Should I buy a new or used box trailer?

 In Trailer Tips

You want to purchase a box trailer. Whether it be for moving furniture or transporting tools, one of the first decisions you will have to make is whether or not to purchase it new or used.

Box trailers are a handy piece of equipment that most households and trades businesses own.  We have put together this guide to help you decide if new or used will be best for you.


You need to ask yourself, how long do I want this trailer to last? How durable will it need to be?

If you are purchasing a box trailer that needs to be durable enough for harsh daily usage in rough conditions and roads, then you need to ensure the materials and make of the trailer can withstand that, and for how long. The trailer you purchase should be free from rust and other signs of deterioration. You should also choose the trailer that is made with the strongest materials. Potentially an aluminium base would be ideal.

If you are only planning on using the trailer to transport garden waste a short distance every fortnight, then there is less emphasis on strength and durability, and you are likely to find what you need second hand.

Trailer Manufacturer

The trailer manufacturer will give you a good indication of how long the trailer should last. Researching the manufacturer will also inform you of the quality of materials and craftsmanship.

A quality-built trailer such as Variant or Scanvogn will last at least 15-20 years. Research the manufacturer of the trailer you are considering and keep an eye out for any guarantees or warranties. If the manufacturer proves to be high quality & durable, as well as can provide readily available spare parts, then perhaps purchasing the trailer second hand is a good option.


New quality box trailers don’t have to break the bank. Variant box trailers start from only $2,000. However, if that is out of your budget then a second-hand trailer might be applicable.

Nevertheless, do keep in mind that a second-hand trailer that is not built by a quality manufacturer, may end up costing you much more in maintenance and issues, especially if it is old & not properly maintained.

Safety & Registration

Trailers are certified to certain speeds. For safety, we recommend going no faster than 100km/hr with an attached trailer where the speed limit and certification allows. The Variant trailers are all certified for speeds up to 100km/hr.

In NSW, QLD, ACT, NT, TAS & WA the trailer still needs to be registered. Depending on your state, where you bought the trailer from & how old it is, you might need a roadworthy safety inspection.

For example, in NSW an eSafety check is required to renew registration each year if the trailer is 5yrs or older & is up to 2 tonnes Gross Trailer Mass without breakaway breaks. Trailers less than 250kg do not require inspection. All trailers without current NSW registration (e.g. interstate transfer) need to undertake an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection before they can be registered.

You may need to transfer the registration into your own name if you decide to buy a used trailer. Generally, the process involves obtaining a ‘Bill of Sale’ from the seller as proof of purchase and filling out / submitting the transfer of registration papers to your local motoring authority.

At present, the rules surrounding registration and inspections vary greatly – so do your research!

Wait Time

Generally, when you find a second-hand trailer for sale, you can take it home that day. With some new trailers, the specific model you are after might have to be ordered in or made specifically for you. If you don’t require the trailer immediately, it is a good idea to explore this option. It means the trailer has not been sitting out exposed to the weather for long periods of time. But if time is of the essence, then exploring both new floor stock models, and second-hand options is best.  Just remember that spending a few hours of research can save you many hours of problems in the long run.

Additional Extras

If you want a box trailer with additional extras such as a jockey wheel, spare tire, tarps, hard tops or driving ramps then it is best to order those from the original manufacturer to have accessories that are specific to the size of your trailer model. You might find that the used trailer model you are exploring might not have certain additional extras available which might influence your decision to purchase new.

Usage – Business vs. Personal

If you are looking for a good quality trailer for daily business use, we recommend purchasing new directly from a quality manufacturer. If you decide to purchase second hand, then it is essential to do a very thorough check of the trailer before purchase. As a business, you never want to take shortcuts when it comes to equipment investments.

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