Are Trunk Bike Racks Safe?

Bike racks are one of the best means of transporting your bike, especially when heading to far locations or when you are simply going to look for a bike trail.

You may have considered every kind of rack and finally settled for trunk racks. But, one of the biggest dilemmas you may have is, Are trunk bike racks safe? Trunk racks are safe for transporting bike racks compared to some other types of racks.

The racks attach directly to the hatch of your vehicle using straps. This means that you won’t have to worry about the rack or bike falling off if secured properly.

If not convinced, continue reading to learn more.

Are Trunk Bike Racks Safe?

Yes, bike trunk racks are safe, but only if you put proper measures in place. They can scratch the surface of the vehicle or even fall off if they are not properly secured.

When attaching your bike, wrap both the feet and the bumper using a pair of cotton socks. This will prevent scratching when the vehicle is in motion.

Ensure the straps are tightly secured, and the rack is not wobbling; otherwise, both the rack and the bike can fall when speeding up or taking corners.

You can add more tie-downs, such as spare tubes, to keep the racks secure. If you put all the measures in place, the trunk racks are the safest racks to have.

Are Trunk Bike Racks Any Good?

Yes, bike trunk racks are good. They offer you the convenience and versatility of carrying your bike by just attaching it to the hatch.

Trunk racks are made for every type of vehicle; whether you have a sedan or an SUV, these racks will fit effortlessly.  The racks are also affordable, unlike the other racks.

Each of the trunk racks comes with adjustable straps made of high-quality material, which provides safety for the racks.

You won’t also have to worry about accessing your rear door since there are foldable racks. They can swing and fold when opening the rear door.

Some of these racks can carry up to four bikes. They are also fitted with anti-sway cradles that hold the racks in place even when taking corners or speeding.

Are Trunk Bikes Legal?

Yes, bike trunk racks are legal. The law does not prohibit you front transporting your vehicle using a rack.

However, if your rack obstructs your view or blocks the number plate or the taillights, it is illegal.

You will be charged for obstructing your vehicle’s plate number.  In other states, your rack can partially obstruct the vehicle’s plate number. You need to check with your respective state concerning laws on bike racks.

Can I Get in Trouble for Driving with a Trunk Rack?

No, you cannot get in trouble for driving with a bike rack as long as the rack does not obstruct the plate or the rear lights.

Keep in mind that some trunk racks rest on your vehicle’s license plate, resulting in complete or partial blockage. So if this is your case, you shouldn’t drive with it, especially if you are in a state which warns against obscuring of the license plate.

However, bike racks are designed not to block the license plates of rear lights but could block them when the bikes have been attached.

A good example of a trunk rack designed for license visibility is the Saris Bones bike rack.

Blocking the license plate is not the only way you will be breaking the law. Driving with an empty rack is illegal in some states.

Do Trunk Bike Racks Damage Your Car?

Yes, Bike trunks can damage your vehicle if you are not careful during the mounting process. Also, if you fail to put proper measures in place, the racks can damage your vehicle. This is due to the proximity of the rack to the vehicle.

The rack is directly attached to the vehicle’s hitch.  Because of this, the bike will grind and bump when the vehicle is in motion resulting in scratching of the paint.

Also see: How to Protect Paint from Trunk Bike Rack?

Ensure you strap the racks properly and clip them to prevent the rack from wobbling, which could damage your car.

Also, use pads on the areas where the rack attaches to the vehicle.

Do All Bike Carriers Damage Your Car?

Yes, all bike racks have the probability of damaging your vehicle. But, when you put proper measures in place, then there won’t be any damage.

Racks are made of steel which means they can easily damage your vehicle irrespective of where they are mounted. But if you follow all the provided guidelines, everything will be okay.

Remember that even if the racks don’t damage your vehicle, they can fall together with your bike if you don’t tie them properly.

Car Scratch Protector for Trunk Bike

When using a trunk rack, you need to use a scratch protector to ensure the racks do not damage the painting on your vehicle. There are several protectors you can choose from, but these are among the best:

  • BougeRV 6 Packs Car Scratch Protector

The scratch protector is made for every kind of trunk rack. They are made of TPU material that comes with anti-scratch material, which is also waterproof and self-healing.

The protector is highly durable and comes with easy-to-understand procedures that will help you attach to the rack. It does not need an adhesive to install.

The product comes with a 12-month warranty which means you will be getting something genuine. The soft-touch will keep your car free from damage for a long time.

  • Car Scratch Protectors for Trunk Bike Rack (Pack)

This is a great addition to your rack from Outdoorsy Supplies.

You don’t need an adhesive to install this protector. It is easy to open and install. The protector is also recyclable, which means you will be protecting your environment.

The protector is compatible with every type of vehicle. It is also made of high-quality materials Polyurethane that is durable.

  • Ubenic 8 Packs Car Scratch Protectors

Ubenic 8 Packs Car Scratch Protectors is a universal protector that works for every car model. It is designed to protect the paint on your vehicle from scratches.

The kit comes with eight pads to meet all your needs. You can use six and keep the extra two in case of any emergency. But, it is hi unlikely you will be using them anytime soon since the product is durable.

The durability comes from TPU material which is also recyclable.

You don’t need any help when it comes to installing the pads. They come with easy to follow instructions.

Do Trunk Mounted Bike Racks Scratch the Car?

Yes, trunk-mounted bike racks can easily scratch your car, especially if you don’t put protective measures in place.

For instance, if you fail to add padding, the metal in the rack will easily scratch off the paint on your vehicle.

Also, if you fail to tightly tie up the straps, the rack will swing around, scratching the paint when the vehicle is in motion.

So to be on the safe side, purchase a scratch protector for your rack and ensure you place it before mounting the rack.


Trunk racks are among the best racks you can purchase for transporting your racks. They are not only affordable but also lightweight and easy to install.

You may have considered other racks, such as rooftop bike racks but decided to go for trunk racks because of what they offer. But even with all their advantages, you may still ask, are trunk bike racks safe?

Trunk safe racks safe if you secure them properly and put additional measures in place. Also, failing to follow the proper measures can result in the racks damaging your vehicle.

Hopefully, this article has helped answer all the questions you have concerning trunk bike racks.

Good luck.