Van Payloads Explained

If you’re looking for a new business van, chances are you’ll have noticed a difference in van payloads. But what do these figures mean, and why are they important? Let’s establish what van payload capacity is and answer some commonly asked questions.

What is van payload?

Van payloads refer to the maximum weight a van can carry legally. This is a figure provided by every van manufacturer that helps show a specific model’s weight capacity. It considers everything from passengers and their cargo to carrying commercial goods.

Important van weights and payloads terms

To make things easier, we’ve put together some van payloads and key terms for you to consider.

Van typePayloadExamples
Small600kg – 1000kg

Renault Kangoo


Medium800kg – 1500kg

Nissan Primastar

L2, H1 – 1251kg

Large1000kg – 1600kg

Vauxhall Movano

L3, H2 – 1420kkg


Kerb weight – the total weight of a vehicle when not in use, including equipment and fluids.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) – the total weight of a vehicle, including kerb weight plus the driver, passengers and any other commercial goods.

How do I find out the payload of my van?

Manufacturers provide accurate payload figures as part of a vehicle’s ownership manual, but there is a way of calculating this yourself.

To work out a van’s payload, subtract the kerb weight from the GVW.

For example, if your van has a GVW of 3000kg and a kerb weight of 2000kg, it will have a usable payload of 1000kg.

Who is responsible for a van’s payload?

Everyone involved in the loading of a van will be responsible for its payload, including the driver and any passengers. Authorities can stop and search commercial vehicles at any time, so it’s critical everyone using the vehicle understands van weights and payloads.

What happens if I exceed the payload of my van?

If you’re found to be using a van that is over the legal weight limit, you’re likely to be fined and stopped from driving. This means it’s important your van is always loaded safely.

What are the safety risks for a van that exceeds its van payload capacity?

Not exceeding a van’s payload capacity is crucial and will be part of your leasing agreement. It’s also a legal requirement which can create various safety risks if not adhered to. These include:

  • Reduced stability – more difficult to control whilst on the move
  • Reduced braking – harder to stop in an emergency
  • Damage to the van – exceeding a van’s payload will put strain on vital components like the suspension, brakes, and tyres.

What is the best payload van for me?

Payload is an important factor when it comes to choosing the right van for your business. Van weights and payloads will give you an insight into a van’s usability, helping you select a van lease deal with the right amount of cargo space.

If you’d like to know more about payloads or van leasing, why not get in touch with Synergy today? Our team can support you in finding a van with the right payload which can meet your business needs.