The Complete Guide to Buying a Car Trailer on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying a Car Trailer on eBay

For those long trips when another car needs to be towed along or for those emergencies when a friend needs to be rescued from the side of the road, a car trailer can be extremely handy in pulling another heavy vehicle. Different types of car trailers can be purchased, depending on the size of the vehicle being towed and the needs of the vehicle owner. For instance, closed trailers offer owners the option of having a workspace and generator inside, while open trailers are available for individuals who need a fast and easy way to move their cars from one place to another. Attaching a car trailer to the back of one's primary vehicle is relatively simple and only requires a few steps.

Whatever type of trailer is desired, car trailers of all types are sold online at eBay, where specific searches can be run to find the perfect match to one's vehicle.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Car Trailer

When looking for the right car trailer for transporting a vehicle, several factors should be taken into consideration, one of which is budget. Car trailers quickly become pricey, depending on the features that are added. Knowing what is necessary and what options are priorities gives the shopper the ability to successfully find a car trailer that fits within a specified budget.

Car Trailer Size

Trailers are available in different widths and lengths to match the vehicle that needs to be towed. For those who want to spend time inside the trailer or possibly even stay in the trailer while on the road, some elite trailers actually include living quarters in a section of the trailer. However, budget is greatly affected by such amenities, so prioritising how much space is really needed should be considered before deciding on that type of trailer.

Open Trailers vs. Closed Trailers

Basic, open trailers do not have a roof to protect the vehicle from the elements, but other types of trailers are enclosed. Enclosed trailers protect the car better while on the road, and this could be relevant to some buyers who frequently tow their vehicles behind motorhomes when they travel. These trailers protect the vehicle and other items from theft, rain, rocks, debris, and sun damage. Enclosed trailers, on the other hand, are more expensive, heavier, and cause more aerodynamic drag on the towing vehicle than open trailers.

Car Trailer Interiors

For enclosed trailers, there are several options for furnishing the interior. The most basic trailer may only have a simple work bench with a storage cabinet to store tools for working on the vehicle while on the road. Other basic options include purchasing a trailer with an aluminium floor and white aluminium walls. Fluorescent lighting is also available with a 110-volt electrical package. Generator packages allow for more power to support other outlet-plugged devices like power tools, air compressors, and even computers. For those who want more room and more amenities, trailers can also come with features like a computer station, additional storage cabinets, spare wheels, trolley beams, and more.

Car Trailer Exteriors

The aluminium exterior can be sheeted in three ways: riveted, rivetless, and plate-side. The standard construction is a riveted exterior that gives the trailer strength and protection without the heavy weight of excess metal. The rivetless option gives the trailer a cleaner look and can be designed with brands, logos, or artwork. The third option, an aluminium plate-sided trailer, is the most durable and the highest quality. It is also the most expensive of the three exteriors, as it includes a lot of craftsmanship and materials, but it is also design-friendly.

Car Trailer Rear Doors

For enclosed trailers, a rear door is needed to enter the interior. Some trailers use a single ramp rear door, while others have two rear doors or a barn-type door that opens in two halves to the sides. The ramp rear door is ideal for loading and unloading the vehicle. The ramp on the trailer should be spring-assisted to help the user in placing and storing it, as it can be quite heavy.

For those who plan on using the trailer often to go in and out, double doors are recommended. There is no ramp that needs to be opened every time the door is opened, and this makes it easy for individuals to enter and exit the trailer without hassle. However, there are also a few upscale trailers with ramp rear doors that have another side door to avoid the hassle of the ramp when going in and out of the trailer.

Trailer Braking Systems

There are several types of trailer braking systems. The most common type is the electric braking system, which connects the brakes on the towing vehicle to the brakes on the trailer. For this to be possible, a brake controller needs to be installed inside the towing vehicle to sense the vehicle's brakes and then activate the brakes on the trailer. The safety mechanism of the electric braking system is ideal since it is not dependent on the towing vehicle's brakes. Should the brakes on the towing vehicle fail, the driver can operate the brake controller and use the trailer's brakes to slow down the entire vehicle.

The second type of brake system is the hydraulic surge system, which uses a cylinder that is integrated with a trailer tongue assembly. It is named this way because the 'surge' or push of the trailer behind the braking towing vehicle causes the cylinder to compress, which then applies force to the braking cylinders within the trailer. This type of braking system, however, is more expensive and is really only necessary when more than one towing vehicle is in use.

Single Axles vs. Tandem Axles

Single axle trailers have the option of having brakes attached, although most single axles do not come with them. On the other hand, dual (tandem) axle trailers require brakes and a suspension system. Vehicles that weigh more than 4,000 kg should be towed using a dual axle trailer for the support of the suspension system and the required brakes.

Different Types of Car Trailers

There are different types of car trailers to meet the diverse needs of car owners in the United Kingdom. When shopping for the right car trailer, it is important to ensure that the trailer in question is designed for the purpose needed.

Coach Trailers

This type of trailer is for the everyday car owner who wishes to transport his or her vehicle while travelling on the road. Coach trailers can hold up to two vehicles with room to spare for extra packing. Side door ramps help the user load and unload other items easily, and amenities like a work bench and storage cabinets are commonly found in the more luxurious coach trailers. Besides a ramp, platform lifts are another option that comes with two-vehicle coach trailers.

Vending Trailers

This trailer is mainly used to support race car trailers while road tripping from racetrack to racetrack. Vending trailers are intended to store all the extra car parts, tools, and other valuable cargo to support the racing team on the road, as well as storing promotional merchandise that can be sold from the trailer. The size of the vending trailer gives users the opportunity to advertise their business on the side of the vending trailer. Vending trailers come with their own power and generator, and they can be towed by motorhomes for individuals who plan on being on the road for a long time. Other possible amenities include air conditioning, a refrigerator, and a microwave for those long nights at work.

Race Car Trailers

This trailer is designed to transport the money-maker of all vehicles: race cars. Because the vehicle is a sensitive machine that requires the utmost care, race car trailers come with a system to keep the car secure at all points during transportation. Six D-rings are fixed to the trailer's frame for securing the race car. E-track is another fastening system that may be used on a race car trailer. It uses a long rail and hooks along the rail to attach the car to the interior of the trailer.

Shopping for a Car Trailer on eBay

When looking for the right car trailer for one's vehicle, finding a specific listing that meets the needs of the vehicle being towed may only be a couple of mouse clicks away. Car trailers can be found on eBay by using the search box on the standard homepage or by navigating to the eBay Motors home page. First, eBay Motors gives shoppers the ability to focus their search results on specific automotive items, such as car trailers and trailer hitches that are required to attach a trailer to the towing vehicle. On the standard eBay homepage, shoppers can search for car trailers by entering keywords like 'car trailer' into eBay's search box.

Researching the reputation of sellers on eBay before committing to a purchase is crucial when shopping for virtually any type of item, particularly used items. Trusting the seller and the quality of the item being sold reduces the risk of dissatisfaction with the purchase and makes the entire experience pleasant. Reviewing the feedback left by previous customers allows buyers to purchase with confidence when shopping on the site.


Car trailers can make moving, taking long multi-car road trips, and saving a friend stranded on the side of the road a simple and easy thing to do. However, there are different types of car trailers with different features, so knowing what type of car trailer is best for one's own vehicle is important. To determine which type of car trailer to purchase, several factors should be considered, including size, room for extra storage, the appropriate braking system for the weight being towed, and the method of loading and unloading the vehicle into the trailer. Coach trailers are ideal for the individual who needs a simple trailer for transporting personal cars, while vending trailers may be better for people who want to store a lot of items along with a car. Race car trailers transport race cars and their supporting equipment while travelling across the country during racing season.

Regardless of the intended function of a car trailer, it is often possible to find an appropriate trailer on eBay to serve as a moving storage unit for a vehicle. eBay's search interface is easy to use and makes the buying process fast and simple. Once the perfect trailer has been found and purchased, travellers can hit the road with additional cars in tow.

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