Information for vehicle operators

If you own or drive goods vehicles, you should be aware that the maximum load you can carry is restricted to the weight specified on the manufacturer's plate.

We do not carry out checks on vehicles but many other local authorities will check the weights of vehicles. These checks are often made in conjunction with the police, customs and excise and inspectors from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. If your vehicle is found to be over the specified limit, you face possible prosecution with the chance of gaining a criminal record.

The maximum fine is £5,000. You may also be ordered to reduce the weight of your vehicle by offloading some of the cargo before you are allowed to continue.

Trading Standards and the police cannot take possession of those offloaded goods, so you may have to send another vehicle to collect the goods or risk having them stolen from the roadside.

Overloaded goods vehicles cause damage to the roads, bridges and adjoining buildings. They are also a danger to other road users because steering and braking are affected. 

Nearest suitable and available weighbridge

Remember that if you are intending to weigh your loaded vehicle you must use the nearest suitable and available weighbridge from where you start, even if this means having to use a weighbridge in a neighbouring local authority area.


Page last updated: 20 Jul 2023