Horseboxes - vehicle buying guide
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Before purchasing a horse box or trailer you need to think carefully of any requirements. Along with ensuring that you can easily afford the running costs and any repairs should they arrise. Purchasing a horse box or trailer can be a huge financial commitment.
|Please note the information below is intended for guidance only to ensure you are not mis-sold a horse or pony listed on this website:|
1) When contacting the seller ask them for the vehicle service history including previous ownership and current mileage. Ask them if the vehicle has any mechanical faults along with how many months annual MOT cover is remaining.
2) We always recommend taking a professional mechanic to the inspection who can examine the vehicle engine and general mechanical wear to avoid any nasty unnoticed potential major problems.
3) Many horse boxes are driven on dirt roads and parked in grass fields, make sure you check the vehicle for rust, damp patches and any rotting. Pay particular attention to the vehicle underbody chassis area including in and around the wheel arches.
4) Check all the fixtures and fittings throughout the living area if applicable and ensure that everything is in working order. It’s important to check that the living area electricity is provided by a different battery and not the main vehicle battery intended for the engine only. Also check any running water supply is hot and any kitchen equipment is also fully functional. Turn everything on at once to test for power failure and keep running for around 10 minutes or more to assess.
5) Closely inspect the engine and check it’s been well maintained search for any leaking oil, water or fluids and check the vehicle dashboard for any warning lights. Also ask them if the cam belt has been changed and remove the oil cap if you can see white milky oil this could be a sign that the head gasket blown. Inspect the ground where the vehicle has been parked for any evidence of leaking oil or water coolant from the radiator.
6) When sat in the cab make sure you test every button, switch and knob to ensure the warning lights, wipers, horn, lights, indicators, heaters, air conditioning, wipers and seat adjustments are all working fine. It’s also wise to check the key fob central locking system is functioning fine along with any alarm system if fitted. Auto electrical faults can be costly and can make the vehicle un-roadworthy if the computer management system becomes notified with an error code.
7) Before purchasing the horsebox or trailer make sure you thoroughly road test the vehicle. Usually after a 15 to 30 minute drive any major problems become evident. You can also assess if you are confident enough to drive the vehicle on tight country lanes, especially with larger horse boxes.
8) Make sure you have the vehicle HPI checked for any outstanding finance and during the transaction the ownership is transferred with an official VOSA document.
9) Purchase a vehicle check if possible. This allows you to gain a full impartial overview of the vehicle history including any accident damage repairs.
10) Also don’t forget to check the ramp is in working order and good condition. Assess the woodwork, springs and hinges for wear, whilst inspecting for any rust or rotten wood. It’s also wise to assess if you can comfortably lift the ramp yourself.
11) Finally make sure you have the correct license class to legally drive the vehicle. To drive larger horseboxes you normally require a HGV license, also check that your license permits you to tow a horse box trailer. It’s also wise to check that the horse box when fully loaded does not exceed the 7.5 tonne weight limit, otherwise you may require a HGV license.
12) Before conducting the sales transaction make sure you have an adequate insurance cover policy in place to legally drive the vehicle.