Hiring trailers or boxes, with or without drivers, is becoming increasingly popular with horse owners feeling the pinch.
The Horse Transport Network – which lists transporters and self-drive hires – reports an average growth of 15% per month in the past six months of customers seeking quotes for horse transport and self-drive.
It says people are looking for cheaper alternatives to buying large lorries and the high costs involved with running them.
“Hiring a self-drive horsebox or trailer or getting a driver to transport a horse on your behalf can often be cheaper than paying tax, insurance and general running costs of your own horsebox,” said the company’s Sarah Richardson.
Hiring out your vehicle
Increasingly people are also hiring out their own boxes to offset costs.
Claire Hope from North Yorkshire formed Hambleton Horseboxes after being made redundant last August.
She offers her own 3.5tonne horsebox for self-drive at £100 a day.
“After spending two years being very precious about it, I thought it was about time it earned some cash,” she told H&H.
H&H readers who hire transport say it is all to do with reducing their outgoings.
Lewis Angier recently sold his 7.5tonne lorry. He has hired a trailer until he starts university in September.
“It’s a shame to downgrade, but it’s expensive with diesel, servicing, maintenance and the depreciation in value,” he said.
Are you covered?
But ensure the company you choose is reliable and that you are insured, advises Jon Phillips from the Organisation of Horseboxes and Trailer Owners.
“You need to make sure the company has the correct hire and reward insurance in place,” he told H&H. “They should have a proper breakdown service plan. Go for a well-established company.
“If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If the company is much cheaper than anywhere else, you should be wary.”
For the full version of this story see the current issue of H&H (26 January 2012)