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horse trailer finance

Buyer’s Guide to Horse Trailers

For owners looking to transport one or two horses, an obvious initial question is “Should I buy a trailer and 4-wheel drive or a horse lorry?”

If the answer is a trailer, buying a used one can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds, but how can you ensure you purchase a good one?

Dealership or Private Sale?

Whilst browsing through the classified ads you’ll come across a myriad of trailers varying in brand, type, age, price and location, but is there an advantage to buying from a dealer or would you be more sensible to buy privately?

Benefits of buying from a dealer

Often good quality stock

You may be able to research customer reviews

As a buyer you will be covered by The Sales of Goods Act 1979 which means the trailer has to be sold ‘fit for purpose’. Should anything go wrong with the trailer you will have legal rights to return to the dealer and have the issues resolved.


You will often pay a higher price

Benefits of buying from a private sale

Often pay less for your horse trailer
The seller will often give you a history of its use and care


No protection should anything go wrong

What To Look For

With such a wide variety of horse trailers available for sale you need to be a little careful when it comes to selecting a good buy. But what do you need to look out for?

Floor – Inspect for soundness; lift any matting to check for signs of rot or kick damage and look underneath for cracks. Pay special attention to the edges where the floor meets the horse trailer walls.

Ramps – As with floors, lift the matting and check for rot and damage. Also pay attention to hinges for signs of wear and tear and make sure the ramps are easy to lift and secure.

Chassis – Look underneath the horse trailer and check the metal chassis for any signs of rust or damage.

Brakes – Test the hand brake to ensure it engages; ask the vendor to hitch the horse trailer up for a ‘test tow’ so that you can make sure it stops when the towing vehicle brakes.

Electrics – While hitched up check that brake, indicator and internal lights are in working order.

Roof – Check the roof carefully for any signs of leaking which can, in turn, lead to rot. Check that any ventilation lights or windows are in working order and not leaking.

Doors – Check that jockey and over-ramp doors open smoothly and fasten securely.

Tyres – Check that all tyres are in good condition and that there is a serviceable spare tyre. Check tyre wear – uneven wear could be a sign of horse trailer imbalance or suspension problems.

Balance – Park the horse trailer on a flat surface and view from all angles. It should sit level – any leaning or imbalance may indicate suspension problems.

Hitching – Raise and lower the horse trailer using the jockey wheel to ensure it’s in working order. Check that the electric connection cable and breakaway cable are present and in good condition.

Check the horse trailer isn’t stolen

Once you’ve checked out the horse trailer for sale and you are satisfied it’s in good working order, ensure it’s not stolen. Horse trailer theft is big business in the UK so check you’re not buying stolen goods.

Top Tips

Never meet the seller in a public place away from their home or dealership premises

Ask the seller for proof of ownership such as a purchase invoice

Check that the manufacturer’s plate is still fitted and readable, this is often found on the A-frame

If you’re looking at another make of horse trailer and can’t find the plate, call the TER on The National Plant & Equipment Register (tel: 01225 464599) – they can tell you where it should be located


Horse trailer VIN

Take a note of the model number and serial number. Check the serial number against the police database of stolen horse trailers and find out who to contact to make further checks.

Request a signed receipt that includes the vendor’s address

If it sounds very cheap, be warned

Spread The Cost

Monthly Payment £0
Total Repayable £0
(8.9% APR illustration)
Apply Now
This does not constitute a quote, rates may vary depending on personal circumstances.