How Much Does a Car Weigh?

Car weight is an important aspect of your vehicle. Knowing how much your car weighs helps keep you safe.

The cherry red Stingray Corvette whipped around the left-hand corner. The driver eyeballed the corner, found his line, and punched the gas pedal. The V8 roared to life as the car accelerated hard. The driver’s side front suspension dipped into the curve as the sports car's weight shifted with the momentum. The car weighed in at around 3,600 lbs curb weight, but the leaf springs in the suspension made the coupe feel practically weightless in the movement.

Have you ever looked at a car speeding a long and wondered “how much does that car weigh?” If you have, you have come to the right place. The weight of a car can vary depending on a lot of things including its model, type, equipment, and features. Let’s take a look at why you should care and the most common kinds of vehicles and how much they weigh.

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Car Weight Table of Contents
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    Why Care About How Much Your Car Weighs?

    Car weight is an important aspect of your vehicle. Knowing how much your car weighs helps you stay safer on the roadways as well as calculate your gas mileage better, and understand how much you can carry. You should know your limits before you attempt to carry a lot of things in your car as a payload or tow a trailer.

    Vehicles which weigh more are generally safer if they are involved in a car accident or collision. Do you remember when everyone loved Volvos because of their extremely high safety ratings? They were built like a tank! Smaller cars like compacts and subcompacts are also built with safety in mind, but you can be more at risk of serious bodily injury in collisions versus a larger vehicle!

    Gas mileage is affected by the weight of your car as well. While heavier vehicles can be safer, they do weigh more and take more energy to move. You will find it costs more to fill up at the pump when driving a heavier truck or SUV versus a light-weight mid-sized sedan. To better understand your gas and petrol costs, you can use our gas mileage calculator.

    Payloads and towing are another really important area when it comes to how much your car weighs. Thinking about towing a boat or recreational vehicle like a camper or RV? Use a truck with an appropriate hitch and tow rating. Are you road tripping or carpooling with many people? Don’t pack everything into a small sedan and overload its weight capabilities. You do not want to tow or carry more than your car is able to safely handle.

    Not knowing or caring about your vehicle weight is a recipe for disaster. So find out how much does your car weigh? Do you know? Is so great! If not, let's find out.

    About Vehicle Weight

    About Vehicle Types in General

    When it comes to vehicles, some of the most common vehicles on the road are cars. However, there are also different types of light-duty vehicles like trucks, SUVs, and similar utility vehicles. There are also different styles of cars like sedans with 4 doors, coupes with 2 doors, hatchbacks with rear clamshell-like lift gate doors, and convertibles which come without roofs. In addition to styles, there are types of cars like full-sized sedans, mid-sized cars, compact cars, and subcompact cars.

    Trucks have different cab and bed styles like king cab, crew cab, double cab, and others. Bed styles range from longer full-sized and extended beds down to standard and short beds. There are also different types of trucks like smaller sport trucks, full-sized pickups, and 1-ton trucks. SUVs can also come in different styles like full-sized, mid-sized, and compact. There are also different SUV models with 2 door and 4 door versions. The point here is that there are many types of vehicles and when we say “cars” we are referring to vehicles in general on the road.

    We don’t cover medium and heavy-duty vehicle weights here. Those classes of vehicles include commercial grade vehicles which weigh more than 10,000 pounds like semi-trucks, dump-trucks, transit buses, freight liners, haulers, and extremely large recreational vehicles.

    How Vehicle Weights Are Measured

    Vehicles like cars, trucks, and SUVs are measured by a few different terms and definitions. These include curb weight, gross vehicle weight, gross vehicle weight rating, payload capacity, and towing capacity. For context, measurements in this article are related to curb weights, but it is also important to know about these other weight measurements. These terms can be defined as the following definitions.

    • Curb Weight

      The vehicle’s curb weight is specified by the automotive manufacturer which includes the vehicle itself, standard operating equipment, and fuel (gas, diesel, or petrol). This is the most standardly recognized vehicle weight and does not include any cargo, passengers, or any other added weight from things like add-ons, racks, or aftermarket attachments.

    • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

      Gross vehicle weight, or GVW, is a more comprehensive weight metric related to the vehicle and its capacity to carry things. This vehicle weight number is calculated by taking the vehicle’s weight when empty and adding the total weight it is able to carry in pounds. This gives you the gross vehicle weight.

    • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

      Gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR, is similar to GVW in that it is related to total capacity a vehicle can carry. The gross vehicle weight rating factor calls out the standard to which the vehicle’s parts can support the weight. These parts include the axles, chassy, frame, and other load bearing components.

    • Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR)

      Gross combined vehicle weight rating, or GCVWR, includes the GVWR of the vehicle towing a load in addition to the gross weight of the attached trailer or load in tow. It is important to know these numbers not only for your vehicle but also because some roads and bridges have weight limits to travel on or across them.

    • Payload Capacity

      The payload capacity is how much the vehicle can hold and safely transport down the road. This value is measured in pounds and is the difference between the GVW minus the curb weight. Alternatively, curb weight plus payload capacity gives you the GVW.

    • Towing Capacity

      The towing capacity is how much weight the vehicle can safely tow behind it. Towing is usually accomplished using a trailer hitch or an over-bed gooseneck hitch often seen on larger trucks, 1-ton pickups, or “dualies”. The towing capacity of a small car is often a fraction of a larger pickup truck.

    Pounds

    Most standard vehicle weights are measured in pounds or kilograms. Measurements in pounds are often used for US cars.

    Safety

    Many safety ratings, specs, and measurements are related to your car's weight. It is a good idea to know these for your car.

    Capacity

    Knowing your car's weight limit and capacity is a must when towing a load or packing your car up to the limit for a move.

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    Weight By Vehicle Class

    How Much Does a Car Weigh?

    So, how much does a car weigh? Now we know about the types and different weight metrics. We are getting there and making progress. Let’s take a look at the average weight value and see if we can break it down. In the 2020 EPA Automotive Trends Report, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, stated an average vehicle weight of 4,156 pounds. Ok, great so that gives us a ballpark measurement, but what about your car? We can break down this average number by vehicle class, make, and model to find out!

    How Much Does a Car Weigh for a Red Stingray Corvette

    Car Weight FAQs

    Have questions about your car's weight? Find the answer below.

    How can I find the weight of my car?

    You can find out how much your car weighs by doing a few things. The easiest way is to search vehicle databases online for your car's year, make, and model to find the curb weight. You can also look in your vehicle owner's manual. The curb weight should be listed in the index area.