14 Checks when Buying a Horsebox

Searching for your ‘new’ second hand horsebox can be an exciting time. With so many horseboxes on the market to choose from it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you are looking to buy a horse lorry from a private seller or a horsebox dealership it is important to have a know what to look for and ask about when viewing a lorry.

  • Look for any signs of rust, damp or rot on the ramp and the floor of the horse area.
  • Check that the ramp works and how easy it is to lift with 1 person. Also check the springs and hinges are in good condition.
  • Check that there are no oil leaks from the engine.
  • Check that there are no lights appearing on the dashboard when the engine starts – and that the engine starts first time.
  • Check that all the indicators, warning lights, gauges, windscreen wipers are in good working order – also check that the horn works.
  • Check that all the keys fit all the locks.
  • If the horsebox has a living – check that the lighting in the living and horse area run from a separate battery to the main vehicle battery.
  • Check the tyres are in good condition and that their tread levels are legal
  • Test drive the horsebox so that you can get a feel of the size and steering.
  • Check the lorry’s history with an HPI check to ensure that the lorry hasn’t been written off or has outstanding finance owing on the vehicle.
  • Ask to see the V5C log book and check that the lorry details – registration plate, vehicle type, colour, engine type, engine size and chassis number match
  • Check the weight of the lorry – When buying any horse lorry you need to think about the weight of the horsebox fully loaded with horses, tack, equipment, people, full tank of fuel and the lorry dog! A horse lorry described as 7.5T or 3.5T means the maximum weight the lorry can carry. The lorry’s payload is the difference between the unladen weight and the maximum weight. This can be measured on a public weighbridge, a certificated will be provided, and will then allow you to workout how many horses people etc you can take on the horsebox without exceeding the legal limit.
  • If you are buying from a private seller, ask a professional horsebox manufacturer for a pre-purchase inspection
  • If you are buying a horsebox directly from a dealership they should offer you a warranty on your lorry. Ensure that with your purchase documents, you have a hard copy of the warranty for your records.

For further information and advice on buying a horsebox you can download VOSA’s Guide for Horsebox and Trailer Owners. The Horse Exchange can also be a great place to start your search with several horseboxes for sale on the THEx website, social media pages and dealerships advertised in the THEx directory, we are the one stop shop.