Which Roof Rack for my car?


What components make up a roof rack system?

Usually, there are three parts

  1. The bar that runs across the width of the roof 
  2. The feet on which the bar sits
  3. A fitting kit specific to the vehicle


What type of roof rack will suit my car?

While roof racks work on about 98% of vehicles, you’ll require specific parts to fit them to your vehicle. 

If your vehicle has rain gutters any rain gutter mounted roof rack will almost certainly work, but you may need to change bar width and foot height. More than likely, you can take the rack off one vehicle and put it on another with a rain gutter.


However, since most modern cars do not have gutters, most roof racks are designed for cars without them. These incorporate removable and permanent mount designs, and some have rails, fix-points or take a clamp mount system.


Your gutterless vehicle’s roof rack consists of the bar, ‘feet’  and the ‘fit kit’ which attaches around the upper edge of the door jam to hold the roof rack onto your vehicle. The feet used fit many different types of vehicles, whereas each kit is made to fit a specific vehicle.


What is the difference between a roof ‘rail’ and roof ‘bars/racks’?

Roof rails run front to rear on both sides of the roof. They are often factory fitted. On their own, they cannot be used as roof racks.

Roof bars run across the roof which are clamp mounted (secured with fit kits to the door frames), mounted to factory fitted fixpoints or roof rail mounted. 


Can I transport a roof box AND bikes on my roof bars?

Yes, subject to remaining within the permitted roof carrying weight capacity for your particular vehicle you can transport the following width of roof box and the width of roof rack fitted. This is where the through mount system gives more load carrying capacity.


Why doesn’t one roof rack fit all cars?

Since cars with rain gutters are being phased out, roof rack manufacturers are no longer making one rack to fit all vehicles. However, with different fitting kits, some roof rack systems can be satisfactorily adjusted.


Do I need tools to install my rack?

Most roof racks don't require special tools to fit them to your vehicle, but if tools are required, they are included with the kit. At Gearhead HK, we provide a fitting service if needed. 


Will roof racks scratch my car?

When properly installed to a clean roof, a rack will not scratch or cause any damage to your vehicle. We recommend that you remove your roof rack periodically to clean any road grime build up.


How can I stop my roof racks from being stolen?

Most racks come with a standard security locking device. If not supplied as standard one can be purchased as an accessory.


How much weight can I carry on my roof racks?

This depends on your roof’s strength, so consult your ‘owner's manual’ for specific carrying capacity. This can also be determined by the style and brand of the roof rack.