Home Forums Chat Forum How much should a towbar cost?

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  • How much should a towbar cost?
  • sharkattack
    Full Member

    I’ve never bought a towbar before. Luckily we bought our Yeti with one already fitted.

    I got some quotes online and I’ve just managed to pick my jaw off the desk. This is a for a detachable swan neck, vehicle specific wiring, fitted at home.

    I’ve had quotes for £860, £840, £760, £700.

    I think I’ll have to do without for a while. Annoyingly it makes my Buzzrack redundant. £300 for a rack, then another £800, just to carry a bike around in full view of ski-mask wearing, machete wielding, Sur-Ron riders.

    Anyone want to buy a Buzzrack E-Hornet while I go back to stuffing my mucky junk in the trunk?

    BlobOnAStick
    Full Member

    Yep – just paid £730 for a towbar fitment to my car. Seemed the going rate and pretty much what I think I paid the last time I had one fitted.

    oldnick
    Full Member

    I got my last two from PF Jones, the detachable-ness upped the cost quite a bit and I never take mine off now – money well wasted. I only shinned myself a couple of times before I learned.

    Just make sure through owners forums that the car won’t need it coding in, cars are fussy beggars these days.

    Edit, I just realised you mean fitted by someone else at your home, that will add a bit on. I fitted my own, a tedious but not difficult job.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Yeah I’d like someone to fit it while I’m working from home if possible. A few years ago I wouldn’t mind pulling a rear bumper off and messing around but now I’d have to do it with a toddler climbing on my head and moving my tools around.

    I might go with a fixed one. The one on the Yeti was fixed and it never bothered us.

    trickydisco
    Free Member

    I bought mine from just tow and fitted it myself (astra on 15 plate)

    wasn’t too bad to be honest

    ads678
    Full Member

    Think I paid about £650 for a detachable one on my Viano fitted at home. That was through PF Jones, but was about 3 years ago now.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Those prices are what I’d expect, ours was fitted 8-9 years ago.

    Changing the car later this year, may go back to roof mounted, will need to price up the options.

    failedengineer
    Full Member

    If you’re in the North East, give Hedley Towbars a try.

    1
    timmys
    Full Member

    Just checked and the quote from PF Jones for at home fitting, detachable, 13-pin,  in 2021 was £699 (for a 64 plate petrol VRS), so your figures look about right, or even on the low side considering price increases in the last 3 yrs!

    1
    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    Also check if the car needs uprated cooling – I know for example petrol Volvo’s with auto boxes have an additional transmission cooler fitted if the tow bar is factory fitted but is often missed when a towbar is retrofitted.

    A lot of cars come pre wired nowadays (my Volvo’s and Cayenne for example already are), but fitment is a case of sometimes removing the rear ‘bumper’ to bolt additional steelwork in place – that’s were a fair amount of costs could come from.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    i was quoted 780 for a Peugeot partner for a fixed flange bar with 7 pin + programming – most/nee all modern cars need it now a days.

    i bought from PF jones for 260 inc a vehicle specific wiring kit – Easy fit up . Used peugeot planet to code it and all works well.

    spent a day making it work though.  – Since Canbus and ISO use the similar colours to different meanings . Canbus being Yellow/Black and Iso being Yellow / White. …… Yellow doesnt go to yellow as much as that would make sense.

    sharkbait
    Free Member

    I paid a silly amount (£800ish) about 10 years ago but I decided I’d spent so much on the car (2 years old but still had 3 years warranty) that I wasn’t going to risk a situation where, if there was an electrical issue, the dealer could point to the fact that someone else fitted the towbar and I didn’t have warranty cover.

    nbt
    Full Member

    We had a witter detachable towbar fitted to a 3 series in 2019, cost £570. Was done on our driveway.

    Caher
    Full Member

    I’ve got a witter too, came with the car. Never used it but as the car is due its MOT this month I’ve asked the main dealer to show me how to use it.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    This is why I like older cars, £80 for the towbar and the biggest stumbling block is guessing the torque on the big bolts because it’s more than most wrenches will deliver.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    and of course working out if the rusty chassis is still structurally sound enough for the load

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    Seems the right ballpark. PF jones here, only one model available and only one person could get it so shrug.

    lesgrandepotato
    Full Member

    Blimey. Just put one on the jeep. £160 for the bar and electrics

    v7fmp
    Free Member

    not sure the price difference between a detachable and non, but i paid extra for a detachable (a few years ago now) and its never been removed.

    just something to consider in the pursuit of saving a few quid.

    3
    bails
    Full Member

    Also check if the car needs uprated cooling

    You won’t need that if you’re only putting a bike rack on it.

    stingmered
    Full Member

    £710 fully fitted for detachable and all electrics coded… to an EV.

    DT78
    Free Member

    sounds about right, think we paid £600ish for a kia sportage 5 or 6 years ago.  I didn’t do it myself because I was worried about the electrics / programming

    it two guys most of the morning to do so quite involved

    Ours is detached, it only gets attached when it is going to be used.  Way to much stuff going in and out of the boot to have to keep avoiding it (akward stuff like kids scooters)

    When we look for a new car part of the criteria is already having one fitted….

    1
    intheborders
    Free Member

    That’s ballpark for a modern car that needs the electrics doing properly – mine took an extra hour as they had to download the software, while they sat that constantly pressing the <accept> ‘button’.

    1
    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Yup, few weeks back (I dun a thread) (and actually went with one of the recommendations!) Volvo V60 – £700 towbar + £20 reg plate

    (Removable swan neck with 13pin elecs)

    2
    ThePinkster
    Full Member

    Way to much stuff going in and out of the boot to have to keep avoiding it

    You’d be amazed how quickly you learn ;-)

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Also check if the car needs uprated cooling – I know for example petrol Volvo’s with auto boxes have an additional transmission cooler fitted if the tow bar is factory fitted but is often missed when a towbar is retrofitted.

    Skoda’s (this is for our Octavia VRS) also come with a larger intercooler if you spec the factory towbar but I’m never going to tow a caravan up a mountain so I’m not worried. I’ll only ever carry a bike rack.

    PF Jones can do a detachable Westfalia for £740 at the end of the month i.e after our trip to the Alps.

    Or I can have a local company fit a detachable Tow Trust for £840 next Tuesday.

    I’m going to wait until the wife gets home and see how tight the boot is with the bike and essentials loaded. If we’re desperate for space I’ll take the hit and book it in.

    Having the bikes in the boot would be a good thing while we’re away as I have to drive there and back on my own. Who’s going to watch them while I go for a poo etc? It just depends if they fit with the pushchair and associated kiddy junk.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    I went down a rabbit hole with tow bars before, some cars there is an electric connection and fixing bolts already there so it’s easy to add a tow bar. Others you have to have the electrics altered and bespoke parts to add the tow bar which can be costly.

    If I needed a tow bar then I’d be looking to have one factory fitted, especially the electronic fold out ones you get on BMWs.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    If I needed a tow bar then I’d be looking to have one factory fitted, especially the electronic fold out ones you get on BMWs

    Yeah, the OP was shocked about the price… Quote for the Volvo specific electronic job was £1800

    2
    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Christ on a bike (rack)

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    As alluded to above, when you select a towbar as a factory option on a new car it usually comes with an uprated intercooler so you don’t overheat your engine while towing a giant caravan around the Italian Alps in a Mediterranean heatwave. When you ask for a quote from a dealer to fit a factory spec towbar the larger intercooler (and associated labour )is usually part of the package whether you ask for it or not.

    That’s partly what makes the price so eye popping. The other part is just ‘main dealer being main dealer’.

    acidchunks
    Free Member

    Paid £350 fitted on my drive 4 years ago.  Car is 2011 though so electrics relatively straightforward compared to a more modern vehicle.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    £550 for a detachable supplied and fitted last year in Glasgow. That was on a Mazda CX5

    https://www.buchansfortowbars.co.uk/

    iainc
    Full Member

    ‘If I needed a tow bar then I’d be looking to have one factory fitted, especially the electronic fold out ones you get on BMWs.’

    I have one of these, specced it on the lease on my i4. They are very good, but..a lot of racks, incl most Thule ones, won’t fit as the neck is very short.

    I ended up with the BMW rack, which is great, but stupid expensive.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    My 5 series has a fold out one. Factory option of about 1800 quid….

    2
    poly
    Free Member

    You’d get it for half that if you downgraded the spec – fixed bar, generic wiring kit fitted by someone competent.

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    In 2018 a Westphalia detachable on my VW was £500ish.

    bigdaddy
    Full Member

    Had one fitted to my Kuga hybrid a couple of months ago – approx £500 for non detachable 7 pin (just for bike rack so don’t need 13 pin. The electronics all needed recoding – he needed WiFi to do that, was so weird needing the internet to fit a Towbar!

    chakaping
    Full Member

    Used to have a fixed towbar on my old Mondeo.

    Was never an issue, and I can’t imagine how it would be one.

    2
    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    I paid £500 for a detachable Westfalia towbar with 13pin electrics. I didn’t think it was too badly priced as It came with a free Porsche Cayenne attached to it!*

    * Yes I know people are fed up with me bleating on about it.

    5lab
    Full Member

    generic wiring kits aren’t compatible with all cars, modern cars often have integrated LEDs at the rear with a controller hooking directly up to canbus rather than a handy 5v indicator wire, and nearly anything from the last 15 years will have some kind of bulb-out detection that requires fiddling with to get a generic kit to work.

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