Choosing Roof Bars for a Car


Roof bars are a great way to gain additional storage for your vehicle. Whether you are an outdoor aficionado who is looking to somewhere to store their bike when travelling or you are going on holiday with the family and want some extra space for luggage, a roof bar is a quick and easy solution.

Yet it isn’t a case of buying the first roof bars you see and attaching them to your car, as the model of the car affects what types of roof bars can be attached, so it important to make the right decision by doing some homework before choosing your roof bars.

Here’s some tips for choosing roof bars for your car:

Know the Type You Need

There are four common roof bars that are widely used on cars and they are based on how you attach them to your car.

Each one attaches to the car in a different way, and the model of the car will dictate the type of bars you will need to purchase. This is because of the rails that roof bars will be attached to, which can differ in shape and size, so knowing what is on your car is essential!

Roof bars are based on the following models:

Raised Roof Rails – Commonplace on estate cars and SUVs, raised roof rails run across most of the roof and will be raised up a few inches, creating a gap between the roof of the car and the rail itself.

Solid Roof Rails – These are also commonly found on estate cars, and have become widely used in cars manufactured in the last decade. They are very similar to raised roof rails, but instead there is no gap between the roof and rail.

Fixed Points – These are found in pretty much every style of car, and involves a fixed point on the roof for the bars to be attached. They tend to have plastic covers that are removed when attaching the roof bars.

None of the above – Some models come with none of the previously mentioned features, so they will most likely require door jamb roof bars, which are fitted by clamping the bars onto the door jambs to secure them.

Other less common types include rain gutters, which are found in much older models, as well as tracks, which involves a section of track along the roof where the bars can be slotted into (these usually allow the roof bars to be moved along the track)

So when you are looking for roof bars, identify which of these your model has, and then select the roof bars based on this. For example, if you have raised roof rails, you will need roof bars for cars with roof rails – it’s that simple!

Steel or Aluminium?

There are two main choices when it comes to the material of your roof bars. Steel is cheaper option that is more widespread, and aluminium is somewhat costlier but provides a few additional benefits as a result.

Aluminium roof bars will almost always make far less noise whilst you drive, and they also offer much less drag than steel roof bars, helping to save some fuel consumption when in use. Of course the fact that steel is cheaper is a great selling point for many, so it is all down to personal choice.

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