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Is a car mount / rack necessary ?

azzy007azzy007 Posts: 3
edited April 2014 in Road buying advice

Is it legal to drive with a bike or two in the back ?

I drive a small yaris and up till now Ive been taking off the wheels, putting the seats down and throwing in the bikes. But seen as even after wrapping the seatbelts round theres some leeway for the bikes to move after a sudden stop - am breaking the law doing this ?

Id would have taken the risk but ive got 9 points, and dont fancy losing my licence, so would be grateful for any opinions. I dont think I have time to install a mount / rack and wouldnt know where to start, but wonder if its my only option.


  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    You bike is fine in the back. You could always strap it to a fixed point if it does move to much.

    Racks are ok - but you need to be careful of lights and number plate - you're more likely to get stopped if these are obstructed - so you'd need a lighting connection, board and method to tie on.

    I have a towbar rack - it's easy, but often just put the bike inside if there is room.
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 1,001
    It's legal. It's just the same as transporting any other luggage that requires the same amount of space. I would always prefer to carry a bike inside my car if possible as it keeps the elements off the bike during transport, it can't fall off the rack, and is more secure.
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Bizarrely, there's almost no law about how your car is loaded in terms of how well tied down it is. There's the obvious point of the maximum weight your car can carry, there are rules about obstructing your view, but people drive around all the time with unsafe loads in the back and it will only come to the attention of the police if they stop you for something else. Which, since
    azzy007 wrote:
    ive got 9 points, and dont fancy losing my licence
    you're probably keen to avoid. Seriously, just slow down a bit.

    You often find when you raise the carpet in the boot of your car that there are various hooks and d-rings provided for a luggage net. If your model has these, nip down to Halfords and get one of those contraptions with half a dozen bungee hooks on it to lash the bikes down. It'll stop them bouncing around and chipping the paint, which is an annoying thing that bikes do in the back of cars.
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • azzy007azzy007 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the opinions guy. I think the obstruction of view could be an issue,

    and even then covering of number plates with the wrong type of rear racks.

    I spoke to a lawyer who simply pointed to the amendment of the road traffic act suggesting unsafe loading is an offence but no specifics as you suggest giraffo.

    I asked halfords for the roof rack its about £150 including bars and fitting, which I might shop around for a bit cheaper.
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    Obstruction of view isn't an issue, think about vans with no side or rear view behind the B pillar.

    Insecure load would only be an issue if your bikes somehow manage to come out your vehicle and interfere with someone else
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,731
    As long as the side mirrors are not obstructed and the rear light clusters and number plate are not obscured your ok, I got advised to get a light board by the old bill after being stopped the first time out with my old bike rack. As Colinthecop states view through the rear window is not an issue.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    azzy007 wrote:
    I asked halfords for the roof rack its about £150 including bars and fitting, which I might shop around for a bit cheaper.

    This place is the cheapest I could find for Thule racks, and they're very simple to fit yourself
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,026
    Why would it be illegal to drive with a bike in the back? It's not that it barks or jumps around...
    left the forum March 2023
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,209
    As long as the two side mirrors are capable of seeing behind and you can see out of the front side windows and windscreen, then you have satisfied the law with regards to not obstructing your vision. However, if you have an accident and the cause can be shown to have been some form of cargo coming insecure within the vehicle, then you can be prosecuted for dangerous driving i.e. driving the vehicle in a dangerous condition. The dangerous driving offence for dangerous condition, applies to the vehicle itself or anything carried in or on it.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
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