Buying a horsebox can be an exciting but expensive experience, and with large sums of money at stake it is important not to make the wrong decision.

Many of the mechanical checks on a horsebox are similar to those made when buying any large vehicle or lorry, but further checks on the internal design and practical elements of the box are also vital.

In particular, refurbished vehicles need specialist attention to make sure the weight distribution is even and the internal box offers the best levels of safety and comfort for all concerned.

The Organisation of Horseboxand Trailer Owners runs a vehicle inspection service and offers the following advice for potential buyers:

What to look for

  1. Check the bodywork, cab floor and steps for rust
  2. Check the tyres and exhaust. This gives an indication of whether the vehicle has been well looked after
  3. Search for rot and damp patches on the floor of the vehicle
  4. Make certain the ramp, hinges and balance springs are all sound and in good working order. Check that the ramp is manageable by one person
  5. Make sure when you view the vehicle that the engine is cold and has not been started before you got there. If it has, ask why
  6. Check there are no oil leaks from the engine
  7. Check the oil light does not come on when started
  8. Check engine speed and smoke emission when stationery
  9. In the cab check:
    • Gauges
    • Lights
    • Indicators
    • Wipers
    • Play of the steering wheel
    • Horn
    • Warning lights

  10. Check wiring for the lighting in living and horse areas and make sure they run from a separate battery – not the main vehicle battery
  11. Unless you want an HGV, check that the weight will not be over 7.5 tonnes when fully laden with horses, tack, feed, passengers and provisions
  12. Take your time and do not make any rash decisions – take someone with you who may spot things you won’t

Don’t miss the May issue of HORSE magazine, OUTTODAY, for your chance to win a fantastic two-horse horsebox worth £18,000.

Click here for full details

  • For more advice on buying a horsebox, visit: