How to Calculate Curb Weight

The total weight of a vehicle without passengers or cargo but with all the components that are needed for it to function properly, such as fuel, engine oil, tools and spare tire, is known as the vehicle’s curb weight.

You can find yourself in need of the curb weight of your vehicle if you are looking to determine the gross weight of your vehicle. The gross weight includes the weight of passengers and cargo and is something that weight and standard officers have their eyes on.

Different vehicles have different gross vehicle weight ratings, which the manufacturers and law states clearly. If an officer suspects that a vehicle is exceeding the gross vehicle weight rating specified by the manufacturer or law, he may stop it and weigh it using a portable scale under each axle. If his suspicion turns out to be true, the vehicle owner ends up getting a ticket.

If you are looking for a guide to stay within the specified gross vehicle weight rating of your vehicle to avoid getting a ticket, you will need to calculate the curb weight of your vehicle to get a good idea of how many passengers or how much cargo can you load on your vehicle.


  • 1

    Determine the empty weight of your vehicle

    Every vehicle comes with an owner’s manual, which mentions the empty weight of the vehicle in the specifications section. Find that manual and look for that section. If you do not have the manual, contact the vehicle’s manufacturer to get the information from there.

  • 2

    Weigh standard equipment

    Standard equipment for a vehicle includes the spare tire, jack and other such equipment that comes with the vehicle despite not being a part of it.

  • 3

    Determine the density and capacity of operating consumables

    Operating consumables include fuel, engine oil, water, brake fluid, anti-freeze, transmission fluids and steering fluid. Find out their density by either looking at the specifications provided by their manufacturer, or using search engine such as Google.

  • 4

    Determine the vehicle’s volume capacity

    Knowing how much fluid goes into your vehicle allows you to determine the weight that it adds to the car.

  • 5

    Calculate the weight of operating consumables

    After finding out the capacity of fluids, including fuel tank capacity, in litres or gallons, multiply it by their respective densities to get their weight.

  • 6

    Add weights of operating consumables to empty weight of vehicle

    Add up the weight of the vehicle that you determined in the first step, weight of standard equipment that you determined in the second step and the weight of the operating consumables determined in the fifth step to get the curb weight of your vehicle.

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