Accessorising your car - Running a Car
Fitting accessories to the outside of your car – such as bike racks, roof racks, roof boxes and tow bars – can end in tears if you don’t do it properly. So what do you need to watch out for?
• Always fit accessories by following the instructions to the letter. Incorrectly fitted attachments are unsafe, and a hazard to you, your car and property, and other drivers. Bikes falling off a rack on the motorway, for example, may cause a serious accident.
• If you’re unsure about fitting, ask a mechanic or your local dealer.
• Be careful when attaching and loading accessories – it’s easy to damage paintwork.
• Never exceed the carrying capacity of attachments – check the instructions if you don’t know what this is.
• Ensure that rear-mounted bike carriers don’t obscure the number plate or lights when loaded. If they do, you will need a supplementary light board to stay legal.
• Check that the attachment’s fastenings are secure before, during and after every journey.
• Drive with extra care and attention.
• If you’re carrying anything on the roof, it’s worth putting some kind of note on the dash to remind you to avoid multi-story car parks and the like.
• Remember that exterior attachments cause drag, can affect the car’s handling, and significantly reduce fuel economy. Always remove them when not needed.