Tow Bar Fitting Cost 2021 » All Types · Price List | UK

How high is the tow bar fitting cost in the UK?
Whether you want to transport your caravan, horse carriage, bicycle rack or trailer: A tow bar for your car is a practical upgrade. Find out here tow bar what types are available and how high the tow bar fitting cost is in the UK.

How much to install a tow bar?

The tow bar fitting prices consist of costs for installation and material (tow bar and electric kit). If you have your tow bar fitted, you can expect labour costs from £290 to £450. The electric kit usually costs around £50 to £100, the rest depends on the type of tow bar (fixed, detachable or swivelling) and your car model.

Average cost for tow bar fitting » £550 – £1,100

Installing a fixed (or permanent) tow bar is much cheaper than a detachable or swivelling tow bar. The total cost of materials is around £140 to £570, please see the detailed cost list below.

To illustrate the costs, below is an example of the tow bar installation for a VW Golf 7 with a support load of 80 kg and a towing capacity of 2000 kg. A branded tow bar (Westfalia, Brink, Oris etc.) is used.

Cost example: Tow bar fitting cost – VW Golf 7
Overview
fixed
detachable
swivelling
Tow bar + electric kit
£230
£380
£520
Installation
£370
£410
£450
Total cost
£600
£790
£970
It depends on your car whether you can install a fixed, detachable or swivelling tow bar. Also the costs can vary depending on the model. For example, a fixed tow bar canot be installed on some BMW 1 Series models. The cost of materials, including the electric kit, starts at a minimum of £330.

With the Skoda Octavia, Tiguan 2 or Fiat 500, for example, as with the VW Golf, all three variants can be fitted. By the way, this applies to most car models. All figures in this article include VAT and are only intended as guidelines, which may vary.

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Sorted by car models – Towbar fitting prices

Also amongst the different car models there are differences in the tow bar installation cost. Below is an overview, sorted by car model, of what you can at least expect.
Tow bar fitting cost – Sorted by car models
Car model
Costs
Alfa Romeo Giulietta • Alfa Romeo Mito • Chevrolet Spark • Chevrolet Matiz • Fiat 500 • Fiat Panda • Fiat Punto • Ford Fiesta • Ford Ka • Ford Escort • Hyundai i10 • Hyundai i20 • Kia Ceed • Kia Picanto • Kia Rio • Nissan Micra • Vauxhall Corsa • Vauxhall Meriva • Peugeot 206, 207, 208 • Renault Clio • Renault Twingo • Seat Altea • Seat Ibiza • Smart Fortwo • Toyota Corolla • Toyota Auris • Toyota Yaris • VW Fox • VW Lupo • VW Polo
from £480
Audi A1, S1 • Audi A3, S3, RS3 • Citroen Berlingo • Citroen C3 • Citroen C4 • Citroen Jumper • Dacia Duster • Dacia Logan • Dacia Sandero • Ford Kuga • Ford Mondeo • Honda Civic • Honda Jazz • Hyundai Tucson • Kia Sportage • Mazda 6 • Mazda CX 5 • Mercedes A Klasse • Mazda CX 3 • Mini • Nissan Qashqai • Vauxhall Astra • Vauxhall Mokka • Vauxhall Vectra • Vauxhall Zafira • Peugeot 308, 3008 • Renault Kangoo • Renault Megane • Seat Alhambra • Seat Leon • Skoda Fabia • Skoda Octavia • Skoda Roomster • Skoda Superb • Skoda Yeti • Toyota Avensis • Toyota RAV4 • Toyota Prius • Volvo V60 • VW Passat • VW Tiguan • VW Golf 4, 5, 6, 7
from £590
Audi A4, S4, RS4 • Audi A5, S5, RS5 • Audi A6, S6, RS6 • Audi Q2 • Audi Q5 • BMW X1 • BMW 1er • BMW 2er • BMW 3er • BMW 5er • Fiat Ducato • Ford Focus • Ford Galaxy • Mercedes B Klasse • Mercedes C Klasse • Mercedes E Klasse • Mercedes GLK, GLC • Vauxhall Insignia • Porsche 911 • Rover 75 • Seat Alhambra • VW Caddy • VW Sharan • VW Touran • VW T5
from £700

What is the breakdown of the tow bar fitting cost?

The costs consist of the material costs (tow bar and electric kit) and the labour costs for the installation. Depending on the car model, type of tow bar (fixed, detachable or swivelling), quality of parts, region and car garage, these costs can vary considerably. In our cost examples our calculations are based on the assumption that a tow bar is installed in original quality.

1) Tow bar price: Fixed, detachable or swivelling?

» Fixed (permanent) tow bar

from £90

This is screwed or welded on, depending on the model.

The permanent tow bar is suitable if you transport a lot and constantly need the tow bar.

It is relatively cheap.

The cheapest type: A permanent / fixed tow bar
» Detachable tow bar

from £230

If you only want to transport a trailer or caravan with your car from time to time, it is worth installing a detachable tow bar.

Tip: Always detach the tow bar, when you don’t actually need it. This way it won’t get stolen and you save money in case of an accident. Also the tow bar should not cover your license plate.

» Swivelling tow bar

from £470

A swivelling tow bar cannot be fitted on every car model. Furthermore, you should invest in a tow bar made by your car
manufacturer. The swivelling tow bar is very handy and you can simply turn it under the car when you don’t need it.

Go for original equipment quality with EU test mark for your tow bar!

For safety reasons, it is always advisable to use parts in OEM quality. Your car garage will know which tow bars are suitable for which car model. However, it doesn’t hurt to check with your car garage to make sure that quality parts are used.

Some well-known manufacturers of high quality tow bars are:

Brink • Westfalia • Bosal • Oris • GDW • AL-KO • Auto Hak • MVG

2) Costs for the electric kit: Universal or specific?

The electric kit is available in universal and specific. The electric kit comes either with a 7-pole or 13-pole (7-pin or 13-pin) socket. If the trailer needs permanent electricity, for example in a caravan, a 13-pole plug is required.

Also the newer cars only use a 13-pole socket. You will find what kind of electric kit your car needs in the vehicle documents. If necessary, there are also adapters that switch from 7- to 13-pole sockets.

» Universal electric kit

£50 – £90

The electric kit can be used for different vehicle models that do not have a prepared wiring harness. Here every cable connection must be connected to the rear lights and the plug.

» Specific electric kit

from £50, depends on car model

A specific eletric kit fits exactly to your vehicle. Here the installation is less complicated. Contact plug and cable length are designed for your vehicle.

3) Labour cost for the tow bar installation

» Installation cost

290 – 450 €

If you have some experience and a good knowledge of cars, you can install the tow bar yourself. However, if the fixed tow bar needs to be welded on, you should definitely let the experts do it.

On average, a car mechanic needs 2.5 hours for installation. Also look for offers in your area, sometimes tow bar fitting is offered at a fixed price, so it will be cheaper for you. Alternatively you can use the free price comparison on this page to get tow bar fitting quotes at a fixed price.

It can also get more complicated with the installation of the electronics. If your vehicle has an electric management system, it may be that the car garage has to activate it first.

The electronic stability program also has to be modified by the car garage. The software ensures that the tow bar is stabilized.

Things to know when upgrading your caravan with a tow bar

If a tow bar is installed on the caravan, the permitted total weight of the caravan and the permitted towing capacity must be taken into account. You can find this information in the vehicle documents. There is also the so-called ‘D-value’. This defines the strength of the device.

Furthermore, a swivelling tow bar is always recommended for caravans. Driving and parking are thereby considerably simplified.

In the car garage: How long to install a tow bar?

» On average 2 – 4 hours, depending on type

Depending on the type of tow bar you choose (fixed, detachable or swivelling tow bar) and the car model, the time your garage needs for the installation will also vary.

The actual installation takes 1 – 2.5 hours, depending on the type. For the installation of the electronics, the workshop also needs about 1 – 1.5 hours. Installing the electric kit with a 13-pole tow bar takes longer than with a 7-pole tow bar.

To be on the safe side and to ensure that the tow bar fitting cost does not vary too much, it is advisable to set a fixed price with the workshop in advance.

How fast am I allowed to drive with a trailer / caravan?

» between 30 – 60 mph, depending on the road

In the UK a maximum speed of 60mph is allowed when driving on a motorway with a trailer or caravan. Pay attention though to road signs showing a different maximum speed.

Sometimes it may be only 50 mph (e.g. on a derestricted single carriageway) or even 30 mph (e.g. on lit roads).

What maximum weight am I allowed to tow?

» between 750 kg – 8,250 kg, depending on your driving licence

In the UK the maximum weight you are allowed to tow varies with your driving licence. It mainly depends on when it was issued. If your licence was issued before 1st January, 1997 you are lucky and allowed to tow a trailer up to a combined car+trailer maximum weight of 8,250 kg.

If your licence was issued between 1st January, 1997 – 19th January, 2013 you can tow a trailer up to 750 kg using a car that weighs up to 3,500 kg or a trailer of over 750 kg (when your combined car+trailer weight is under 3,500 kg).

If your licence was issued after 19th January, 2013 you are allowed to tow a trailer or caravan up to 750 kg or a combined car+trailer weight of 3,500 kg.

Tow bar fitting: Tips to save some money

1. If replacing your old tow bar – dismantle it first

For those who already have a tow bar on their car and want to replace it with a new model: It is worth dismantling the old tow bar before visiting the garage, otherwise extra costs for dismantling can be charged.

2. Make a price comparison

Even in the same city the tow bar fitting costs can vary greatly from garage to garage. To save time and effort and to find the best value for money, it is worth checking the prices for your region before each visit to the workshop. You can also use the free price comparison on this page.

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