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Freight or not?


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Can anybody clarify the situation as to when a vehicle has to be booked as freight rather than private?

Vehicle in question is a VW Crafter 3.5 tonne panel van.

Length 7m Height 2.8m Going empty UK to France.

Returning with household furniture.

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According to Eurotunnel:


  • Can my van travel on the shuttle?


    can be accepted on our passenger service as along as the gross laden

    weight of the vehicle does not exceed 3.5 tons, the volume of goods

    being carried does not exceed 3 cubic metres and the goods are for

    private use only. However, if the weight is more than 3.5 tons gross

    laden, the volume of goods being carried exceed 3 cubic metres or the

    goods are commercial, you will need to call our Freight Sales office on

    01303 28 22 44 for further information.

    Please note that if the

    goods are for private use and the volume of goods exceed 3 cubic meters

    you would also have to travel on our Freight service. Our Freight

    service is unable to carry children under the age of 12 years or pets.

    If you are unsure if the contents of your vehicle will exceedthree cubic meters, please call us on 08443 35 35 35.[/quote]

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[quote user="wmw"]Thanks, I will phone them.

Just seems crazy that the limit is 3 cubic metres as that's only (in Eurotunnel's words, about the same as the boot of a family car!!)[/quote]

Eh? Really? Where does it say that? (the bit about 3 cubic metres being the same as the boot of a family car!)

The boot of a family car will generally hold less than half a cubic metre.

If you want to visualise 3 cubic metres, draw a line 1 m long on the floor. Now from each end measure 3m at right angles to the first line (on the same side, for pedants). That is an area of 3 square metres. Now get your tape measure and measure vertically 1 m. That's 3 cubic m and you can get a lot in that.

However, it looks like you are getting a LWB High top van from the dimensions given. That has a loadspace which is 4.3m long, between 1.35 and 1.75 wide, and 1.9m high. It can hold rather more than 3 cubic metres (I get in excess of 12!), but what matters is the volume of the load: if you actually filled that van up with normal household stuff I reckon that you'd be well over the plated weight limit of the van.

Personally, I'd be inclined to get a smaller van but really because of the autoroute tolls: bear in mind that with the proposed van you will be charged at Class 2 rate on autoroutes rather than Class 1 (which a standard-height Transit will just about qualify for).

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Incidentally, we took a Sprinter that was the size that you mentioned a few years ago and had no problems at all going through on the passenger service carrying a couple of beds, settee, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, bikes, dining table and chairs, etc etc.

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It was on the 'AFerryfreight' website....

....it actually said

With Eurotunnel, all private use vans carrying goods exceeding 3 cubic metres in volume (similar in volume to the boot area of a large family estate car), must be booked as freight. If commercial goods are being carried you must book as freight regardless of the size. If you are carrying only private goods less than 3 cubic metres, please visit our passenger website's Eurotunnel page

So many mixed messages!

Some, like yourself who have taken a van laod back on ordinary crossing, others who say they tried to do that but wre made to go freight.

I suppose it's the luck of the draw!!

Thanks for you comments.

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The vehicles that have a 3 cubic metre capacity are all small vans:

Kangoo van

Berlingo van

Vauxhall Combo

VW Caddy

To use the 3 cubic metre volume you 'd have to fill them right to the roof and pack up every last bit of space: no estate car will come anywhere near that!

Personally, I think you will not have any problem with Eurotunnel and a Crafter (it's the same as a Sprinter aft of the bonnet) - you will probably find that most of what you are transporting is air ...

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