Theory Test Practice – Vehicle Loading

vehicle loading, theory training, theory test, theory test practice, mock theory test

When it comes to your theory test practice, the topic of vehicle loading will look at how to load your car, tyre pressures, roof racks, fuel consumption.

Learner POD has compiled a unique training programme to help with your theory training studies! We have an online theory training course that you can access here. The course consists of video tutorials with real-life footage explaining the many parts of the theory exam. Alongside the course, you will also have access to our member’s area and a safe group to share, discuss and motivational support for your studies.

Here is a list of all the topics that make up the theory training syllabus:

  1. Alertness
  2. Attitude
  3. Safety Margins
  4. Safety & Your Vehicle
  5. Hazard awareness
  6. Vulnerable Road Users
  7. Other types of vehicle
  8. Road conditions and vehicle handling
  9. Motorway driving
  10. Rules of the road
  11. Road and traffic signs
  12. Essential documents
  13. Incidents, accidents and emergencies
  14. Vehicle loading


When it comes to your theory test practice, it is really important to make sure you cover all of the aspects of the exam in your training schedule. Missing one section may result in you failing your theory test. It is important to make sure this does NOT happen to you.

Learner POD has compiled a comprehensive training online theory course and an abundance of free training material which will help with your theory studies. Hop over to our YouTube channel to access lots of free resources and training videos.

Theory Test Practice – Vehicle Loading

In this topic, we shall explore how to improve fuel consumption, travelling with animals, children, and roof racks. Here are the main topics we will be discussing:

  1. How to carry loads safely
  2. Carrying animals and passengers safely
  3. Fuel consumption
  4. Towing Trailers & Caravans

Carrying Loads Safely

When it comes to vehicle loading it is essential that you do not overload your vehicle. Overloading can seriously affect the handling of the vehicle, especially the steering and the braking.

When you carry a heavy load you may need to make some adjustments to your vehicle, these can include:

  • Increase the air pressure in the tyres
  • Adjusting the aim of the headlights

You need to load your vehicle carefully to avoid disrupting the vehicle’s stability and control. You should:

  • Distribute weight evenly
  • Make sure that the load is fastened so that it can’t move, especially when you are turning a corner and braking.
  • You should make sure that the load doesn’t affect your b whilst driving or stick out where they could be dangerous for other road users.

Different Types of Vehicle Loads

When it comes to loading a vehicle, many people load their vehicles with various items. These can include:

  1. Passengers – make sure you don’t overload as per your vehicle’s make and model specifics.
  2. Baby equipment – make sure you can fit your baby equipment in the boot and that it does not obstruct the closing and opening of the boot
  3. Luggage – make sure all luggage is secure. Whether that is in a boot, on a back seat or when using a roof box. Make sure you load the luggage to spread the weight evenly.
  4. Household items – if you can’t fit household items in your car safely, you should contact a reputable company that can deliver them to you. You should not have anything hanging out of your car which could cause obstructions and danger to other road users.
  5. Pets – pets should be properly secured in the car at all times. Whether in a pet cage, behind a dog guard or secured using a seatbelt.

Roof Racks

Carrying a load on your car’s roof will:

  • Increase wind resistance
  • Make your vehicle less stable

As your load is exposed to weather conditions, you may need to protect it with a cover. These can be purchased in retail stores and on the internet. Please visit our ‘roof racks‘ article.

You can buy specially designed roof boxes (aerodynamic) which cut down on wind resistance and keep loads secure and dry.

Effects on The Car With Heavy Loads

When travelling with a heavy load, you should increase your vehicle’s tyre pressure. You should also increase your car’s tyre pressure if you are planning to drive at the maximum speed limit on dual carriageways and motorways for long periods of time. 

You should check your car’s handbook for correct pressures for different circumstances and types of vehicles. 

Car Seatbelts & Restraints

All passengers must wear seatbelts if they are fitted. The driver is responsible for all passengers under the age of 14 and must make sure they have the correct restraint.

There are many different restraints for children. These include baby carriers, child seats and booster seats.

Child seats should be suitable for the child’s weight and size. As of 2017: a law was passed which prevented manufacturers from designing and selling booster seats.

However as consumers, if you already have a booster seat for your child you are permitted to continue to use it. That said – backed booster seats are now advised, so it would be best to replace them. As this type of seat gives more support to the child.

Animals In The Car

Animals must be restrained whilst travelling in the car. You should make sure that they don’t block the driver’s view or pose as a distraction whilst driving.

Dogs are permitted to travel in special cages or behind a dog guard which often goes in the boot of an estate car. Sometimes a special harness can be used to strap dogs securely in the car.

Other animals should be kept in cages or pet carriers that can be secured with a seat belt.

Towing Caravans & Trailers

If you tow a trailer or caravan, you can improve your vehicle’s handling if you have a stabiliser fitted to your towbar. This will help keep better control in crosswinds.

Some caravans and trailers have a braking system, you can also fit a breakaway cable as an extra safety device.

This will pull on the brakes of a braked trailer or caravan if it becomes detached from the towing vehicle whilst being towed.

Fuel Consumption

Carrying a load will increase your fuel consumption due to the extra weight in/on the car. Carrying a load on a roof rack will increase the fuel consumption, even more, this is due to the air resistance and drag created by the load.

You can purchase ergonomically designed roof boxes that are more fuel friendly due to their shape.

When you are not carrying a load, you should remove it so that you don’t waste fuel on your journey. 


Vehicle Loading – Mock Test 1


Vehicle Loading – Mock Test 2


Vehicle Loading – Mock Test 3


Please visit our next section Alertness

Useful Resources

Towing A Caravan

Fuel consumption

Seat restraints

Roof racks


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