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When is it okay to buy a used trailer?

When is it okay to buy a used trailer?

Many second hand trailers end up being scrapped and resold. This is because they are often poorly maintained and the trailers are damaged before they go on the market. If the deal looks too good to be true it usually is, as a well maintained and sturdy trailer will hold its value.

Poorly maintained trailers can end up eBay and other second hand selling sites to be purchased by buyers who have little idea of the condition of the product they’re buying. It is important that as a buyer you are familiar with the tell-tale signs of when a trailer is not in a good state, so you can make the correct decision on whether to splash the cash.

This list should help you identify whether the new trailer you’ve found is a bargain or a disaster purchase. Remember an initial cheap purchase could cost you lots of money down the line!

Viewing is essential:

The first and most important rule of buying a used trailer is to view it first. This is crucial as a picture can distort how the trailer looks to make it appear better maintained than it actually is. In addition, it could be an old picture that doesn’t reflect what the actual trailer looks like now!

ID plate:

Whilst looking at the trailer, check that it has an ID plate. If this isn’t the case, don’t even consider buying the trailer and walk away from the deal. Without an ID plate, it is possible for the trailer to be confiscated by the police.


Carefully look over the trailer to assess the state of the trailer suspension. Look out for whether the trailer is leaning, whether the wheel is at an angle or if there are any signs of corrosion. This gives a good indication of whether the suspension is in a poor condition. If it is then ATE can replace this for you.


Only buy a trailer that has galvanised chassis, as these are less susceptible to corrosion. Also, make sure that it doesn’t look as if wielding has been carried out, as this suggests that the trailer has been repaired at some point. Chassis are the foundations of your trailer, if there seems to be a worry then you can contact us and we will be more than happy to supply you with a new trailer chassis.


If your trailer requires brakes, make sure these are all in working order before purchasing. It goes without saying that the trailer brakes are one of the most important parts. If these do not work correctly, you will be in a heap of trouble. Always check the brakes when you are purchasing a new trailer as it could be costly if they are faulty.


Be sure to check that the wheels are not damaged or worn before you are purchasing any type of trailer second hand. You need to remember that even if it is second hand the trailer needs to be road legal. If it is not, it could be your licence that is lost alongside your investment. Ensure that your trailer wheels are in adequate shape before towing away your new purchase.


Finally, assess the lights and ensure that these are all operational before driving off. It is a legal requirement for trailers to have working lights, so you may be risking having your new purchase seized by the police, as soon as you take it on the road if the lights aren’t working.