Renting Your Trailer

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Renting your trailer involves relying on a written agreement to document the terms and decide how to handle factors that you can’t control. These issues must be considered whether you decide to actually charge for the rental or not.

Start by finding out from your insurance agent if the trailer will be covered if someone else is using it. Specify you’re not doing this as a business, which may require a different type of coverage, but check to find out if accepting money for the trailer’s use affects the policy. Be sure the person you’re renting to isn’t operating commercially or accepting money. Note: If the rental includes your towing vehicle, do the same for it.

Be sure both parties understand who pays for damage if an accident occurs. Generally, comprehensive physical-damage coverage and collision coverage follows the vehicle or trailer. So, if your friend damages your trailer or hits another vehicle, your insurance pays for the damage. Note, too, that most of us have deductibles to meet. If your insurance coverage is liable, you need to determine if you or your friend is responsible for the deductible.

Liability coverage is different. Where the driver of the rig causes damage to another car — like if the trailer separates from the truck — or people in another car, the driver’s insurance normally kicks in. Be wary, though, as you could also be held liable, too. Things can get dicey where liability is involved.

Find out about the horse’s coverage. If another vehicle hits your trailer and the horses are injured, maybe that driver’s policy would pay for their medical care — or maybe not. Be sure to check with your agent because so many variables are involved. The person renting your trailer should also check with his or her insurance agent as well, so you can compare notes and document the results.

How Much Do You Charge'
Consider your trailer’s size, condition and current value to determine a daily, weekly or monthly rate. If you financed your trailer, calculate the daily cost of the loan and consider adding a premium. Be sure you include your insurance cost in the figure. To calculate the daily cost, divide your monthly payments by 30.

If you own the trailer, you could approximate a loan scenario to arrive at a daily-cost estimate or call area trailer dealers in your area to find one that does rentals. You can also use the figures from our January 2004 article, “Know Your Trailer’s Value.”

One dealer we talked to agreed it makes sense to charge more for a trailer with living quarters than a two-horse bumper pull model. This dealer charges $85 a day for a two-horse bumper-pull trailer.

Bottom Line
There will always be incidents you can’t control or predict. However, you can work to cover as many bases as possible. While a written agreement may seem like overkill between friends, you’ll be glad you did if an incident occurs.

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