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 Vehicle Classifications and Definitions

  • Abnormal vehicle” means a motor vehicle exceeding the legal dimensions as described in the Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act No. 93 of 1996), as amended, or in any other law.

  • Axle” means a device or set of devices, whether continuous across the width of the vehicle or not, about which the wheels of the vehicle rotate and which is so placed that, when the vehicle is travelling straight ahead, the vertical centre-lines of such wheels are in one vertical plane at right angles to the longitudinal centre-line of such vehicle. Axle shall also include an axle that is lifted and of which the wheels are not in contact with the road surface.

  • Heavy axle” means an axle the wheels of which are fitted with tyres of a size (bead seat diameter) greater than 406,4 millimetres (16 inches), or an axle with more than two (2) wheels irrespective of tyre size, but excluding any axle of a motorcycle, a motor tricycle or a motor car.

  • Heavy vehicle” means a motor vehicle with at least one heavy axle and/or any vehicle which is principally designed or adapted for the conveyance of persons exceeding sixteen (16) in number.

  • Light delivery vehicle” means a motor vehicle designed or adapted for the conveyance of persons and freight with no heavy axle as defined in paragraph 1.3 above.

  • Light vehicle” means a motor vehicle, other than a heavy vehicle.

  • Motor car” means a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or a motor tricycle, designed or adapted solely or principally for the conveyance of persons not exceeding sixteen (16) in number, but excluding any vehicle with an axle with more than two (2) wheels irrespective of tyre size.

  • Motorcycle” means a motor vehicle that has two wheels and includes any such vehicle having a side-car attached thereto.

  • Motor tricycle” means a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle with a side-car, which has three wheels and which is designed to be driven by means of the type of controls usually fitted to a motorcycle.

  • Motor vehicle” means an entity comprising of one or more mechanically/electrically powered units with or without any trailer(s) physically joined by means of tow bars, tow ropes or mechanical articulation, and includes, inter alia: (a) a motorcycle; (b) a motor tricycle; (c) a motor car; (d) a vehicle which has pedals and a mechanically/electrically powered unit as an integral part thereof or attached thereto and which is designed or adapted to be propelled by means of either such pedals or such mechanical/electrical unit or both; and (e) a light delivery vehicle (a bakkie).

  • Trailer” means a vehicle which is not self-propelled and which is designed or adapted to be drawn by a motor vehicle but does not include a side-car attached to a motorcycle.


  • Class 1: Light vehicles: Light vehicles are motor vehicles, other than heavy vehicles as defined above, with or without a trailer, and include motorcycles, motor tricycles and motor cars.

  • Class 2: Medium heavy vehicles: Medium heavy vehicles are heavy vehicles, as defined above, with two axles.

  • Class 3: Large heavy vehicles: Large heavy vehicles are heavy vehicles, as defined above, with three or four axles.

  • Class 4: Extra large heavy vehicles: Extra large heavy vehicles are heavy vehicles, as defined above, with five or more axles.

courtesy National Roads Agency







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