Curb Weight vs Gross Vehicle Weight

January 27, 2012

Many people become confused by the terms "curb weight" and "gross vehicle weight." It may seem contradictory that your vehicle could have two separate weights at the same time. Fortunately, however, there is an easy explanation for the difference between these two types of measuring the weight of your vehicle. It's important to keep these things in mind, particularly if the difference between these weights places your car in a different weight class or can present a difficulty with crossing overbridges, for instance.

Curb Weight

The curb weight of your vehicle is the weight of the car with all of the standard equipment and amenities, but without any passengers, cargo or any other separately loaded items in it. Thus, the curb weight is the amount that the vehicle weighs when it's resting on the curb and not in use. This is generally the standard weight that the manufacturer assigns to the car.

Gross Vehicle Weight

The gross vehicle weight is the combined weight of the vehicle and all passengers and cargo pieces in "gross," that is to say, in total. Gross vehicle weight is especially important if you're driving in a delicate area or if you're carry exceptionally heavy cargo. Gross vehicle weight is particularly important for truck drivers, who may be carrying huge quantities of cargo that might alter the total weight of the vehicle considerably.

For more information about the differences between curb weight and gross weight, as well as information on when these two figures are important to know, speak with a mechanic, a dealer or another certified car services professional.

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