How much does a bike rack cost for an SUV and other vehicles | Trunk, hitch, and roof?

Published by Bike Scientist on

If you are planning to get a bike rack for your bike(s), you must be wondering how much does a bike rack cost? There is a great variety of bike racks in the market and they are all useful in their own way. The price of a bike rack depends on its type e.g., trunk, hitch, roof, or spare tire mount rack, the brand you are purchasing, and included features, such as locks, sway or tilt away. 

In this article, we are going to discuss each type of rack, its average cost, economical choices, premium choices, and required add-ons. This comprehensive analysis will help you make the best buying decision. 

Bike rackAverage costMinimum costMaximum CostRequired Add-ons
Trunk bike rack$163$33$450Top Tube adapters/lock cable/wheel stabilizer
Hitch bike rack $536$771100Fat tire adapter/locks/add-on tray
Roof bike rack$288$260$330Lock/front wheel holder
Spare tire rack$188$80$400Top tube adapter

How much does a trunk mount rack cost? 

How much does a trunk bike rack cost? 
How much does a trunk mount rack cost? 

Trunk bike racks are the most economical option for car bike rack without hitch for SUVs and other vehicles. These racks are mostly available for 1 to 4-bike capacity and because they are mounted through straps, carrying more bikes might not be possible. Also, the allowed weight of bikes is limited so trunk bike racks are not recommended for heavier bikes.

If you want to buy a trunk bike rack that only carries one bike, we recommend Saris Solo which is available at around $57 but you can find some 2-bike racks that are cheaper than that. You can always carry one bike on a multi-bike rack and not use the rest of the cradles.

For example, the Allen Deluxe 2-bike rack comes at around $33 and is the cheapest 2-bike trunk rack that we have reviewed so far. The average cost of a 2-bike trunk rack is around $198, starting from Allen Deluxe at $33 you can also move on to premium quality racks such as the Thule Outway platform which costs around $500.

The average cost of a 3-bike trunk rack is around $226. Some of the economical options include 3-bike versions of Allen Sports Deluxe and Premier, Saris Bones and Saris Bones EX, and Yakima Hangout. You will not find many trunk bike racks for 4 bikes since they have a limited load-carrying capacity but Allen Sports is to the rescue! The 4-bike versions of Allen Sports Deluxe and Premier cost around $152 and $190, respectively.

One important thing to know is that with a high cost comes high value. Most of the cheaper racks require more add-ons, for example, the Thule Outway platform holds the bikes through wheels while Allen Deluxe is a hanging style rack that requires a top tube crossbar if your bike does not have a straight top tube. You will have to get it separately from Allen sports at around $12.88.

Other than that, Outway is the only trunk rack that has security locks included in the price. While for racks like Thule Gateway Pro and Passage, you will have to buy the locks separately at around $30, to secure your valuable bikes. The security feature is not very common in trunk bike racks, so mostly a locking cable is recommended for example the Saris Bike Lock Cable comes at around $40, or you can get a cheaper cable lock from any store. Moreover, some hanging-style racks require wheel stabilizers. These straps are not expensive for example the Saris Wheel Stabilizer Straps cost $15 and there are 2 in a pack.

How much does a hitch mount rack cost?

How much does a hitch bike rack cost?
How much does a hitch mount rack cost?

If you are planning to buy a hitch bike rack you must be thinking how much does a bike rack cost? Well, hitch bike racks are quite popular and that is why they are available in a large variety. A popular opinion is that hitch bike racks are expensive.

Well, we agree that on average they are more expensive than the trunk, roof, and spare mount racks, but still, there are many hitch-mount racks that are affordable. You can get one in the range of $77 to $1100 depending on your requirements. The average cost of a 1-bike hitch rack is around $302.

Saris MHS base costs around $200 and that seems to be the cheapest, but you must buy the trays separately so, in this case, one tray would cost you around $268 making the total price up to $426. Cheaper but good quality bike racks include Thule T1 and Yakima SingleSpeed at $336 and $370, respectively.

Still, these racks cost way more than Allen Sports Deluxe hitch racks, one of the best best 1 1 4 hitch bike racks, for 2, 4, and 5 versions. You can get these racks from $77 to $153 but you should know they are hanging-style racks and do not have integrated locks for security. Other economical 2-bike hitch racks include Hollywood Destination and Yakima Ridgeback.

Hitch bike racks that have platform-style bike loading are the best solution for carrying electric bikes. So, if you own an e-bike, you can get economical Vibrelli, Kuat Transfer V2, or Hollywood Racks Sport Rider at $350, $449, and $500, respectively. Or you may go for the premium quality hitch bike racks, with superior features, such as Kuat NV 2.0 or Thule EasyFold.

For a 4-bike hitch rack, Allen’s Deluxe is the cheapest followed by Hollywood Destination, and Thule Apex. Thule Apex is also available in the swing-away style which is a very useful feature, and it costs around $741. If you own e-bikes and are looking for a 4-bike rack, Sport Rider and Saris Superclamp can be bought at around $700 and $890, respectively. 

The 5 and 6-bike versions of most hitch racks are built in a hanging style to save space. The average cost of 5-bike hitch racks is $377 with very affordable options including Allen’s Deluxe hitch, Yakima Ridgeback, and Thule Apex. While for 6 bikes, you can only go for vertical hitch bike racks such as Yakima Hangover and Hangtight with an average cost of $974.

Most platform hitch bike racks have inbuilt locking systems so you will not have to buy locks separately but in some cases such as Kuat Transfer V2, you can get the Cable Lock Kit with Locking Hitch Pin at an additional $38. Moreover, some hitch bike racks are fat bike rack ready such as RockyMounts BackStage while for others you would need a fat bike adapter, for example, Kuat Phat Bike Kit at $17 or Thule Fat Bike Wheel Strap Kit at around $25. No noticeable difference in the cost of a 1.25 hitch bike rack and a 2-inch hitch bike rack.

How much does a roof bike rack cost?

roof bike rack
How expensive is a trunk bike rack? 

Wondering how much does a bike rack cost when installed on a car roof? These racks are a good option to transport bikes especially if you need access to the rear of your SUV or other vehicles. These racks are usually built to accommodate only one bike but if there is enough space on the roof of the vehicle, you can get two racks and carry two bikes easily.

On average, these racks cost around $287. You can get the most economical one i.e., Thule ProRide at around $260 while if you are willing to pay more, you may get Thule UpRide at around $330. Both hold the bike through the wheel. However, if you are looking for a fork-mount rack you can choose from Thule FastRide or TopRide at $260 or $300, respectively. Apart from that, if you want to lock the whole setup, you will have to purchase the Thule One-Key System Lock Cylinders at $35. You might also need a tire holder if you go for a fork-mount bike rack. For that, you can get the Thule Front Wheel Holder separately for $100. 

How much does a spare tire bike rack cost?

How much for a spare tire bike rack?

Spare tire bike racks are also economical like trunk bike racks with an average cost of $200, but they do not carry many bikes. These racks are recommended when your vehicle has a spare tire. Most of these racks are available in 2-bike capacity and the price ranges from $80 to $397.

From among the spare tire racks that we have reviewed so far, Allen Sports Premier Spare Tire is the cheapest at around $80. This rack is also available in a 3-bike version and costs around $150. This is a great option if your SUV has a spare tire mounted on the back side but if the top tube of your bike is not straight, you would need the top tube crossbar from Allen sports which costs $13.

However, if you own an RV, Around the Spare from Swagman could help you carry 2 bikes and would cost you around $130. For this rack, you can also get the top tube adapter from Swagman at around $35 if you own a bike with unusual geometry. Thule Spare Me is also a good option which comes at around $397.


How much does it cost to have a bike rack hitch added to SUV?

SUVs usually require a class 3 hitch for installation of a hitch bike rack. You can get the hitch installed on the back of your SUV for $500 to $950 depending on the type of hitch, quality, installation procedure, etc. 

How much does it cost to install a bike rack?

Installation of bike racks is not very tricky. You can save up your money and install it yourself with the help user manual. In this way, the total cost would be based on the price of the bike rack itself. 

How much does a bike rack for a car cost?

The cost of a bike rack for any car depends on a number of factors like the type of rack, where it mounts, brand, and special requirements such as a fat bike kit or top tube adapter. Generally, trunk bike racks are available at as low as $33 while the upper limit is around $450. Roof and spare tire bike racks on average cost around $288 and $200, respectively. However, there are numerous hitch bike racks in the range of $77-1100. 

How much does it cost to mount a bike rack on a Lexus?

Trunk bike racks can be mounted easily on Lexus models while hitch bike racks require the installation of a hitch on the rear of the vehicle. Lexus models do not have standard hitches, so you will have to buy one separately. This can cost you anywhere between $100-$300. 

How much does it cost to get a bike rack hitch installed on my car?

Getting a hitch installed on a car seems expensive to most but no bike rack is more convenient to use than hitch bike racks. The price of the hitch and its installation can cost you $100-300 depending on the brand you buy from, or the installation method. You can save up some money if you install it yourself. 

How much does it cost to make a bike rack?

Bike racks can cost as low as $35 or they can be expensive and cost you more than $1000. The cost of the bike racks depends on the material used, brand value, and features provided such as security locks, compact design, or tilting or swinging style for rear access, etc. 

How much does a roof-mounted bike rack cost?

The average cost of roof-mount bike racks is around $287. Since these racks carry only one bike, they are more expensive than the trunk mount racks.  You can get Thule ProRide at around $260 and since it is a wheel mount, you will not need to buy a front wheel holder. 

Where can you find the bike rack at the best price?

Allen Sports produces the most economical trunk and hitch bike racks. These racks are available in different bike capacities varying from 2-5 bikes. Most of these racks are hanging style, so the only add-on you might have to buy separately would be the Top Tube crossbar adapter which costs around $13. Even after adding its cost, these racks are still far more economical as compared to others. 

How much does a truck bed bike rack cost?

The best truck bed bike racks cost on average 188 dollars while the maximum truck bed bike rack we have reviewed costs around 500 USD (pipeline racks) and the minimum one is Delta pro lock at 28 dollars

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Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.