Owning a trailer can bring with it a huge number of benefits and they can vastly increase the transportation potential of any vehicle, but what costs are associated with trailer ownership? In today's blog, we are going to take a look at how much it really costs to own a trailer and keep it properly maintained.
When it comes to trailer ownership there are a variety of options when you are looking to buy a trailer - used trailers will always be the cheaper option, And the age of the trailer can have a big impact on price. The cost of a trailer is very much related to the size and intended use of the trailer you looking at, for example, horseboxes will be far more costly than a standard flatbed trailer. For this reason, we're going to focus specifically on the costs associated with trailer ownership once you have bought a trailer, and what you can expect to be paying out annually in maintenance, servicing, and cover. So without further ado let's take a look at the costs you might be facing during your trailer ownership.
General servicing costs are something you can expect to run into on an annual basis - it is recommended that you have a trailer service completed once a year and this is more than likely going to lead to some costs.
Of course, there are options when it comes to the general servicing of your trailer, and if you are looking to save some pennies the servicing of your trailer can always be done by yourself, however, this is only recommended if you have mechanical experience. But if you would rather leave it to the experts and have your service done at a trailer service centre you will be looking at around £100 - £200 depending on the size of your trailer.
It should be noted that most trailer services will only include parts that are specified on the schedule of service that your trailer is receiving. Any work that needs to be done on your trailer outside of this schedule will add to the total service cost. Most of the extra costs associated with trailer servicing are small and relate to consumable items such as brake pads etc.
Unlike car tyres, trailer tyres are not used to transfer any driving force, wear on trailer tyres can only be caused by two things - general road wear caused by cornering etc, and wear caused by braking (only applicable to trailers with brakes). However, this can be deceiving. Many people associate tyre health with the amount of tread left on the tyre, but there is more to it than that.
The main reason for changing tyres on a trailer is down to the age of the tyres. As the rubber gets older it begins to perish which can lead to cracks, bulges, and other deformations of the tyre structure. This can cause significant weakening of the tyre and poses a substantial risk when the trailer is being towed.
This means tyres can't be overlooked when it comes to the cost of owning a trailer, though you should expect to pay out much less frequently than you would for a car, there will still be occasions where you will need to buy new tyres for your trailer. Trailer tyres will typically remain in good condition for approximately three to four years before they begin to degrade. Although this is a long time there is a downside to replacing your tyres at their expiration date rather than due to wear. Your trailer tyres will likely all need replacing at the same time which can lead to a cost of around £200 on a typical double axle trailer. take a look at our ‘Let's Talk Trailer Tyres’ blog for more information on how you can look after your trailer tyres.
Trailer brake maintenance will of course only apply if you have a trailer with brakes, but it is an important part of the maintenance (and therefore cost) schedule of your trailer. Your trailer brake health will most likely be reported during your annual servicing and the need for new pads or shoes will be reflected in the servicing costs.
The majority of trailers will use drum brakes and therefore require the brake shoes to be replaced. A typical set of two brake shoes (to change the brake shoes on a single axle trailer) can cost anywhere from £55 - £180 depending on the branding and quality of the product. For more information on how to look after your trailer brakes properly take a look at our ‘Maintaining Your Trailer Brakes’ blog article.
Trailer insurance costs depend heavily on your vehicle insurance situation and the cover you receive - some insurance companies will cover the things you to behind your vehicle and some won't so consult your insurance documentation before taking out trailer insurance cover. If your trailer is not covered by your vehicle insurance it is not compulsory to take out additional trailer insurance, however, it is highly recommended.
It should be noted that if your vehicle insurance does contain trailer cover most insurance companies will only cover your trailer while it is being towed by your vehicle. This means your trailer is not covered when it is parked or left unattended.
Taking out specific trailer insurance is a great idea to ensure your peace of mind. It will mean your trailer is covered in an accident, against theft, and also accidental damage during use. The cost of trailer insurance will depend heavily on the size and use of your trailer. Smaller trailers can cost less than £60 a year to insure, while larger trailers or ‘high-risk’ trailers (such as horseboxes) will sit around £180 in annual insurance fees. As with most insurance policies, trailer insurance can be paid monthly or annually, however, monthly payments will usually incur a small fee.
Finally, we come to trailer security. Security devices for your trailer are totally optional as with insurance but with the rising number of trailer thefts, it is highly recommended to think about security devices. If you leave your trailer unattended or unlocked compound your trailer is a tempting target for trailer thieves So protecting your trailer is important.
The level of security you go for is a totally personal choice and this will usually be reflected in the cost. Larger more substantial security devices will usually come with a heftier price tag though it should be said, in most cases this will also reflect the level of protection they provide.
Hitch lock devices can range from just over £15 to over £170. The same goes for wheel clamps security devices, with the cheaper products sitting at just over £40 and the more expensive devices priced just north of £200. Generally, the more expensive products will be manufactured out of higher quality materials and are provided with insurance backing as proof of their security potential. Though the price of a good security device can initially seem like a large outlay this will (hopefully) be a one-off payment that will give you peace of mind your trailer is safe and sound when you leave it unattended.
For more information on security devices, you can use to protect your trailer take a look at our ‘Trailer Security With SAS’ blog article.
Trailers can bring a huge number of benefits with their ownership, but they do take a certain level of care which will inevitably lead to various associated costs. For a typical mid-sized trailer you expect to pay an annual cost totalling approximately £200 - £300 depending on the condition and age of your trailer, and also how much work you choose to undertake yourself. The more maintenance you can complete without taking your trailer to a service centre to more money you can save on annual trailer running costs. If you want to learn how to look after your trailer head over to our TrailerTek Guide Area.