How Much Is a Roof Rack?

When looking for a roof rack that suits your car, the price often seals the deal. After all, roof racks are easy to install, provided that your vehicle has an existing rail.

The average cost for a roof rack is between $200 to $500. You can buy a used roof rack that has been fully configured for under $150. On the other hand, if you’re looking for new sturdier racks with added accessories, be prepared to spend even higher than $500.

Nevertheless, the cost shouldn’t be the sole factor you should look into when buying a roof rack. It’s a crucial determinant, and there’s no argument there. But other considerations shouldn’t take a backseat, such as the form and quality.

If you’re wondering which roof rack matches your needs and budget, stick around as we dive into the details in a short while.

How Much Does a Roof Rack Cost?

You can find roof racks in shops and online that go for as low as $189. These are new and often come with simple designs. However, if you’re looking for a roof rack with accessories and aerodynamic roof configuration, you will probably have to pay between $400 t0 $700.

On the other hand, if you’re after the cheaper ones, be prepared to pay about $100 to $150. Going below this price range can be a risky deal.

As mentioned earlier, don’t just settle for the cheapest. You also have to make sure that the roof rack is sturdy and can withstand any harsh conditions during your drive.

With that, most second-hand roof racks sold for meager prices often lack the necessary durability.

Nevertheless, if you choose a brand new roof rack, one crucial factor determining the rack's cost is the type you want.

Types of Roof Racks and Their Prices

Roof racks come in different types depending on the intended load and the type of car you have. Also, your potential expenses can be determined by the mounting type you already got on your car.

Nevertheless, here are the different roof rack types and their respective prices.

Naked/Bare Roof

The bare roof rack system on amazon is the simplest rack commonly found in sedans and other cars. It only requires three elements: the tower, fit kit or a fasten rack, and crossbars. In addition, some racks already include lock cores for anti-theft protection.

Moreover, when mounting a bare roof rack system, often, there are no determined attachment points. So, you will have to clip or insert the clamps into the door frame. It’s a no muss no fuss installation process.

A naked roof rack is best for light loads such as your luggage. Vehicles that lack a built-in mounting system benefit the most from a bare roof.

The average price for a naked or bare roof rack ranges from $200 to $800, depending on the brand.

Flush Rails

Most SUVs have flush rail systems on amazon running straight from the front to the back of the roof, leaving no space between the roof and the rack. However, it contains slots or grooves so you can attach the legs of the crossbar.

Flush rail roof racks are wider than the bare roof. Therefore, they are more suitable for larger cargo. It’s also fastened on the roof, which secures the load for a long time.

If you’re carrying heavy items such as a kayak, bicycle, surfboards, then the flush roof rail system is a good call.

You can buy the flush rail for about $500 to $900.

Raised Rails

The raised rails are what its name suggests, a roof rail system composed of two raised rails on each side of the car roof. Both rails are running parallel to the width of the vehicle.

Raised side rails are pretty common with lots of vehicles, especially SUVs and minivans. Therefore, you will commonly need leg kits and crossbars to set up the system.

Just like with flush rails, you can load larger items on your car roof if it has raised rails. You can bring your sports equipment, huge luggage, camping items, and many more.

The raised roof rails will cost you about $190 to $550.

Truck Canopy

The truck canopy roof rack system on amazon covers a large portion of the car roof as it is intended for lots of cargo or really large items. It runs from the rear bumper to just before the windshield without causing any obstruction.

This rack system is a high-capacity carrier that can almost fit a small house into it.

Nonetheless, you can opt for a canopy rack if you have bigger vehicles and if you're transporting massive objects such as deliverables, crates, appliances, kayak boards, motorcycles, etc.

Canopy roof racks cost about $400 t0 $1600.

Can I Install Roof Racks Myself?

Yes, you can choose to install rook racks on your own. Modern roof racks do not require any professional services, as you can simply clip or fasten them. This is even easier if your car already has an existing rail.

For example, in SUVs with flushed or raised side rails, you can simply fit the crossbars and fasten them by tightening the bolts and foot clamps.

On the other hand, you can simply attach the leg kits between the roof and the door frame if you have a bare roof without fixed points.

But if you’re aiming for something permanent for your sedan, it’s best t leave it up to the professionals. The only downside to this is you’ll naturally have to spend more money.

What to Consider Before Buying a Roof Rack

Getting your roof rack or any other accessories requires a bit of planning and strategy.

You can’t simply buy a roof rack based on what your heart tells you. It has to go through logical reasoning.

While you don’t necessarily have to learn all the technical knowledge there is about roof racks, you will certainly have to understand the practical implications of your choice.

So, here are some factors you should consider before buying a roof rack.

Fit

You need to make sure that the roof rack of your choice fits perfectly on the car. This means going for the rack that best suits the mounting system present on the car roof. For example, if your car has zero mounting points, buying a roof rack system designed for raised rails could be a disadvantage.

Load and Weight

While you can practically install any roof racks even on the smaller car, it wouldn’t make sense to go for larger racks if the car's weight capacity is low.

Likewise, if you have a midsize or large framed vehicle, consider the type of load you are planning to carry on the roof. Make sure the crossbars are sturdy enough to avoid any damage on the road.

Final Thoughts

If you have been driving and owning a vehicle for some time, you already know how beneficial a roof rack can be.

For one, it helps you accommodate extra items, especially for trips that involve leisure or business. Hence, securing your roof rack is definitely worth your money.

While the cheapest product in the market can ease up your expenses, it won’t necessarily guarantee long-term function and extended lifespan as a whole.

Therefore, make quality your priority all the time when it comes to car accessories like a roof rack.

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