Minibus Weights Explained


File, “Understanding Minibus Weights” under FAQ!

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and Carry Capacity are two questions often asked when looking into buying a Minibus. There’s a common misconception that for GVW and Carrying Capacity the Ford Transit in a 17 Seater configuration is the best vehicle on the market. It’s a great choice; but is it the best?

Peugeot Minibuses

Ford Minibuses

Vauxhall Minibuses

We’ll outline the facts below on a few manufacturers vehicles to help you find a suitable Minibus with the Carrying Capacity/Gross Vehicle Weight you need.


Ford Transit – FACTS

We manufacture our Ford Transit Minibus conversions on the Ford Transit 350 Model:

  • GVW – 3500kg
  • Payload – 1221kg

What’s that the equivalent of?

If you’re considering a carriage capacity of 17, Driver and for example 16 Teenagers. The average weight of Teenage Boy is 60.8kg and 53.5kg for a Teenage Girl.

There’s not a great deal of weight left for luggage or equipment with the 1221kg payload that the Minibus may be expected to carry.

16 Male Teenage passengers, without any bags or equipment weigh 972.8kg if we add the average weight of a UK adult (Male – 83.6kg Female – 70.2kg) we’ve a running total of at least 1043kg.

The facts paint a cautionary picture, that some individuals may potentially be operating a Minibus illegally as they’ve unknowingly exceeded the GVW.


Peugeot Boxer – Facts

The Peugeot Boxer we use for our Minibus Conversions has:

  • GVW – 3500kg
  • Payload – 1420kg

For an equivalent vehicle that’s 200kg of additional carrying weight. Quite a significant difference and perhaps a reason our CanDrive Maxi Minibuses are just as popular as our Ford Transit builds.

Understanding Terms

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

This is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer including the Minibus, fuel, driver, passengers and cargo.

Unladen Weight (ULW)

Kerb Weight / Unladen Weight (ULW) – is the total weight of the Minibus while not loaded with either passengers or cargo.


This is the GVW minus the ULW, which gives you a figure of how much weight you can carry in terms of people, fuel and luggage.

Minibus Weights:

Ford Transit 350

  • Transit 12 Seat Minibus:
    • GVW 3500kgs
    • ULW 2652kgs
    • Payload 848kgs
  • Transit 15 Seat Minibus:
    • GVW 4100kgs
    • ULW 2749kgs
    • Payload 1351kgs
  • Transit 17 Seat Minibus:
    • GVW 4600kgs
    • ULW 3109kgs
    • Payload 1491kgs

Peugeot Boxer / Vauxhall Movano

  • CanDrive Light 15 seat Minibus:
    • GVW 3500kgs
    • ULW 2350kgs*
    • Payload 1150kgs*
  • CanDrive Flexi 17 Seat Minibus:
    • GVW 3850kgs
    • ULW 2500kgs*
    • Payload 1350kgs*
  • CanDrive Maxi 17 Seat Minibus:
    • GVW 4250kgs
    • ULW 2650kgs*
    • Payload 1600kgs*

* Please note the above ULW & Payload weights are approximate and may vary slightly from bus to bus, each bus supplied is weighed individually and labelled with its ULW

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Car, Van & Minibus World
Tunstall Road Industrial Estate

Call Now

01782 444289

Opening Times
Monday 9am to 5pm
Tuesday 9am to 5pm
Wednesday 9am to 5pm
Thursday 9am to 5pm
Friday 9am to 4pm
Saturday By Appointment
Sunday By Appointment