Does a Bike Rack Need a Tow Bar? Solved!

 If you’re looking to carry bikes on the back of your car, then it’s important that you have a sturdy and reliable way to secure them.

A tow bar is one option that can work well if it fits with your vehicle and lifestyle. It can be an effective solution for carrying multiple bikes at once, but there are some things to consider before buying one.

Do you need a tow bar to fit a bike rack?

No. Bike racks can be used without a tow bar. You could still use a roof rack or rear-mounted bike carrier with the standard type of livery hitch receiver found on most cars and SUVs.

However, if you want to carry multiple bikes and your car doesn’t have a pre-existing bike rack option, then you may require an alternative means of transporting your bikes.

Rear-mounted bike racks are attached to the back of your car with straps and do not have to be mounted on the hitch receiver.

Where are you planning on carrying bikes? If you have an SUV, then it’s more than possible that there is already a factory-fitted solution for carrying bikes in the rear, or that your vehicle has a tow bar option.

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It’s important to consider what would work best with your model of car. You may be able to use a tow bar or you may benefit from the roof-mounted option instead.

Does a Bike Rack Need a Tow Bar?

What type of tow bar do I need for a bike rack?

If you’ve decided that you need a tow bar to fit your bike rack, then it’s important to don’t do anything before you check what type of system will work for your car.

An SUV with a factory-installed solution may require one kind of tow bar while another type is ideal for a sedan or hatchback.

The most popular tow ball-mounted systems are the standard two-inch ball, while there are also alternatives for special cases.

A three-inch ball is used on certain four-wheel drives to allow additional clearance between the vehicle and rack. There are other options that use a different type of attachment method if you don’t have a tow ball.

What is the tow ball?

A tow ball is a metal fitting that attaches to your hitch and acts as the mount for your bike rack. This system is very popular because it can tow and carry bikes at the same time, which means that you only need one device.

It’s also simple to use and reasonably effective when used with compatible racks. The downside is that this type of tow bar may require an additional lock or security bracket to secure your bikes while they are being towed.

Can you tow with a bike rack?

If you have a bike rack installed on your hitch, then you cant tow it with it. However, most bike racks are not suitable for towing large trailers or heavy loads.

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A roof-mounted system is better suited to this type of task because the rack is situated higher up on your car and has less impact on its ability to tow effectively.

Will I need to buy anything else to tow with a bike rack?

Some tow ball-mounted systems may already be compatible with your vehicle. If you’re not sure, then it is important to check before making your purchase because some models require additional hardware or installation kits.

There are also other types of bike carriers that use a different attachment method. Be sure to check the details of what is included and if you need anything else before buying.

Do I need a license to tow with a bike rack?

If you’re using a factory-installed solution, then it probably requires no additional equipment or specialist knowledge beyond your normal driving skills and knowledge of how your car operates.

However, there are other types of tow bars that may require additional skills or safety equipment to use.

Is it legal to tow with a bike rack?

It is legal to tow anything on your car provided that you have the appropriate license and registration for both your vehicle and whatever you are towing. However, laws vary from state to state and it is important that you check local regulations


There you have it, a bike rack does not need a towbar to work with a car. The question here is, do you have a towbar on your vehicle?

If not, trunk racks and rear-mounted racks might also be an option for you. If yes, then you might want to find out more about what kind of towbars and racks are for your car and of course, get what you need. We hope this article has been helpful to you.

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