This is a question many horse owners face, however I feel it is much harder for those of us who got our license after 1997. Our most obvious option is a 3.5T horse box. Sounds great doesn’t it! Unfortunately, if you are under the age of 23 (like me) it is virtually impossible for you to hire one as the companies insurance won’t cover under 23s and sometimes not the under 25s. The next problem you face with these horse boxes is the space inside and the weight limit. Depending on the size and weight of your horse, especially if your taking a friend, you might really be pushing it and be over the weight limit. (which is dangerous and could get you a nasty fine if you’re caught!)
The next choice is then, take your trailer test or your LGV test. (Or even your HGV if you want something bigger than 7.5T!) Taking your LGV involves a medical and an eye test. These things make it a more expensive process! Therefore I am leaning towards the trailer test. (Though I plan on getting my LGV in the future.)
The trailer test costs roughly £150. However, many people suggest you have training before hand. Many companies offer 2-8 days intensive training. These vary in price, but I think a reasonable, average price for 4-5 days training is usually around £800. The cost of the test is usually included in this price but not always. I am aiming to try and pass this test over the summer.
This leads me to a NEW CAR! As much as I love my Clio, not only is it not capable of towing a trailer, I struggle to fit all my feed and bedding in it. So the car hunt has begun! I originally wanted something small(ish) and economical, capable of taking Scottie in a trailer. I looked at things like the Rav4, Shogun Pinin and Vitira. However, with more research I decided that they couldn’t tow enough to really be worth it.
Next I started to look at Grand Vitira, Freelander, Discovery, Sorento and various pick up trucks. These all varied in towing capacity, size and mpg. As appealing as the towing capacity of a Discovery is, the fuel consumption ruined this for me. My two favourites have to be the Land Rover Freelander and the Kia Sorrento.
The Freelander does an average of 37mpg and is capable of towing 2 tonne. This makes it economical enough to run day to day and still tow Scottie in a trailer. (Though probably not a friend too!) They are also fairly cheap to buy second hand, being able to pick one up for less than £3000.
My all time favourite is the Sorento though! It does 33mpg and capable of towing 2.8 tonne. That is Scottie + a friend! It is also fairly economical and has won tow car awards in the past, making it a promising car. However, in all my searching, I have struggled to find many cars for less than £5000 even remotely close to me… so this is out of my price range unless I get lucky.
In an ideal world, I will pass my trailer test and manage to find myself a nice Sorento!
What do you use to travel your horse? Trailer or Box? What car?