A commercial vehicle is any type of motor vehicle used for transporting goods or paid passengers. The European Union defines "commercial motor vehicle" as any motorised road vehicle, that by its type of construction and equipment is designed for, and capable of transporting, whether for payment or not: (1) more than nine persons, including the driver; (2) goods and "standard fuel tanks". This means the tanks permanently fixed by the manufacturer to all motor vehicles of the same type as the vehicle in question and whose permanent fitting lets fuel be used directly, both for propulsion and, where appropriate, to power a refrigeration system. Gas tanks fitted to motor vehicles for the direct use of diesel as a fuel are considered standard fuel tanks.
In the United States a vehicle is designated “commercial” when it is titled or registered to a company. This is a broad definition, as commercial vehicles may be fleet vehicles, company cars, or other vehicles used for business. Vehicles that are designed to carry more than 15 passengers are considered a commercial vehicle.
A vehicle may be considered a commercial vehicle if it:
- Belongs to a company or corporation
- Is used for business, but is in an individual's name, such as a sole proprietor
- Is a leased vehicle and in the name of the financial institution that owns it
- Exceeds a certain weight or class and therefore, is "classified" as commercial even though it may not be commercially used or commercially owned. A weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more is always consider commercial.
- Is used to haul any hazardous material
A vehicle can be used for a business, if not exclusively, and remain privately licensed, depending on the amount of time used for business.
Examples of commercial vehicles
- Semi truck (articulated lorry)
- Box truck (also known as a straight truck)
Commercial truck classification
- Class 1- GVWR ranges from 0 to 6,000 pounds (0 to 2,722 kg)
- Class 2- GVWR ranges from 6,001 to 10,000 pounds (2,722 to 4,536 kg)
- Class 3- GVWR ranges from 10,001 to 14,000 pounds (4,536 to 6,350 kg)
- Class 4- GVWR ranges from 14,001 to 16,000 pounds (6,351 to 7,257 kg)
- Class 5- GVWR ranges from 16,001 to 19,500 pounds (7,258 to 8,845 kg).
- Class 6- GVWR ranges from 19,501 to 26,000 pounds (8,846 to 11,793 kg)
- Class 7- GVWR ranges from 26,001 to 33,000 pounds (11,794 to 14,969 kg)
- Class 8- GVWR is anything above 33,000 pounds (14,969 kg)