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Buying A Horsebox

February 14, 2013

Expert Advise – 7.5 tonners or 3.5 tonners

Buying a 7.5+ ton horsebox

The first and most obvious thing to think about is whether you are legally entitled to drive a vehicle of this weight. The legal requirement to drive a 7.5 ton horsebox is that you hold a C1 category license. Anyone passing their category B license after 1st Jan 1997 will not automatically be qualified category C1. If you currently do not have this category C1 license you will be required to take an additional test.

horsebox finance

Original image by Martin Pettitt


Weight is another consideration. All vehicles over 3.5t should have a VOSA plate located in the vehicle stating the unladen weight and the gross permissible weight (Maximum Authorised Weight. A typical 7.5t horsebox will have an unladen weight of anything between 4t and 6t and the load carried cannot exceed 7.5t.

To ensure your vehicle is under weight, it is advisable to visit a public weigh bridge and weigh both empty with fuel and passengers and loaded with horses and equipment. Some horseboxes are surprising heavy with a large body and ancillary equipment and this will vastly reduce your carrying capacity. Unfortunately the law is very strict with overloading and ignorance is no defence. The same will apply for vehicles under 3.5t MAM and a vehicle and trailer combination.

Buying a 3.5 ton horsebox

If a 3.5t horsebox would satisfy your needs you have the bonus of it being able to be driven by anyone with a regular car license (B). One major point of controversy is that of a 3.5t vehicle actually being suitable to carry large loads such as a horse. So ask questions before you buy, such as have the chassis and floor pans been strengthened?

Once again, do ensure you are fully aware of your vehicle’s fully loaded weight.


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