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Can You Rent a Car With a Bike Rack?


While renting a car, some people prefer having a bike rack as well. No doubt, a bike rack is a useful add-on to a car when you need to carry your bike with you. But can you rent a car with a bike rack?

Of course, you can rent a car with a bike rack behind or at the top. But unfortunately, not every rental service provides you with a car with a bike rack. It’s because the majority of the people only want to rent a car without a bike rack as it’s of no use for them.

However, if you want a car to rent with a bike rack, this post will give you the names of those car rental services.

Are Bike Racks Legal?

No doubt, a bike rack is legal unless it’s not blocking your car’s number plate. However, you will become liable to pay a particular amount as a fine if a bike rack covers your car’s number plate.

man loading bicycles on the bike rack of a car

Moreover, you must fix the bike rack properly at the top or behind your car. An unsecured bike rack is dangerous because if it suddenly leaves your car, it will also damage other vehicles.

Rental Services With Bike Rack

You already know that very few car rental services offer a bike rack. From these services, Turo is a carsharing company that offers cars for rent with a bike rack.

Other than Turo, Hertz car rental also shared that they are launching bike rack car rental services soon.

Now, what if these two services are far from your residence?

In such a case, let’s move to plan B, i.e., attach your own bike rack.

Have a look at the Compact Trunk-Mounted Bike Rack for your car.

Use Your Own Bike Rack

If you don’t find any car rental service that offers a bike rack, worry no more. You can attach your own bike rack to the car you rented. But there are a few things you need to know.

Most car rental companies don’t allow the client to attach any kind of rack to the car. Moreover, you will see these instructions in the terms and conditions of the rental service. Such prohibitions are logical because a bike rack needs proper fitting into the car.

In case any unfortunate event happens, the bike rack might damage your car. Also, it’s made of metal and can easily damage anyone’s vehicle on the road.

However, there are car rental companies that allow you to attach your own bike rack. But it’s a risk because if any damage occurs to their car, you will have to bear the cost.

Therefore, if you are confident enough to use the bike rack safely in the rented car, only then use the rack.

How to Choose a Bike Rack for Rented Car

If you want to put a bike rack on a rented car, you must first make sure of the compatibility. Not all bike racks are attachable to every car on the road. You have to determine what type of bike rack suits the car.

There are three common types of bike racks:

  • Trunk Rack
  • Roof Rack
  • Hitch Rack

Trunk Rack

A trunk rack hooks on the trunk of your car. Moreover, it’s the most common type of bike rack you will find.

Roof Rack

A roof rack uses crossbars on top of your car. You can easily place your bike on the roof rack. One thing you have to keep in mind for the roof rack is to make sure you don’t cross the limit of the standard vehicle’s height.

Storing bikes on top of your car increases overall height, which is risky in some cities.

bicycle on car roof rack

Hitch Rack

A hitch rack is directly attached to the car’s hitch. Therefore, you might have to use a wrench to fix the hitch rack on your car.

Usually, you can install the bike racks without using any complex tools.

Check out the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack.

Now, let’s see how to install a trunk bike rack to the car you rented.

  1. Choose a trunk bike rack so that you can save space on top of your car. It’s a common bike rack and will not bother you while passing low-hanging underpasses. If you are going to a bushy area, the trunk bike rack is the most suitable option for that. Moreover, you can store a kayak with a bike on the trunk rack. It has the capacity to store 1-2 bikes of standard size. However, the trunk or hitch rack is not recommended if you use a camera to look behind while reversing your car. These two racks will obstruct the view from the camera.
  2. If you think that you will have to bring your car to compact places like close parking areas, it’s better to go for a removable trunk rack. It’s compact in size, and you can easily remove it while parking your car. When you don’t need a bike rack, simply disassemble it and put it inside your car’s trunk. However, a compact rack is weaker and can only store one bike.
  3. If you are confused about what type of rack suits the car you rented, go to the bike rack manufacturer’s website and check out their installation guideline. There are specific parts that are incompatible with some cars. Moreover, you can also call the manufacturer and tell them the situation. They will definitely help you.

So, just install a bike rack on the car and make the best of your outdoor adventure.

Final Words

It’s legal to put a bike rack on your rented car. However, you will be responsible for any damage by installing the bike rack.

Moreover, the trunk racks most of the time leave a mark on the car’s trunk. Even if you properly install them, you will see some scratches on the trunk. Therefore, do consider installing a roof or hitch rack and avoid any direct marks on the car.

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