Construction and Use Regulations set out the maximum Length, Width and Height of motor vehicles. The exemptions to these requirements are also noted below and in cases where exceeding these dimensions is the case, the factor that dictates this concerns abnormal loads which is dealt with under STGO (Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order 2003), which can be accessed here STGO.
Overall Length of Vehicle
Regulation 7 Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 states that the overall length of a vehicle or combination of vehicles shall not exceed the maximum length specified below :-
- wheeled motor vehicles other than buses 12 metres,
- a bus with two axles 13.5 metres, a bus with more than 2 axles 15 metres (from 1 4 2003)
- tracked motor vehicles 9.2 metres,
Trailers (see Note 1 below)
- drawbar trailer with at least 4 wheels drawn by goods vehicle over 3500kg gross 12 metres
- agricultural trailer with at least 4 wheels 12 metres
- semi trailer (except a car transporter or a semi trailer which is normally used on international journeys any part of which takes place outside the United Kingdom) 12.2 metres (see Note 4 below)
- composite trailer drawn by a goods vehicle over 3500kg g.v.w. or agricultural motor vehicle 14.04 metres
- agricultural trailed appliance manufactured on or after 1st December 1985 15 metres including drawbar,
- any other trailer 7 metres
- motor vehicle + 1 drawbar trailer 2 18.75 metres (see Note 3 below)
- showman s motor vehicle + 1 drawbar trailer where the trailer is living accommodation 22 metres
- motor vehicle + 2 trailers 25.9 metres (motor vehicle 9.2 metres max, only one trailer may exceed 7 metres),
- motor vehicle + 3 trailers 25.9 metres (motor vehicle 9.2 metres max, no trailer may exceed 7 metres),
- articulated bus and a bus drawing a trailer 18.75 metres (from 1 4 2003)
- articulated vehicle + semi trailer (see Note 2 below) 15.5 metres, (see Note 4 below)
- articulated vehicle + semi trailer which is a low loader manufactured on or after 1 4 91 18 metres. (see Note 1 below)
- Note 1 Except trailers and combinations including trailers constructed and normally used for abnormal length loads or plant trailers for road construction.
- Note 2 Except combinations involving towing broken down vehicles or trailers constructed and normally used for abnormal length loads.
- Note 3 If motor vehicle manufactured before 1st June 1998 18 metres unless certain conditions apply until 31 12 2006.
- Note 4 Up to 14.04 metres trailer or 16.5 metres combination (16.69 metres for car-transporters) if semi trailer meets turning circle requirements (Regulations 13A or 13B).
Maximum permitted length
The table below shows the relevant vehicle type and its maximum permitted length.
Maximum Permitted Length