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Horsebox Hire & Rental Guide: Cost, Tips & FAQs

Whether you show, trail ride, are purchasing a new horse or need to go to the vet, having your own transportation for your horse can be very helpful.

Horseboxes are becoming a popular way to haul horses, as they are easy to drive and economical. However, due to their high purchase cost, renting a horsebox has also become very popular.

Unlike horse trailers where you need a large vehicle to tow it, horseboxes include the trailer portion within the vehicle. The driver and passenger sit up front while the horse rides in the back of the vehicle.

Should I Rent a Horsebox?

If you only haul your horse few times a year, a horsebox is a large investment. Fortunately, there are places where you can rent them out.

Renting can be more budget friendly if you only need transportation for your horse occasionally. In America, they can cost upwards of $70,000 and in the UK they can cost upwards of £27,999.

Unlike renting a horse trailer, when you rent a horsebox you don’t have to worry about having the right vehicle for towing. The ability to haul your horse in the same vehicle you are in is convenient and practical.

Cost of Renting a Horsebox

In the United States, you will have to contact horsebox dealerships directly for renting options or find private owners, which can be risky. Depending on the quality of horsebox you choose, most companies will charge anywhere from $100 – $500.

The downside of renting a horsebox is that they are often not as readily available for renting as horse trailers are. The process of renting can also be more complicated depending on where you are.

In the UK, you have the ability to hire horseboxes anywhere from one day to 36 months. Daily rates can range from £40 to £300, depending on the model. For weekly rates, one can expect to pay between £100 to £795. You will also have to pay for insurance as well as other fees, so make sure to take that into account.

Horsebox towing a horse trailer rental tips
Image credit to BarnetEngineer (Wikimedia)

Insurance

When it comes to driving a horsebox, insurance is very important. Before renting, make sure to check that you have the proper insurance. Most horsebox hire companies will include insurance in their hire cost.

In addition to having your own insurance, make sure that the place you are renting from has self-drive hire insurance. Since you are renting a motor vehicle and not a trailer, the insurance and policies will be different. Insurance can also vary by horsebox, depending on the size and features, such as living quarters.

Tips for Renting a Horsebox

Before renting a horsebox, you will want to make sure to follow these tips in order to make the process smooth. These helpful tips will help save you time, stress and money.

1. Check Your Contract

Whether renting from a business or individual, make sure you sign a contract before renting. Before you sign, be sure to thoroughly read the contract to make sure there are no hidden rules or fees.

As we mention in our guide to renting a horse trailer, check that the vehicle identification number (VIN) and insurance information are listed in the contract. After signing, try to get a copy of the contract so you can have it with you. You will also want to make sure the license plate and registration number match before driving anywhere.

Before heading out, check that you have an insurance card with the VIN on it, in addition to the horsebox’s registration. These simple steps will give you peace of mind, as they can save you from legal troubles.

2. Make Sure to Work With an Accredited Business

Since there are liabilities at stake when driving a horsebox, you should work with an accredited business to make sure you have all the proper requirements for renting.

The company should have a business license and be bonded, so you know they are reputable. Most hire companies can be found online. Some companies work directly with horsebox owners who are looking to rent out their own personal horseboxes. This can also be another reliable way to rent, however, it is recommended to not rent directly from individuals.

3. Don’t Let Others Drive Who Aren’t on the Contract

Unless you have already added additional drivers to the contract, don’t allow other people to drive your rented horsebox. If an accident occurs with a driver whose name is not on the contract, you may face legal consequences.

Most places will allow you to add another driver to your contract for an additional fee. Often the fee is small, so if you think you might have someone else drive, go ahead and add them to the contract. The small fee could save you lots of money in legal fees if something were to go wrong.

4. Have an Emergency Plan

Before driving anywhere, make sure to have an emergency plan set up. This will help keep you prepared for any situation that may arise on your trip.

Be sure to write down the numbers of the hire company and your insurance in case you need to call them. It is always a good idea to let a friend or family member know where you are going in case anything happens. Make sure to double check that the horsebox has a spare tire in case you get a flat.

Horsebox available for hire
Image credit to Equi-Trek

In case you get stranded, pack extra food and water for you and your horse. In case any injuries occur, you will want to pack a human and horse first aid kit.

5. Clean and Refuel the Horsebox Before Returning

Before heading back, you will want to clean and refuel your rented horsebox. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but it may save you from having to pay additional fees.

You will want to clean out all the poop, pee shavings, hay and dirt left behind from your horse. In addition, you want to clean out the passenger area and the living quarters if it has one. Make sure to throw away any drinks or food wrappers and clean up any mud you may have tracked in.

Right before returning, don’t forget to refuel. Many places will fine you if you return the vehicle with no gas.

FAQs

How Heavy is a Horsebox?

A horsebox typically weighs between 750 – 1,100 kilos or around 1,650 – 2,425 pounds. However, the weight can be more depending on the size and style.

Do You Need a Special License to Drive a Horsebox?

If you are renting a horsebox that is under 3.5 tonnes, you do not need a special license. Depending on where you live, licenses may vary based on the size of the vehicle. So some places may require special licenses for horseboxes larger than 3.5 tonnes.

What Does Coachbuilt Horsebox Mean?

Coachbuilt are newly built horseboxes where the body has been built onto the vehicle chassis for the sole purpose of being a horsebox. The other type, conversion, is where a vehicle is repurposed from its original form to become a horsebox.

What Does Payload Mean in a Horsebox?

In a horsebox, payload refers to the amount of horses, fuel, water, tack, food, equipment and people you are legally allowed to carry.

Should I Get a Camera System for my Horsebox?

Although it’s not required, a camera and monitor system is a great way to routinely check your horses are okay whilst driving. However, we strong advise the passenger looks at the monitor so you don’t get distracted from driving. Read our guide to the best horse trailer cameras for learn more.

Final Thoughts

Horseboxes can be a great way to haul your horse, as they are easy to drive and compact. However, they can be quite expensive to buy. By doing your research and following these useful tips, renting can be a great option if you do not haul your horse on a regular basis.

If you’re thinking of buying a horse box, check out horsebox insurance guide to make sure you’ve everything covered.

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