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We’ve owned many horse trailers, and I always had the opportunity to try out a similar model before buying. Luckily I know a lot of people with various types of horse trailers for me to use. If I didn’t, I wonder if a person could rent a horse trailer to test it out.
You can rent a horse trailer, but it isn’t easy. The best place to find a horse trailer to rent is from a private owner. Commercial dealers typically don’t rent out new or used horse trailers because of the high insurance cost, but there are a few that do.
Renting a horse trailer is not simple. This article covers what to look for when renting a trailer, how much you can expect to pay, where to rent a trailer, and when it is a good idea to buy one instead.
Why Do You Need to Rent a Horse Trailer?
Horse trailers are expensive and a significant investment. You don’t have to buy one if you don’t haul often; instead, you can rent a horse trailer. Renting a trailer is also a good idea even if you intend to buy one: you will be able to ensure it meets you and your horse’s needs.
If you’ve owned a horse even for a short time, you know they need to be hauled from time to time – whether to trail riding locations, races, shows, trainers, or even the veterinarian.
Whether you need to haul your horse twice a year or many times depends upon your lifestyle and the equine events you participate in (on average, a racehorse will travel more than a ranch horse).
If you have friends or neighbors that ride horses, it’s possible to borrow or haul your horse with their trailer. But practically, horse trailers are an absolute necessity for any horse owner, which brings us to our next question.
Should you rent a horse trailer or buy one?
Horse Trailer – To Rent or Buy?
Horse trailers are expensive, with prices ranging from $4,000 for a standard two horse bumper pull trailer to over $300,000 for a gooseneck with luxurious living quarters, and they can reach even higher.
The cost of the trailer depends on the brand, its size, and its compartments. Renting a horse trailer can cost you from $60 to $180 a day. To rent a two-horse trailer, you can expect to pay between $60 to $100 per day, whereas a three-horse trailer with living quarters can cost $150 to $180.
The price goes up based on if you want to rent for a week or a month. While the price is one consideration in deciding whether to buy or rent a horse trailer, it is not the only one—the decision to purchase or rent rests on your needs. If you only need to haul a horse once or twice a year, renting is the best option.
But if you have to transport your horse/s frequently, having your own trailer will be a more convenient and cost-effective option in the long run.
Most horse trailers are built to last for decades. We owned and frequently used a horse trailer for over twenty years before selling it, and it’s still in use today.
Why it’s a good idea to rent a horse trailer before you buy one.
We are all accustomed to conducting market research and asking our friends for recommendations before making significant purchases. Along with doing that, you also have the option to rent a horse trailer before you buy it to ensure it meets your needs.
When I decided to buy my first trailer many years back, I already knew which trailer type and brand I wanted because I had been hauling with a friend who had a similar model.
I knew the trailer well and was sure it would fit my needs before I bought it. And it proved to be a good investment that is still paying off today.
Where can you rent a horse trailer?
Finding a commercial horse trailer dealer willing to rent a horse trailer is challenging unless you live in Texas. That’s why I recommend renting from a private horse trailer owner.
Rent from a private owner
Renting from a private party is likely the best option for most people. If you don’t know any other horse owners, contact equine organizations in your community and join some online groups that involve equestrian events or informational sites.
For example, most regions have barrel racing, horse racing, roping, dressage, or facilities that teach riding lessons, also contact equine rescue organizations.
These groups likely don’t rent out trailers but can put you in contact with individuals that rent horse trailers. Facebook is a great resource to meet and contact horse owners who may rent a horse trailer.
They have numerous riding and horse lover groups. Also, you can post on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace your interest in renting a trailer. I see people requesting all types of services, and they have a broad reach.
Commercial horse trailer rentals
It’s a challenge to find a dealer willing to rent a horse trailer. I spoke with a partner in one trailer dealership he explained why most companies don’t rent out horse trailers.
He said that insurance rates, damages to the trailers, and the extra staff needed to handle rentals made it cost-prohibitive. I asked him about demand; he acknowledged they frequently get calls to rent a horse trailer but interjected that people buy without renting, so why change.
You can find commercial vendors that rent trailers, for example, in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas. C&S Trailers typically has a great selection of horse trailers for rent, and they are easy to work with.
If you don’t have the correct towing equipment on your truck, they even provide loaner hitches. I contacted them about pricing. They currently have only two horse trailers for rent.
A two-horse bumper-pull horse trailer rents for $69.00, and a two-horse goose-neck is $91.60 per day. I contacted numerous companies advertising they rent horse trailers only to be told that they don’t.
Does U-Haul Rent Horse Trailers?
I was curious if U-Haul rented horse trailers, I read they did on the internet, but I knew our local store didn’t. So I contacted U-Haul’s national office and spoke to their sales representative Tiffany. She stated, “U-Haul does not rent horse trailers.”
So as much as I was hoping they provided horse trailer rentals, it isn’t true. U-Haul’s business model allows private owners to rent trailers other than U-Haul’s, and they may offer to rent horse trailers, but this service is not associated with U-Haul.
I wonder if someone rented one of their box trucks or enclosed trailers to haul a horse? I hope not.
How much does it cost to rent a trailer?
The price to rent a horse trailer varies based on the amount of time of the rental and the horse trailer’s style. For example, you will likely get a better day rate renting by the week or month than for one day.
Commercial trailer rental companies typically charge between $60.00 and $75.00 a day for a standard two-horse trailer and $75 to $100.00 for a standard three-horse gooseneck trailer.
Using these figures for reference, you can negotiate with a private owner. Individuals don’t typically rent out their horse trailer, so the price is negotiable and usually determined by your need.
Some companies lease horse trailers.
Leasing a horse trailer is different from renting because it is typically for a longer-term. It is a way to get a horse trailer for a few years without paying the full price.
At the end of the lease term, you return the horse trailer to the company you leased it from and walkway from it with no further obligation. Most major horse trailer manufacturers offer a lease option.
Why would you lease a horse trailer?
Approval for leasing a new horse trailer is easier than financing and allows you to use a new horse trailer for a set period that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to buy.
Monthly lease payments are typically lower than conventional horse trailer loan payments. There may also be tax advantages to leasing over buying a horse trailer.
Another plus is that you can enter a short-term lease for two-years and upgrade your trailer sooner. A standard lease agreement gives you three options at the expiration of the lease.
You can buy the trailer for a predetermined amount based on the original price and payments you’ve made over the lease term, trade the trailer in on another model, or turn the trailer in.
Trailer companies lease agreements vary, so it is essential you shop for the best deal and read the fine print in the contract—some tilt significantly in favor of the lessor.
Horse Trailer Rental Tips
If you’re lucky enough to find a horse trailer to rent, there are some things you should consider when renting.
Put effort into finding a good rental company.
If you conduct adequate research and find a suitable rental company, it will spare you a lot of headaches down the road. Look online, ask your friends for recommendations, and ask around at local stables.
C&S rentals have a forum on their site. Here you can ask questions and read customer reviews. Most reputable rental companies should have similar formats, so take advantage and read what others have to say about their experience.
Check the condition of the horse trailer.
Once you’ve chosen the horse trailer you want to rent, be sure and inspect it before hooking it to your tow vehicle. You and the rental agent should look it over together.
If you notice any damage, the agent should document it, so you’re not accused of causing the damage upon its return. When I rent equipment, I take photographs of it and any damage before leaving the rental yard.
We all have cell phones with cameras, so photographing rental damage should be standard protocol.
Make sure the paperwork is in order for the rental trailer.
It’s challenging finding a horse trailer to rent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t walk away from a bad deal. Make sure all the proper paperwork for the trailer is correct before you leave with it.
Your towing vehicle insurance may provide coverage. Contact your provider and discuss the trailer rental and confirm your coverage before hooking up the trailer.
Choose the right horse trailer for your needs.
If you find a trailer to rent, you likely won’t have many choices. But if you do have the luxury of choosing between different models, choose a trailer that fits your needs.
Do you need a two-horse trailer, a three-horse one, or a trailer with living quarters? Assess your space needs and choose a trailer compatible with your towing vehicle to avoid future problems.
Confirm your vehicle’s towing capacity
It is necessary to check your vehicle’s towing capacity and make sure it is above the trailer’s combined weight, horse/s, equipment, and passengers. The trailer company should have experienced people available to answer any questions or concerns you have.
Suppose you’re renting from an individual check near the trailer tongue for a small metal tag. On this tag are the VIN numbers and the GVWR of the horse trailer.
If your vehicle doesn’t have the towing capacity for the trailer’s weight, you risk a catastrophe. Overloading a tow vehicle can cause tire and brake failure, among other damage.
You should always confirm your vehicle’s towing capacity from its manufacturer before buying or towing a trailer.
Make sure the trailer is insured
Many people have asked me, “Do you have to pay for insurance when renting a horse trailer?” The short answer is no. You do not have to pay for the trailer’s insurance when renting one.
However, before you rent a trailer, you should ensure that your vehicle is insured because many states require insurance companies to provide liability coverage on the trailers you tow with an insured vehicle.
But this is not always the case. Some large and expensive horse trailers may be excluded from coverage. Insurance for trailers is not blanket coverage for every horse trailer.
It would be best to choose a rental company that offers comprehensive and collision insurance on their trailers. However, note that if your horse causes any damage to the trailer, insurance typically doesn’t cover it.
Thoroughly read the rental contract.
After you’ve done your due diligence and chosen a company to rent your trailer from, be sure to go over the contract carefully. Look at the terms and make sure that you agree to all of them.
The trailer’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and insurance information should be listed in the contract. You should have the trailer’s registration and an insurance card with its VIN with you. Also, be sure to match the registration number with the license plate.
Check your trailer before you return it.
Before returning your horse trailer, washout the horse stalls. Not only is it good manners to clean your horse’s mess, but it gives you a better view of the condition of the trailer.
After you’ve cleaned the trailer, conduct a walk-around inspection and check for damage. You should have photographs of the trailer before you left the lot if you need to compare.
Trailers are an absolute necessity for hauling your horse to the vet, the trainer, a trail, or a competition. Depending on your needs, you can buy or rent one. Even when you intend to buy a trailer, it is usually a good idea to first rent it and see if it suits your needs.
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