Horsebox and Horse Trailer Insurance

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Kevin Parker Horseboxes - Compact Helios Horsebox
Horseboxes and horse trailers are essential for the horse owner who wants to compete in any equestrian sport, such as eventing, show-jumping, dressage, hunting, endurance, polo, racing, Le Trek, showing, carriage-driving, pony club mounted games and more.  But many leisure riders who only hack also own their own transport so that they can reach different places to ride, and also so they have a ready means of taking their horse to the vet. 

Photo: 'Compact Helios Horsebox' by Kevin Parker Horseboxes Ltd. 

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There are hundreds, if not more, of different makes and types of horseboxes and trailers, to suit all desires and budgets, from the simple one-horse trailer that can be towed by the family estate car, to the very expensive luxurious multi-horse lorry boxes that have human accommodation fit for a king.  Take a look at our picture gallery of 'Retrotastic to Fantastic' Horseboxes and Trailers to find your heart's desire! Other than the initial cost of your horse, its transport is likely to be the most costly equestrian outlay you'll make, so it will pay to have it effectively insured.  

Regulations covering horse boxes and trailers

It’s fair to say that there has been a degree of uncertainty regarding the legal requirements in relation to operating horseboxes, (whether trailers or rigid goods vehicles) for a number of years now.  The equestrian press has featured numerous articles on the problem of non-compliance with safety guidelines and warned of the potential dangers to horses and humans where these are breached.  Recently, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has attempted to introduce more clarity on the rules and has published a helpful guide in association with the British Horse Society and other equestrian bodies, organisations and publications. This is available from the government website here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-horsebox-and-trailer-owners
 

Driving licence restrictions

Drivers must ensure that they have the correct licence for the size and type of vehicle they are using.  In brief:

  • If the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tonnes, the driver requires only a category B licence (ordinary private car licence).
  • If the vehicles is between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes, it can be driven by holders of C1 category licences. Drivers covered by this category are also permitted to tow trailers of up to a maximum gross weight of 0.75 tonnes. Drivers who passed their driving test for a category B licence after 1 January 1997 stopped receiving automatic entitlement to drive category C1 vehicles.
  • With the exception of those drivers with category C1 entitlement, all drivers of goods vehicles with a maximum gross weight of more than 3.5 tonnes require a category C licence.

For more in-depth guidance on driver licensing refer to the gov.uk website here:
https://www.gov.uk/adding-higher-categories-to-your-driving-licence

MOTs

If you own a horsebox and take it on the road, it is legally required have an annual VOSA test (MOT / ‘plating’) to make sure it meets minimum road safety and environmental standards. In addition to annual testing, VOSA also undertakes regular roadside checks throughout the entire GB road network, where your vehicle could be the subject of a routine inspection.

Maximum vehicle weights

In law, the load carried must never exceed the maximum vehicle weight.  Manufacturers or ministry plates (these are usually fixed to the inside of the passenger door frame) specify the weights which should be adhered to on every vehicle.

Towing

The combined actual weight of towing vehicle and trailer combinations should never exceed the maximum train weight of the towing vehicle.  It’s easy to underestimate the combined weight of trailer, horse/s, passengers, tack and other equipment, so calculate carefully as there may be more space available for carrying things than the legal weight threshold actually permits! 

Horse trailer security

All Ifor Williams horse trailers are automatically registered both on the company’s own database and TER (The National Plant & Equipment Register); you can register with this nationwide database yourself, ensuring your horse trailer’s serial number can be traced back to you in the event of a theft.  For other horse trailer makes, it’s well worth contacting the TER (The National Plant & Equipment Register). For a fee of £25 potential purchases can be checked against their extensive records – call 01225 464599.  If you’re the victim of a theft, register your horse trailer’s details with TER at www.ter-europe.org 

Insurance requirements

Horseboxes require plating every year.
Trailers must have a wheel clamping system when parked up as a condition of the insurance.

Getting a Horsebox or Trailer Insurance quote online couldn't be easier!

You simply fill out the short form provided by Seopa Ltd. and let the results come to you via their service - your details are passed to an expert panel of Insurance specialists who will contact you with quotes so you can make a decision on the policy that suits you best.  The panel includes over five industry-leading horsebox insurance providers including Equesure, EIS (Equine Insurance Solutions), Shearwater Insurance Services Ltd, A Plan and BG Insurance (Barry Grainger).  If you need a quote for Horse Insurance, please click the 'get quotes' button below.

Tips for travelling your horse

Horse and Hound magazine has a good article on travelling tips for before, during and after travel.  See here: Horse Travel Tips

References
VOSA: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/vehicle-and-operator-service...
Horse Travel Tips: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/horse-care/horse-care-tips/travelling-tips-before-during-and-after/#mZPZd5mT8ye3D0dh.30

Page updated 20/03/16

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