Almost half (48 per cent) of UK van drivers admitted that they overloaded their vans last year, according to a survey by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
This figure is despite 89 per cent of drivers claiming to know the legal weight restriction for their light commercial vehicle (LCV).
Overloading your vehicle by as much as 30 per cent of its gross vehicle weight could lead to a fine of up to £300
Anything above 30 per cent overloaded and offenders may even be issued with a court summons and a custodial sentence in the most serious cases.
The survey found that 66 per cent of young people (aged 18-24) had driven their van overloaded in the year, followed by 63 per cent of over 65 year olds.
NEED TO KNOW: In the UK, the maximum gross vehicle weight for an LCV is 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg), rising to 4.25 tonnes (4,250kg) for an alternatively-fuelled vehicle, such as an all-electric ID. Buzz†.
A DVSA spokesperson said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
“It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure their vehicle is safe to drive.
“They should make sure they know the maximum permitted gross vehicle weight and limits on each axle of their vehicle.
“We take enforcement action against drivers and operators who risk people’s lives by overloading or not securely loading their vehicles.
“Our accessible online guidance provides everyone with the information they need to load their vehicle safely and avoid risking the lives of other road users.”