A 3.5 ton horsebox is a popular choice as it doesn’t require an additional driving test to be driven. Exceeding the weight limit of 3.5 ton would put the vehicle in another license bracket. The biggest payload you can get out of a smaller horsebox is around 1200kg, this could be for two smaller horses or a larger horse and equipment.
Most new horseboxes can be custom made to your requirements with various layouts and other options available. There are many options when choosing a new horsebox anything from the chassis through to interior colours can be customised. A living area can be incorporated into the horsebox, so the rider has somewhere to get changed, eat etc.
Another option instead of buying a new horsebox is to find one used. Depending on the condition, used horseboxes are generally cheaper than their new counterparts. Having a good look over a used horsebox is generally advised as some problems can cost thousands to fix especially rust and bodywork. Some horseboxes use aluminium flooring instead of wooden or ply flooring. The aluminium flooring is generally stronger and longer lasting than plywood.
The biggest thing to check on a used horsebox is the mileage. This can be quite high if the donor vehicle was previously used as delivery vehicle for example. If the vehicle has been maintained correctly then high mileage shouldn’t be a problem. Most horseboxes only average around 4,000 miles per year, so buying one which has only been used as a horsebox would be a wise idea. This will mean the mileage will be quite low when compared to a horsebox based on a previously used van.
All horseboxes have a ramp to load horses in and out of the vehicle. This ramp needs to be kept in good condition and adjusted regularly. The ramps are heavy and are usually assisted by springs, these are what need to be adjusted to provide easy access to the horsebox.
As with any vehicle a full HPI check needs to be carried out to check if the horsebox has ever been stolen, been in an accident or if there is any finance outstanding. These are important checks to make before you make any purchase.
If you have a standard driving license then a 3.5 ton horsebox is ideal for you, if you require a bigger payload than 1200kg then consider moving to a larger horsebox.