What Is a Vehicle Curb Weight?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 3, 2020 5:17:46 AM ET
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The curb weight of a vehicle is the total weight of the vehicle with all of its equipment, including a full tank of gas and coolant and motor oil, but without any cargo or passengers. This is the standard weight that is used by manufacturers when assigning a weight to a vehicle.

The curb weight, or kerb weight, of a vehicle is the total weight of a vehicle with full equipment when it is sitting in a driveway or garage without cargo or passengers. Typically the curb weight of a vehicle is the weight that is used by manufacturers when they release their vehicle speculations, because cargo and passenger weights can be so variable. Curb weights of vehicles offer easy comparison between different makes and models, but are rarely the true weight of a vehicle once it is purchased.

The gross vehicle weight is the weight of a vehicle which includes all passengers, cargo and fluid levels. This measurement is typically used in real-world driving applications, as it is very important for safety reasons. For instance, truck drivers must go through weighing stations before driving on delicate or dangerous roads. If the truck is carrying heavy cargo and its gross vehicle weight is above the allotted limit for the road, the truck driver cannot continue. While many trucks may have low curb weight, the gross vehicle weight is extremely variable and could cause potential danger.