other cars in the same class.
It depends on the size of the vehicle and what you might call “average.” But overall:
- Compact car – average weight 2.9 tons
- Midsize cars – average weight 3.4 tonnes
- Large cars – average weight 4.3 tons
- Compact trucks or SUVs: average weight of 3.4 tons
- Midsize Truck or SUV: Average Weight 4.2 tons
- Large truck or SUV: average weight of 5.4 tons
How to determine the gross weight of a vehicle
Knowing your gross vehicle weight (GVW) can be very important. Many bridges are made for vehicles of a certain weight and if your car or truck exceeds it, you may want to consider taking another route.
Also, this information is not always easy to obtain. Very few people have access to a scale with which they can weigh their vehicles. But with a little ingenuity, you can get a good idea of the gross weight of your vehicle.
Determine the weight of your car or truck by its characteristics. If you just want an estimate, you can consider that a compact car weighs around 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms); a midsize car weighs about 5,000 pounds (2,250 kilograms); light trucks, minivans, and SUVs weigh about 6,000 to 7,000 pounds (2,700 to 3,150 kilograms); heavy trucks can weigh 12,000 pounds (5,400 kilograms).
To find the exact figure, do an online search for the make and model of your vehicle and look for a sheet with the specific characteristics of your car. The weight of the vehicle will be somewhere hidden among all the specifications, but it sure will be there.
Weigh the load you carry. This shouldn’t be a big concern for the average driver, but if you carry a lot of things, for example, in the back of your truck, try to determine the weight of these additional items.
Calculate the total weight of the passengers. A man of average build weighs approximately 200 pounds (90 kilograms) and a woman, 130 pounds (58.5 kilograms), but if you need accuracy, ask your passengers how much they weigh or weigh them on a bathroom scale.
Add the weight of the vehicle, cargo, and passengers. The total result is the gross weight of your vehicle.
The bottom line
Knowing the kerb weight and the gross weight of your vehicle is extremely important, especially if you want to tow another vehicle, a caravan, boat or camper. As a general rule, if the weight of the caravan exceeds 80% of the kerb weight of the car, it is best not to tow or to change vehicles.
The bottom line is to respect the payload of your caravan and to not exceed the maximum allowed weight, as you will face severe penalties and you will put both your life and other’s lives at risk.
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content.
FAQ on What is minimum kerb weight?
What is the weight of a trailer?
According to trailer legislation, the GVW or total load weight of this type of vehicle without an engine must never exceed 500 kilos.
How to calculate the weight of a trailer?
To calculate the maximum towable weight of your vehicle, take the vehicle registration document. The maximum towable weight is therefore 3500kg for our example. In the case of an unbraked trailer, the GVW of the trailer must not be greater than half of the weight of the towing vehicle.
How to calculate the weight of an axle?
Axle and body weight calculations are based on static balance. The sum of the downward forces is equal to the sum of the upward forces. This means that the sum of the weight of all the components of the truck and its load is equal to the sum of the axle weights of the truck.