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How to Find Out the Unladen Weight of a Vehicle in the United Kingdom

Knowing the unladen weight of a vehicle is essential for various reasons, including calculating taxes, determining towing capacities, and adhering to weight restrictions. In the United Kingdom, finding out the unladen weight of a vehicle is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the steps you can follow:

1. Check the Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C): The V5C document, commonly known as the logbook, provides detailed information about a vehicle, including its unladen weight. Look for the “Mass in Service” section, which indicates the vehicle’s weight without passengers, goods, or additional modifications.

2. Consult the Manufacturer: If you can’t find the unladen weight on the V5C, contact the vehicle manufacturer or check their official website. Most manufacturers provide this information for each model they produce.

3. Visit a Weighbridge: Weighbridges are specialized facilities that can accurately measure a vehicle’s weight. Search for a local weighbridge near you, and take your vehicle there to determine its unladen weight. Some weighbridges charge a fee for this service.

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4. Use Online Tools: Several websites offer databases where you can search for a specific vehicle’s unladen weight by entering its registration number. These tools can provide a quick and convenient way to find the necessary information.


1. Why is knowing the unladen weight important?
Knowing the unladen weight is crucial for calculating taxes, ensuring road safety, and complying with weight restrictions imposed by the law.

2. Can I estimate the unladen weight?
While estimates can be made based on general vehicle specifications, it’s always best to rely on official sources like the V5C or manufacturer information for accurate results.

3. Can I modify the unladen weight of my vehicle?
The unladen weight is determined by the manufacturer and cannot be modified by the owner. Any additions or modifications to the vehicle would affect its overall weight.

4. Is the unladen weight the same as the gross vehicle weight (GVW)?
No, the unladen weight refers to the weight of the vehicle without passengers or cargo, while the GVW includes the weight of the vehicle plus its maximum load capacity.

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5. Are there weight restrictions for driving in the UK?
Yes, weight restrictions apply to various road types and bridges. Exceeding these limits can result in penalties and endanger road safety.

6. How often does the unladen weight change?
The unladen weight typically remains constant unless significant modifications or additions are made to the vehicle.

7. Do electric vehicles have different unladen weight requirements?
The unladen weight requirements for electric vehicles are the same as those for vehicles with internal combustion engines, as they are based on the vehicle’s design and structure, rather than its power source.