Top five things you need to know when buying a used trailer

Commercial Motor
February 24, 2017

1 Carry out a thorough examination

A reputable dealer will put its used trailers through a thorough examination to make sure they’re fit for the road. Carry out the same checks if you can. A potential buyer should check the overall condition of the chassis cross members, floor, roof, front bulkhead and rear doors and what the tyre depths are. If there are sign written curtains and decals on rear doors this makes the trailer less valuable for the seller as it will need new curtains and a re-paint and this will affect the dealer’s offer to buy it. Check who the last operator was, the age and specification of the trailer, overall condition, and if it is still on finance. Preferably you want the trailer to be between five to 10 years old and with a long MoT.

2 Check the dimensions

Double-check the internal dimensions required to load your specific cargo, and the type of doors that would best suit the job. Would a roller shutter be a better fit than barn doors, for example? Take the time to consider the operational requirements.

3 Look around the marketplace

You might have been loyal to one specific trailer manufacturer in the past, but it’s always worth considering the competition, especially when another manufacturer’s design could be better suited to your needs. Also, bear in mind that well-known manufacturers’ trailers hold their value better in the long term.

4 Think about maintenance

Select a used trailer with the same brand of axles and brakes as your current fleet. By standardising parts, repair and maintenance becomes much easier to handle, as does sourcing replacements.

5 Be familiar with the legislation

When buying an older trailer, you might need to upgrade its internal load restraint system in accordance with the latest DVSA and Health and Safety Executive guidelines, so be prepared to budget for the additional expense. Many retailers can retrofit load restraint systems to a used trailer on request.


Are you in the market for a used Trailer? We have hundreds available from dealerships across the country. Check out our dedicated Trailer pages to find the right one for you.




About the Author

Commercial Motor is the online presence for Commercial Motor magazine, the world’s oldest magazine dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry.

It is your online source for the best new and used trucks and trailers in the UK - plus the latest news, and the best buying advice you'll find in the industry.

All of the dealers listed have been are visited by our field sales team in person at their premises and our editorial team are constantly out and about speaking to dealers, operators and suppliers - this helps build really great market knowledge that assists you.

Articles published by the author Commercial Motor may be collaborative efforts by our journalists or contain significant elements obtained from press releases or company statements. They have, however, still been written and checked by our expert editorial team.

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