The best hitching bike carrier in the UK 2023

With the return of the warm weather, bike rides and hikes are a must. Go on vacation or weekend with your two-wheeler using a bike carrier that is practical, safe and functional. How do you choose this popular version of bike carriers ? Discover the answers to all your questions in this buying guide and comparison.

Thule VeloCompact 2 7-pin 1

Best value for money

Thule VeloCompact 2 7-pin

The best hitching bike rack in 2021

This Thule bike carrier is a great success with consumers, thanks to its locking, tilting and fixing systems. A pre-assembled equipment that will not complicate your task!

296 £ on Amazon

If this Thule bike carrier is one of the best sellers of the moment, it's because it meets most of the consumers' expectations. Delivered pre-assembled, it installs quickly and easily on the hitch where it locks for added security. Even your two bikes placed on the device will be locked, the locks will be provided at the time of purchase.

Made of alloy steel, this car bike rack has plastic elements on the parts where the equipment comes in direct contact with the bike. No risk of scratches! You should also know that, thanks to its extendable wheel holders, this model is compatible with wide rims.

  • Easy to mount
  • Lockable bike rack and bikes
  • Compatible with wide rims
  • A little heavy device
Go Biker Beat 2

Best value for money

Go Biker Beat

The best entry-level hitching bike rack

This inexpensive bike hitch rack has a lot to offer: aluminum rails, an anti-reverse strap, a double anti-theft device and a structure that can accommodate 2 bikes.

141 £ on Amazon

Made from a combination of aluminum and stainless steel, this inexpensive hitch bike rack is designed to hold two bikes weighing 15 kg each. The rails ensure a secure fit, and they work in concert with the anti-rollover straps that keep the wheels stationary. Very practical for travel, this model is equipped with a 7-function pilot and can be folded down to allow you to access the trunk of your car without unloading the bikes.

Like all bike racks worthy of the name, this model will not alter the structure of your bike in any way. In fact, all the parts of the mounting arms that come into contact with the bike have a rubber coating. As for the security of your equipment, it is guaranteed by a double anti-theft device that protects both the bike rack and the bikes. The keys are already provided at the time of purchase. This device is delivered pre-assembled so that you don't have to worry about it.

Thule Velocompact-924001 3

Best value for money

Thule Velocompact-924001

The best high-end hitching bike rack

A tail light and plate system accompanies this high-end 13-pin hitch bike carrier designed to carry 2 bikes.

351 £ on Amazon

Those who have already used this Thule bike carrier recognize its efficiency. Designed to fit bicycles with a long wheelbase, it is one of the few models that is perfectly suited for electric bikes. Moreover, its design is such that it can accommodate two bikes of different sizes. In fact, the vertical U-tube allows each mounting arm to be lowered or raised to fit the height of the frames.

As for the practicality of this equipment, you should know that its 13 pins allow it to conform to the latest hitch balls, thus dispensing with the need to purchase an adapter. On the other hand, it has a foot pedal that you can use when you want to access the trunk with ease. And the best part is that this bike carrier folds up to fit discreetly in the trunk of a car.

Bullwing SR8 4

A great choice

Bullwing SR8

A practical and robust hitching bike rack

For your family vacation, opt for this hitching bike carrier that can accommodate 4 bikes. Easy installation, integrated anti-theft device, a maximum load of 60 kg; there's plenty to like!

257 £ on Amazon

Enjoy the ruggedness and reliability of the steel that makes up this hitch bike rack, designed to support a maximum load of 60 kg. This equipment is made to hold 4 bikes; however, users recommend the use of foam to be placed between the bikes to avoid damaging the paint.

Very easy to handle, this bike carrier is equipped to hold road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes or not. The attachment mechanism is very quick to engage and you don't have to worry about security, as this device comes with an anti-theft device that will protect you from any theft attempt. Compatible with most recent hitch balls, this bike carrier has a 13-pin connector, a tail light system and a plate.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best hitching bike carrier

Any specific needs?

The best hitching bike rack in 2021

The best entry-level hitching bike rack

The best high-end hitching bike rack

A practical and robust hitching bike rack

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best hitching bike carrier

Thule VeloCompact 2 7-pin 5
Go Biker Beat 6
Thule Velocompact-924001 7
Bullwing SR8 8
Thule VeloCompact 2 7-pin
Go Biker Beat
Thule Velocompact-924001
Bullwing SR8
This Thule bike carrier is a great success with consumers, thanks to its locking, tilting and fixing systems. A pre-assembled equipment that will not complicate your task!
This inexpensive bike hitch rack has a lot to offer: aluminum rails, an anti-reverse strap, a double anti-theft device and a structure that can accommodate 2 bikes.
A tail light and plate system accompanies this high-end 13-pin hitch bike carrier designed to carry 2 bikes.
For your family vacation, opt for this hitching bike carrier that can accommodate 4 bikes. Easy installation, integrated anti-theft device, a maximum load of 60 kg; there's plenty to like!
Alloy steel
Aluminum and stainless steel
Number of bikes
2 bikes
2 bikes
2 bikes
4 bikes
Maximum load
60 kg
30 kg
30 kg
60 kg
Double lock (bike carrier and bikes)
Double lock with keys included
Ratchet wheel straps
14.1 kg
16.62 kg
14 kg
19,5 kg

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Buying guide - hitching bike carrier

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How to choose your hitching bike carrier

A bike carrier is a practical and expensive solution for transporting your bikes on a trip. It is important to choose carefully in order to find the best model adapted to your needs for a successful investment.

#1 - The number of bikes to be transported

Before you decide on a particular bike rack, make sure that it can accommodate all the bikes you plan to carry whether they are adult bikes, children's bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, or mountain bikes.

#2 - The weight of your bikes

Once you have determined how many bikes you plan to carry, determine their weight so you know which hitching bike rack will be able to handle such a load.

#3 - The maximum weight allowed for the coupling

Now that you know how many bikes you plan to carry, all you have to do is choose a hitch carrier that can handle their weight.

#4 - Security

Most hitch carriers come with an anti-theft system: some can be locked to the hitch while others offer a bike locking system on the device. In any case, it's up to you to choose the anti-theft system that suits you best. If the model you choose does not have an anti-theft device, buy one.

#5 - Practicality

If your bikes are electric, choose a platform-type bike rack. For easy access to the trunk of your car, choose a folding or tilting platform, which has the added advantage of being able to support heavier loads than bike rack systems that are attached directly to the hitch ball.

Some regulations on bike carriers

  • The total width of the vehicle and the bicycle rack must not exceed 4 meters,
  • no sharp part should protrude
  • the driver must ensure that the lights and the license plate are clearly visible,
  • If the bike rack hides the license plate and lights, the driver must install an additional plate and lights on the hitch of the bike rack,

In case of non-compliance with these regulations, the offender is liable to a fine of 135 € or more.


The license plate attached to the bike rack must be approved and the same size as the license plate on the rear of the vehicle.

The different types of hitching bike carrier

The use of a bike rack depends on the type of car you have. It is therefore useful to know the different types of bike carriers that exist on the market. This will allow you to choose the right bike rack for your next family outing.

The roof bike carrier

This type of bike rack allows more visibility at the back of the car and free access to the trunk. The bikes will be installed on the roof bar by straps and other fixing devices. The only drawback is the installation and unloading at height.

This type of bike rack has the advantage of being less expensive, but is of very good quality. It offers a book access to the trunk at all times, however, it is not easy to install or remove, especially on the roof of an off-roader.

The bike carrier on a trunk or on a truss


trunk-mounted or truss-mounted bike rack is ideal for rides and picnics. Basically, they are very convenient for short trips. Besides, they save money because they can carry several bikes at the same time. On the other hand, this bike carrier is not very recommended for winding roads.

It fits on all cars and is easy to install. On the other hand, the access to the trunk is not very easy and the visibility at the back of the car is not appreciable.

The bike carrier on a ball hitch


bike rack is the most versatile solution. It is easy to mount and allows easy access to the trunk. The bikes, which will be installed on a small platform, will have perfect stability. It is ideal for long journeys and adapts to rough roads. Loading and unloading the bikes is very easy.

However, you should check its compatibility with the car, especially those that do not have a ball hitch. Moreover, are price is relatively high.

The indoor bike rack

With its minimalist and uncluttered look, the interior bike rack or grab bar is a very simple device to use. It allows you to carry up to 3 bikes in the trunk. The aluminum structure is attached to the fork, which makes it very stable.

However, it is not suitable for small city cars and older vehicles and can be bulky once installed inside the trunk.

The bike carrier on the spare wheel

This bike carrier is suitable for off-road vehicles. It can be quickly mounted on the rear wheel which is the car's spare tire. With a robust design, it can carry up to 2 bikes and has a load capacity of 30 kg.

But it is strictly reserved for off-roaders or vehicles with a spare wheel placed outside.

Hitch or roof bike carrier?

Hitching bike carrier

In many respects, the hitch and roof-mounted bike racks offer many advantages to their owners. The first one offers the great advantage of being compatible with all cars on the market, can carry up to 5 bikes and allows to install the bikes in a quick, simple and secure way thanks to a frame installed on a hitch ball while the second one frees up space in the car while ensuring the safety of the bikes.

However, with a roof rack, you must first purchase roof racks if you don't have any and the width of the roof limits the number of bikes that can be transported. When installed, it is quite difficult to lift the bikes on the roof of the vehicle and you will have difficulty accessing underground parking lots, toll gates and tunnels because this type of bike rack increases the height of your car. When entering their garage, some users even admit to forgetting that they were carrying bikes on the roof of their car. In addition, the law requires that bikes do not extend beyond the hood of the car. This is quite complicated if your vehicle is a mini-city car.

As far as price is concerned, the tow bar bike rack is certainly the most expensive of all the bike racks on the market with 50 € for a cheap model against 900 € for a high end model.

Bike carrier on roof

Hitch-mounted bike racks have few disadvantages compared to roof-mounted bike racks: they require the purchase of a hitch ball and need an additional license plate if the bikes hide your car's.

Another important point to mention is that when you ride in your car, the roof rack system can quickly increase your fuel consumption by 1 or 1.5 per 100 km due to its strong wind resistance. This is far from being the case with the device on a hitch.

It offers an accessible price with 20 € for a cheap model and 200 € for a high end model.


For regular use, it is best to invest in a hitch mounted device. This equipment is a good investment because it prevents theft, allows you to take it easy and does not require too much effort on your part to install your bikes. In addition, it does not hinder the aerodynamics of your car, which could lead to excessive fuel consumption.

Why buy a bicycle hitch carrier?

Increased load capacity

The hitch bike carrier can carry heavy loads, unlike others that have a fairly limited load. Its capacity varies between 2 and 4 bikes, depending on the make and model. It is still recommended to weigh the bikes. This allows you to choose the equipment that best suits your needs.

Stable and safe

Because it has several elements that allow you to secure the bikes on the platform, the hitching bike rack is an extremely stable piece of equipment. In addition, there is no risk of losing your bikes if you choose a model with an anti-theft device. If you often ride on rough roads, the tow bar is your best bet.

Easy access to the trunk

Some hitch racks, such as those from Thule, can be tilted so that you can easily access the boot of your car.

Easy loading and unloading

The hitch bike rack is the easiest and most accessible equipment to use. In fact, loading and unloading the bikes takes only a few minutes. The flexible straps that secure the bikes to the platform are easy to handle.

To take your bike everywhere you go

A bike carrier is a good alternative if you don't have a spacious car. It will keep your vehicle free of clutter and give you enough room for your small family. Generally, bike carriers fit all car models.

The best brands of hitching bike carrier

In our opinion, the best brands of hitching bike carrier in 2022 are :


Leader in the field of transporting objects or equipment, this Swedish brand, initially specialised in car accessories, offers evolving, sturdy bike carriers at the best quality/price ratio. Its experience has enabled it to develop quality bike carriers.

Specialized in do-it-yourself products, the brand collaborates with many players such as those in the automotive and sports industries. But over time, it has tackled the design of equipment for transporting objects and has succeeded in establishing itself in this field. Moreover, its bike carriers stand out for their modern design and quality.

This brand, a pioneer in the field of garden furniture and DIY equipment design, has won the hearts of consumers by offering them durable bike racks with an exceptional finish. It is one of the revelations of recent decades in terms of manufacturing sports accessories.

In its early days, the brand focused on the manufacture of cleaning products and agricultural equipment. But it has innovated by creating other items that are both sturdy and incredibly elegant, which immediately appealed to consumers, such as its practical and easy-to-assemble bike racks.

The brand is known for its easy-to-install, practical bike racks that can carry a heavy load. Some of its products have a maximum load capacity of 70 kg. It is popular with large families because of its bike racks that can hold up to 4 bikes.

What is the price hitching bike carrier

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

50 £ to 150 £
150 £ to 350 £
more than 350 £
Price range diagram


Install your bike carrier correctly

In order to limit accidents, first check the compatibility of the product with your car and then make all the required tightenings. Next, try to place your bikes on the rack while rocking up and down, before driving away. This manipulation is necessary as long as if the hitching bike rack is not secured properly, it might come off and fall.

Respect the safety standards

For some users, driving a car is not always very easy. So having extra bikes that increase the usual size can cause some apprehension. However, today's hitching bike carriers are safer. Therefore, do not forget to check all the electrical connections placed on the device (turn signals, brake lights, reverse lights, etc.) in order to signal your position.

Do not exceed the maximum pressure on the coupling ball

The maximum weight that this accessory placed on the back of a car can support is not the same for all vehicles. The maximum weight that this accessory can support at the rear of a car is not the same for all vehicles, and you must take into account the data provided by the manufacturer. If the ball hitch can support up to 45 kg, add the weight of your bike carrier to the weight of the bike beforehand so as not to exceed this maximum load.

Transport your bikes legally

Certain specific rules must be respected when using a bike carrier. Indeed, you are required to prominently display a license plate. Make sure that your bikes do not protrude more than 20 cm on either side of the vehicle. Since all of your car's tail lights will be hidden, you will need to place some on your bike rack as signage.

Take care of your bike carrier

Like any other accessory used to transport materials, a hitching bike rack should be cleaned after each ride. Preferably, a high-pressure wash is preferred. After it is thoroughly dry, check all systems that require tightening. Store it in your garage under a tarp and away from moisture.


I have an SUV. How do I check the compatibility of the bike carrier with my vehicle?

Many SUVs carry a spare wheel in the rear of the vehicle. If you want to use a hitch rack on such a vehicle, you need to make sure that it will clear the spare tire in the rear. To find the best model, you first need to know the required clearance of the vehicle which is measured from the center of the hitch pin hole to the outer edge of the spare tire. Then you also need to measure the clearance of the bike rack.

Which type of bike carrier is the most versatile?

Bikes with standard frames generally work well with any type of hitch bike rack. The best way to choose is to first decide how many bikes you want to carry and how you want the bikes to attach to the rack. Each type of hitch bike rack has different advantages that may be best suited to your situation.

Are there bike racks that can hold up to 5 bikes?

Yes, there are. This type of hitch rack is a great choice if you, your friends or family want to go on new adventures with your bikes. Finding the perfect hitch bike rack for you and your car couldn't be easier. First, specify the size and class of your car's hitch receiver, then the number of bikes you want to carry. Next, you can choose a platform for easy loading and unloading or a tilt rack that tilts to give you access to the car's trunk.

Can using a bike rack increase my fuel consumption?

Yes. If you're someone who pays attention to how much you spend on fuel, you should think and rethink your choice of bike rack. Typically, roof-mounted bike racks can increase your fuel costs by as much as 30%, not least because they impair a vehicle's aerodynamics. Towing bike racks, on the other hand, don't use much fuel because they're out of the air.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Thule VeloCompact 2 7-pin 9
Thule VeloCompact 2 7-pin
Go Biker Beat 10
Go Biker Beat
Thule Velocompact-924001 11
Thule Velocompact-924001
Bullwing SR8 12
Bullwing SR8


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