For most people, having a tow bar is for prational reasons. These can be things like carrying waste to the recycling centre using a trailer, being able to mount a bicycle carrier while others enjoy spending the summer vacation with a caravan hitched to the car.
Even though the tow bar serves many purposes and is convenient to have on your car, only very few cars leave the factory with a an already bar tow bar. The tow bar is something that needs to be retrofitted.
On Autobutler we have researched how much it costs to mount a tow bar on a Kia. The price is calculated as an average.
Average price for a Kia: £337
The calculation does not take into account the car model or type of tow bar.
Installing a tow bar - and what you should know in advance
Before finding a garage to perform the mounting fo a tow bar, here are some tips on what you should be aware of when you want to retrofit a tow bar on your KIA.
Do I need to get a new driving license? - No, you don’t have to. All car owners may drive with a trailer or caravan on a standard driving license (category B).
As a general rule, trailer incl. cargo weighing under 750 kg, while your KIA and trailer may not exceed a total weight of more than 3,500 kg.
There may be special rules for smaller cars (see below), so if you are in doubt as to how much weight you may drive with, inquire at your local garage or search more information on the police’s website.
Tow bar for smaller cars
If you drive a mini or city car, such as the KIA Rio or KIA Picanto, there may be special rules on towing a trailer. Some small cars are not allowed to have tow bars mounted on them.
A number of brands have, however, received dispensation, but you should be aware that if the car manufacturer does not initially recommend a tow bar to be mounted on the car, there may be some risk associated with doing so.
Finally, you may get in trouble with the factory warranty if you drive with an overload and damage the engine.
In any case, mini and micro cars can not handle much weight, so it is limited what it is able to pull.
Therefore, we recommend to give it an extra thought before booking time at the garage. If you only need to use the tow bar for a bike rack, there are various bike racks that can be mounted on the back of a car without the need of a tow bar.
Tow bar - More models to choose from
Basically, there are several different types of tow bars to choose from. The first thing you need to ensure is that the tow bar the garage recommends is approved for using in the United Kingdom. If you install the tow bar on your own, then buy it through an authorised dealer.
The tow bar is available as a fixed or detachable, and both are approved by the authorities. The detachable tow bar may seem, as the most attractive solution. Your KIA gets for a nicer rear when the hook is not inserted and sticks out the whole time. Nevertheless, most car owners opt for a fixed towbar. The explanation is that the fixed towbar is cheaper to buy, and while the detachable towbar can rust and get stuck, you avoid such problems with a towbar that is fixed.
When the trailer has its own braking system
If your trailer has a total weight of more than 750 kg. it must have its own braking system, so the trailer brakes automatically when the car slows down.
If the trailer or caravan has its own braking system (overrun brake), it is important that it works properly. Get your local garage to check that the braking system works as it should. If the brakes are defective, this can end up costing a fine and at worst result in a serious accidents.
A tow bar requires a re-registration of the car
You may mount the towbar on the car yourself, so long as you remember that the car subsequently go for inspection.
If you want to avoid the hassle of both of mounting it yourself and the inspection, then have a garage mount the tow bar on your KIA.
Whether you are a do-it-yourself type or not, the car has to be re-registered. The garage can handle this for you. Also, your vehicle must only visit a vehicle inspection facility, if it is 8 years or older.
If the car is newer than 8 years from the first date of registration, and the tow bar is retrofitted by an approved garage, you get a so-called “Declaration of trailer coupling not subject to approval”, which the garage has signed and stamped.
Driving correctly with a tow bar
When you connect the trailer to the car, remember to secure the safety cable. The small wire device must be attached to the eye of the tow bar, so that the trailer does not break away if it were to fall off the ball mount while driving.
Finally, it is your responsibility to check that the number plate lights, turn signals and brake lights work as they should, every time before driving.