Buying a horsebox is a major investment, so you’ll want to get it right first time. Not only will you want a horsebox to be strong and sturdy on the outside, you’ll want it to be comfortable on the inside, both for you and your horse.

Asking yourself some key questions will help you decide which horsebox is going to be right for you. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the main considerations you should make before purchase; talk about whether it’s best to buy new or second hand; and reveal why horsebox insurance is a must, regardless of the model you choose.

 

What will you use it for?

First you need to think about your reasons for buying a horsebox.

 

  • Are you looking for an easy way to transport your horse to the vets?
  • Do you want to take part in occasional local shows or meets?
  • Perhaps you’re a serious or professional rider who needs a comfortable space, large enough for you and your horses to travel in for weeks at a time during competitions?
  • Do you want to take your horses abroad?

 

Buying a horsebox is also a long-term investment, so you may want to think about the future as well as right now. Do you plan to become professional? Can you see yourself buying more than one horse in the future? Buying a horsebox that is ‘future-proofed’ may mean a larger outlay now so you can save down the line.

Once you’ve figured out your most likely use for the horsebox, it will be easier to narrow down the most suitable vehicles. But before you set your heart on a particular model, you’ll need to check whether you can legally drive it.

What type of horsebox can I drive?

If you’re driving a horsebox with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tonnes, you can drive it on a category B licence, which is an ordinary car licence. A horsebox weighing between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes requires the driver to have a category C1 licence, if they passed their driving test after 1st January 1997 they will automatically gain this through grandfather rights.

Anything over 7.5 tonnes requires you to have a category C or a C + E if you are going for a really big lorry. Finally, if you are opting for a trailer behind your car then you may need to take your B + E if you passed after 1st January 1997.

There may be additional licences you need if you want to tow a trailer behind your horsebox due to the larger weight of the vehicles. See the Government’s website for more information on the types of licences and how to upgrade.

Remember it’s not only about driving your horsebox – you need to be able to safely manoeuvre and park it, too.

You’ll also want somewhere safe and convenient to store it, away from the elements. If you can’t securely store the horsebox on your own land, you may have to pay a storage fee somewhere else, and these costs can quickly mount up.

Secure storage for your investment is vital, though, as horseboxes can be prime targets for thieves, especially in rural areas.

Should you buy new or secondhand?

Whether you have a stallion, mare or gelding, horse ownership can be a very expensive hobby, so you may be tempted to buy a horsebox second hand.

There are pros and cons to consider for buying new and secondhand. Buying new means that you’ll benefit from the manufacturer’s warranty, the horsebox will be in tip-top condition and you’ll have a salesman to go back to if anything goes wrong.

But then again, your initial outlay will be more and the risk of it getting stolen may be higher, which may push up horsebox insurance costs.

If this is your first horsebox, buying second-hand will mean you’ll be able to get a lot more for your money. But you’ll need to check the vehicle’s history and whether it’s got any outstanding finance still remaining. Remember, too, that you won’t get as much for it when you come to sell it on.

When looking at second-hand horseboxes to buy, always remember to check the vehicle’s registration plate, vehicle type, colour, engine size and chassis number with the V5C log book.

The Horse Exchange has shared a handy 14-point checklist of things to look out for when buying a used horsebox. Some of the most important things include:

 

  • Look for rust, damp or rot on the ramp and in the horse’s area.
  • Check the engine isn’t leaking oil.
  • Check the lights, horn and dashboard indicators are all in working order.
  • Check the tyres and the tread depth.
  • Check it will be able to carry everything you need within the maximum weight allowed – people, horses, tack, fuel, equine equipment and so on.
  • Take it for a test drive so you can feel the handling and get used to the size.

 

Is it right for your horse?

Even though all the vehicle checks we’ve talked about are essential, the most important thing to ask is ‘is this horsebox right for my horse?’

You’ll want your horse to be safe, comfortable and secure when travelling on the road, arriving fresh at the other end and ready to ride.

Think about horseboxes with padding around the walls, remove any sharp edges that a horse could hurt itself on during transit, and make sure there are sturdy partitions in place if you’re transporting two or more horses at once. 

 A horse standing next to a horse box

Protect your investment with horsebox insurance

Today’s roads are busier than ever, which means increased risk, especially for larger vehicles like horseboxes.

That’s why having the right horsebox insurance in place is so crucial. Here at Equesure, we can offer Comprehensive, Third Party, Fire and Theft, and Third Party Only cover for a competitive price.

With over 60 years of experience in the insurance market, our team of specialists know how to find you the right horsebox insurance for your needs.

Equesure can find cover for all types of motorised horseboxes, from 3.5 tonnes to HGVs worth up to £750,000.

Remember to tell our team if you’re using the horsebox for business purposes. Not sure? Talk to one of our specialists today and they’ll help you find the right cover for you.

Get a quote for horsebox insurance today.

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