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Do Bike Racks Damage Your Car?

Do Bike Racks Damage Your Car? There is no definitive answer to this question as the effects of bike racks on cars vary greatly depending on the specific model and make of the car. Some bikes may not cause any damage, while others may create a significant amount of stress and wear on the surrounding surfaces. Ultimately, it is important to determine which bike rack will fit your car perfectly and have minimal impact.

What Is A Bike Rack?

A bike rack is a metal frame design of racks positioned on the roof, trunk, or by the tire of a vehicle,  used to attach and transport bikes safely. 

In more simple terms, a bike rack is a carrier attached to a vehicle for transporting a bike. They can also be described as towing device accessories. 

Do Bike Racks Damage Your Car

Most families would desire to have an outing at the park where they spend some time together and ride their bikes freely but wouldn’t want to invest in hiring a truck, a bike rack is the best alternative for them. 

With this rack, the bikes are safely attached to the car and conveyed to the desired destination without incurring any extra expenses or any damage to the car. 

Bike racks come in different categories. In this article, we will be discussing the various types of bike racks, and the pros and cons of having a bike rack.

Types Of Bike Racks

There are different types of bike rides for cars. They include;

  • Hitch mount bike racks.
  • Roof mount bike racks
  • Trunk mount bike racks. 
  • And the spare tire mount bike rack.

Hitch Mount Bike Rack

This is the type of bike rack that is attached directly to the tube of a drawbar. Here, the bike frames can be placed to rest with the wheels down a tray rack or hooked on the tube top.  The Hitch mount type of bike rack is best used in trailers. By design, they are pretty easy to use, but you have to make sure that the rack and the size of the trailer hitch are the best fits. 

The bikes are usually placed several inches away from the vehicle and this helps to ensure the reduction of dents and scratches. With the Hitch mount roof rack, a trailer can mount and convey a number of two to six pairs of bikes.

There are two types of Hitch mount bike racks. They are;

The Platform Hitch Mount Bike Rack: This is a type of hitch mount bike rack that uses a platform where the bikes sit. This type of Hitch mount rack is usually very secure and easy for loading and placing the bikes, and also helps to avoid any frictional damage on the bikes.

The Hanging Cradle Hitch Mount Bike Rack: This is the type of bike rack that uses a hanger to secure the bikes from the racks. This type of Hitch Mount rack is usually cheap and has reduced weight when compared to the platform Hitch rack, but these bikes are not always very secure and incur dents and damages.

Roof Mounted Bike Racks

Roof Mount Bike Racks

Over time, mounting bikes on the rooftop of the vehicle as a means of transporting them has become prominent. 

With the use of bike racks, whether it is factory fitted or an aftermarket installation, you can mount your bikes easily and transport them to your desired destination. 

In some cases and by design, one may be required to detach either the bike’s front or back tire from the bike from proper balancing, while some other designs can accommodate up to six pairs of bikes at a time. 

However, it is very important to consult with your manual before attaching more than one bike to the car roof. In addition, always take note of the maximum height limit of your car and the route for your journey before deciding on how many bikes to attach.

Trunk Mount Bike Racks

This type of bike rack is the best and closest alternative to vehicles without a Hitch, Roof, or Spare tire mount bike rack. 

Here, the bike racks are usually positioned at the trunk of the vehicle. This design of bike rack is quite common and accommodates a variety of car trunk designs, but they are usually expensive. The bikes are attached and locked at the edges of the trunk lid.

Types of Bike Racks

Spare Tire Mount Bike Racks

The spare tire mount bike racks are designed mostly for cars that their spare are mounted at the rear. 

With this design, you can easily attach a minor bike rack behind the tire. This type of rack mostly accommodates a maximum of two bikes at a time.

Pros And Cons Of Using A Bike Rack On Your Car


  • Installing the Spare Tire Mount Bike Racks is usually cheap, quick, and easy, and they are not perpetually attached to the car.
  • With these various mounting strategies, which accommodate varying seasons and gears, these bikes are attached inches away from the vehicles, thereby reducing the danger of denting or damaging the surface of the car.
  • Hitch racks are powerful and easy to install. For people who use these racks repeatedly, the Hitch racks are the best option for them. They are also very easy to detach when not in use. In addition, they are usually secured because of their highly durable factory-fitted locks.
  • The Trunk Mount Bike Racks are light in weight, very convenient, and can easily be mounted, detached, and stored when not in use.


  • Trunk Mount Bike Racks only accommodate a limited number of two to three bikes and they usually meddle with accessing the trunk. It also depends on clasps to be safely secured on the rack. In addition, the safety of the attached bikes depends largely on the trunk design.
  • Some designs of Hitch racks are expensive. The less expensive designs are usually incomplete. When the vehicle is loaded with four to five pairs of bikes, it can cause the car to swivel.
  • Most designs of the Spare Tire Mount Bike Rack can safely accommodate a limited number of two bikes and it requires the removal of tire covers which can be a bit of a hurdle. Furthermore, because of the attachment of these bikes, there tends to be an increase in the length of the vehicle. To this effect, you are advised to be wary of tight corners and spaces when driving.


In conclusion, after considering the designs and models of bike racks, it is important to note that bike racks do not cause damage to a car. However, when handled with carelessness and neglect, the car can incur damages.