Here at Car Racks UK we have the best bike rack for car solutions on the market. This guide will help walk you through each car bike rack, so you can make the best choice for your specific car and bikes.

Firstly, bike racks can be split into three main categories:

  1. Tow bar mounted bike racks
  2. Roof bar mounted bike racks
  3. Rear mounting bike racks

Tow bar mounted bike racks

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity and quality of the tow bar bike rack. One of the reasons for this is the emergence of the electric bike market. An electric bike, or an e-bike, is heavier than normal bikes, and shouldn’t be carried on the roof or the rear door as they’re too heavy to lift up and will exceed the safe load weight of a roof bike rack.

When it comes to bikes, everything is easier at waist level - so this is where tow bar racks come into their own. Lifting a bike on and off a tow bar bike rack is far kinder to your back than onto a roof, which is worth considering. The height of you and your car are also an important part of the equation e.g. a tow bar mounted bike rack is a far better option for a shorter person fitting a bike to a tall SUV like a Nissan Qashqai.

As the name suggests, a tow bar bike rack requires that your car is fitted with a tow bar. Again, the tow bar fitting market has surged - with more fitters and options than ever. If your car doesn’t have a tow ball, it’s worth getting some quotes from your local fitters. Our tow bar racks fit to any tow bar, so it doesn’t matter which style you go for e.g. bolt-on tow bars; swan neck tow bars; or detachable tow bars for example. 

Once your tow bar is fitted, we have a fantastic range of tow bar mounted bike racks for you to choose from. Here’s a few of our favourite racks:

The Italians know a thing or two when it comes to bikes and cars, and Peruzzo have absolutely nailed it with this superb tow bar bike rack. They’ve thought about everything, which makes it so easy to attach to the tow ball and fit your bikes.

The Pure Instinct is fully assembled, so there’s no faff when you get it out of the carton. Fitting couldn’t be simpler, just drop onto the tow bar and push the lever into place. The arms hold your bikes securely, and won’t damage the paintwork. The oversized wheel straps mean that this excellent rack can even accommodate 29” tyres and fat bikes.

The Pure Instinct’s handy tilting system allows access to your boot, which is really handy. The ability to fold the rack up into a neat, compact cube is a fantastic bonus feature e.g. for storage in a shed or car boot.

Everything you need to fit the bikes securely and safely to the car is included e.g. straps; locks; keys; and lights. The only thing you will need to source locally is your licence plate, and note that you will need to show your vehicle’s owner's documents.

The Pure Instinct is available in two bike, three bike or four bike models, and we’re confident that you’ll love it as much as we do.

Steinhof have been Poland’s tow bar experts since 1960, so it’s fair to say they know what it takes to make a premium tow bar mounted bike rack.
The Veturo electric bike rack is designed specifically for e-Bikes i.e. heavier bikes, with more space between the two. A standard tow bar rack will normally take bikes of up to 15kg, whereas the Veturo can hold double e.g. 30kg per bike; 60kg total.

Fitting and removing the Veturo from the tow ball is a doddle, and can easily be done by one person. Ditto placing the bikes on and off the rack, as the straps and arms are all designed to make this process as simple as possible.
The rack is locked securely to the tow ball, and the bikes are locked to the rack - so you can rest at ease knowing everything is secure.

Everything you need to fit the bikes securely and safely to the car is included e.g. straps; locks; keys; and lights. The only thing you will need to source locally is your licence plate, and note that you will need to show your vehicle’s owner's documents.

If you own e-Bikes, we think you’ll love the Steinhof Veturo electric bike carrier for transporting your bikes securely to your car’s tow ball.

Roof mounted bike racks

The most popular way to transport bikes on your car is still on the roof using a roof bike rack (even though tow bar racks are catching up quickly). First, you need to invest in a suitable bike roof rack.

Depending on the length and style of your roof bars, you can normally carry a maximum of four bikes on the roof (if the racks are top and tailed). Most aluminium roof bars have a T-track channel running the length of the bar, which makes fitting bike racks to the bars super easy i.e. you slide the bolts along the channel, and the rack secures to those bolts.

Once you have invested in the correct roof bars for your specific car and roof type, you can then look at the best roof mounted bike rack for your needs. These roof bike racks can be simply split into three categories:

  1. Frame holder bike racks hold the bike by the down tube. The bike’s wheels stay on, making them very quick and simple to use.

  2. Tyre holder bike racks hold the bike by the wheels. This method has become increasingly popular, especially for owners of carbon framed bikes (that don’t want a rack grabbing the frame).

  3. Fork holder bike racks used to be the choice for carbon frame bike owners, but removing the front wheel and attaching the forks to the rack can make fitting a bit more fiddly.

As you can see, there’s a fair bit to think about. Your decision should be based on the bikes that you’re planning to fit to the rack. A cheaper frame holder probably makes sense for your average kid’s bike (14 inch+). A tyre holder is recommended if you have a carbon frame. A fork holder takes any wobbling from side to side out of the equation. Here’s our picks from each of the three sub-categories of roof mounted bike racks: 

Frame holder bike racks

We have a range of superb bike frame holder carriers, but the one that our staff really enjoy using is the new Modula Panoramica. The smart Italian design and style strikes a balance between functionality and good looks.

The black aluminium not only looks great, but it makes the Panoramica super light (less than 3kg) - which is always a bonus when fitting anything to the roof of your car i.e. shoulder level and above. It’s a strong and sturdy bike rack, and can accommodate all styles of bikes up to 20kg in weight e.g. mountain bikes; road bikes; kids bikes over 14”.
The tyre chocks and straps hold the bike’s wheel very securely, and the upright has a clever cam system that clamps the down-tube securely - while ensuring the paintwork is protected. 

Tyre holder bike racks

If you've got a carbon frame bike, the chances are that you'll want a tyre holder or fork holder bike rack. Unfortunately, we don't have a tyre hold in our range at the moment - but watch this space!

Fork holder bike racks

Even though it’s perfectly safe and normal for a bike to wobble slightly in a frame holder bike rack, some cyclists prefer their pride and joy to be held more securely by the forks i.e. next to no wobble.

The Peruzzo Pure Instinct fork holder is a great option for owners of carbon frame bikes.

Rear mounted bike racks

If your roof bars are already full with a roof box - and you are not tempted to go down the route of a tow bar mounted bike carrier - a rear mounted rack could be an option for you.

Also known as “boot mounted” or “rear door mounted”, these racks often represent a cheaper alternative to carrying two or three bikes, as they don’t require a set of roof bars. However, it’s really important that you check if your car’s boot is suitable for a rack that is going to clamp onto the bodywork. Note that cars with a spoiler are not suitable for a rear mounted bike rack. The G3 Frame Premium three bike carrier is our favourite rear mounted bike rack. It’s versatility means that it can fit securely to over 500 cars. Fitting and removal is relatively easy, and the sleek Italian design really catches the eye.

We would always recommend that you use a frame adapter when fitting a bike that doesn’t have a standard cross bar e.g. a ladies or kid’s bike.


So, as you can see, there’s lots of options for you when it comes to carrying your bike(s) securely to your car. When you shop with Car Racks UK you can have the confidence that we’re with you every step of the way, and that we have sourced the best racks from around the world.

A tow bar mounted bike rack is by far the easiest method of securely carrying up to four bikes on a car. Everything is done at waist height, so you’re looking after your back and shoulders. A reminder that e-Bikes can only be fitted to a tow bar rack (due to the extra weight). A roof mounted system could be used at the same time as a tow bar rack, allowing you to carry up to eight bikes in total!

A roof mounted system is great because the required roof bars are a great foundation and investment for all sorts of adventures. You could carry a bike or two next to your roof box (depending on bar length available); or even a kayak or SUP board next to your bike with one of our fantastic water sport racks.

A rear mounted bike rack can be a handy solution if your roof bars are full, and you don’t have a tow bar (and don’t want to invest in getting a tow bar fitted). They’re relatively inexpensive, but it’s crucial that you check that they are suitable for your make and model of car (and that you don’t have a spoiler fitted).