Bike Rack Laws UK

So you may want to know the laws on bike racks for the UK

The Law Books Administrative Law

There are no specific laws for bike racks. but must comply with other regulations such as maximum size projecting reward and sidewards beyond vehicle width for instance. Not interfere with the rear vision of the driver. Also not have any protruding parts that cause injury to others, i.e sharp bits of metal sticking out. Also must be designed so not as to cause an overloaded rear axle, this for the usual car means less than 100Kg including bikes. Must be sound construction i.e not gonna fall to bits. must be securely fixed to the vehicle but not interfere with the safe operation of the vehicle (more relevant to motorcycles). Must allow for the loaded bikes to be securely fixed to the rack. Basically commonsense stuff. Remember that the wheels can turn in the air current, this then leads to vibration so bolts should be locking.
Apart from laws, you also need to be aware that unless the bike rack you use is sold as fit for your car (exact make, model & year), or as a manufacturer-approved accessory, you will invalidate any warranty you have. The backs of cars vary hugely in shape and size and they vary even more when it comes to where the load bearing points are – the wind resistance on the bike even at 30mph transmits huge loads. A rack fit for a VW Golf may destroy the back of a Ford Focus.

There is no specific law on bike racks, but you can find it all in

The Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (?) as amended usually referred to as ‘con and use regs’

and the Motor Vehicles (Lighting) Regulations 1999 (?)

There is a section about needing a back number plate is in the Registration and Licensing regs (can’t even stab at the date.)

Con and use cover things like dangerous parts, insecure load.
Lighting regs., cover lighting
Licensing reg., cover number plate details, including angles of visibility.

The easiest way to get the exact wording of these regulations apart from the internet would be a copy of Stone’s Justices’ Manual, a huge tome, published annually in several encyclopedia size volumes. Be warned, unless you know to interpret regulations, it is a daunting task.



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