The Complete Guide to Buying a Roof Rack on eBay

Like if this guide is helpful
The Complete Guide to Buying a Roof Rack on eBay

Not all cars have spacious boots for stowing bags for weekend getaways. Roof racks fix that problem by giving car owners the means to secure bicycles, kayaks, luggage, and other items onto the tops of their vehicles. Different roof racks match the shapes and sizes of various cars, and attachments like cargo carriers give the more adventurous car owner the option of bringing whole surfboards, canoes, ski equipment, and other gear along on the trip. Installing a roof rack is simple, depending on the type of roof rack that is purchased, and finding the right roof rack for one's car is even simpler.

eBay offers buyers a wide selection of specific roof racks from which buyers can choose to meet their needs. By learning some of the most important details about roof racks, shoppers can feel more confident as they browse the eBay site to find the perfect roof racks for holding all the essentials for their next big trip.

Different Types of Roof Racks

Vehicles can sport three different types of roof racks: factory-installed roof racks, removable roof racks, and strap roof racks. Each type of rack offers car owners different options, and the best choice depends on the need for the rack.

Factory-Installed Roof Racks

This type of roof rack is permanently attached to the top of the vehicle where the manufacturer placed it during production. Four towers are attached to the roof with various cross-bars running across the area marked by the towers. Factory-installed roof racks give car owners the option of running cords around the luggage or cargo to secure items onto the rack. For those who need something sturdier and more secure, various carrying systems called cargo carriers can be purchased to attach to the factory-installed roof rack. There are cargo carriers for specific purposes, such as holding bicycles, snowboards, ski equipment, kayaks, canoes, and surfboards.

Removable Racks

For people whose vehicles do not come with a pre-installed roof rack, a removable rack is attached to the car by using clips that attach to the top of the doors with straps for extra security. Removable racks offer all the same possibilities that a factory-installed roof rack offers, but these racks can be removed when desired.

Strap Roof Racks

The strap roof rack consists of two or more pads to protect the vehicle's paint from the cargo. Straps loop through the car doors and wrap around the roof to secure items to the top of the car. This option is most popular for transporting surfboards and snowboards, as it is a quick way to attach generally flat, long items to the car without much time, money, or effort involved.

Considerations When Shopping for a Roof Rack

When looking for the right roof rack that meets the needs of both the vehicle and the driver, several factors should be taken into consideration. Budget, size capacity, expected travelling conditions, and accessories are all important elements.

Roof Rack Price

Roof racks vary in price, depending on the quality of the design and the features that the roof rack has to offer. Factory-installed roof racks are sometimes hard to gauge on price, considering they are originally purchased with the car. Removable racks are reasonably affordable, and they provide the quality of a permanent roof rack with the convenience of being removable when needed. The most affordable option is the basic strap roof rack, but it is not an ideal solution for securing cargo like luggage or bicycles. Another way to reduce the price of any roof rack without sacrificing the quality or features is to purchase previously-owned, gently used roof racks on Bay. Whatever the budget, there is a roof rack that meets each car owner's preferences on eBay.

Roof Rack Size

For attachable roof racks, the size of the rack needs to work with the size of the vehicle's roof. When looking for the right rack for one's car, it is important to make sure the size of the rack and the size of the car roof match. Also, roof racks need to match the size of the items that are to be attached to the top of the car. For instance, a small roof rack may fit almost any vehicle, but it does not offer the space or stability to secure an adult bicycle to the top of the car.

Trip Conditions

When shopping for the right roof rack, the requirements of typical trips need to come into consideration. For instance, if a roof rack is needed for a surfboard for the weekends, then a permanently installed, enclosed rack is probably not necessary. However, if the family loves to go skiing in the mountains every week during the winter, then an enclosed, ski-specific cargo carrier and rack are must-have purchases. Also, the length of such trips should be considered. For instance, if one plans on going for a month-long road trip across Europe by car, a hard-shell roof rack and cargo carrier with a secure lock is beneficial for preserving luggage and peace of mind while on the road.


As mentioned before, accessories like cargo carriers are beneficial for keeping luggage secure and protected from the elements, such as snow or rain. There are other carriers that carry specific gear and equipment. For instance, snow bunnies may purchase carriers that are designed to hold skis and snowboards along with other accessories like snow gear and snowshoes. There are also carriers for kayaks, canoes, surfboards, and even bicycles. While simple bike racks on the boot may suffice, owning a bicycle carrier that attaches to the roof rack gives car owners a little more confidence when cruising down the road at 110 km/h.

Other Types of Car Racks

There are other types of car racks if a roof rack is not a possibility. For instance, certain trucks may not have the capability of installing a roof rack, or drivers may need a rack that can carry more cargo than a rack on their roof could handle. Luckily, these racks can also be found on eBay,, alongside roof racks.

Hitch Mount Rack

A hitch mount rack is a rack that is suspended behind the vehicle by a vertical metal pole that is attached to the hitch on the rear of the car. These racks are reliable and similar to roof racks, as items are simply attached to the metal frame like one would attach items to the frame of the roof rack. This type of rack extends the length of the vehicle in the rear and may need to be removed before having access to the boot of the car.

Spare Tyre Mount Rack

A spare tyre mount rack is similar to a hitch mount rack in that it sits behind the vehicle. However, rather than purchasing and installing a hitch to the rear of the car, the rack attaches to a mounting plate that sits behind the exterior spare tyre and peeps through the centre of the spare tyre for leverage. This type of rack is recommended for SUVs and other vehicles that have a required exterior spare tyre.

Boot Mount Rack

Boot mount racks are commonly seen in the form of a bike rack. This rack attaches to the boot of the vehicle using bent metal hooks that are secured in the creases of the boot door, and the straps are tightened.

Truck Bed Mount Rack

These racks are very similar to roof racks, but they are metal frames that are installed within the truck bed. The truck bed mount rack is designed to fasten items more securely when placed in the truck bed. This type of rack removes the risk of items falling out of the bed or being damaged while sliding around in the back. It also provides extra security when travelling with items in the back of the truck,. Enclosed cargo carriers can be attached securely to the rack, and this makes theft difficult, if not impossible.

Shopping for a Roof Rack on eBay

When looking for the right roof rack for one's vehicle, finding a specific listing that meets the size and shape of the car as well as the needs of the car owner is easy on eBay. Roof racks can be found using eBay's search engine or by visiting the eB<ay Motors site. First, eBay Motors gives shoppers the ability to focus their search results based on automotive characteristics, such as roof racks, cargo carriers, and other types of car racks if desired. Shoppers can also search for roof racks by entering keywords like 'strap roof rack&' into the search box.

Feedback is a valuable tool on eBay, and researching the reputation of sellers can help you decide on doing business with a particular seller. It is important to be able to trust the integrity of the seller, and reading feedback reviews can often tell you whether or not this is a good idea.


Whether the road is calling one's name towards the snowy mountains, the sunny beaches, or the bike trails not too far from home, there is a roof rack that meets the needs of every driver's adventurous side. There are several different types of roof racks, and the buyer's choice depends primarily on the specifications of the vehicle and the budget of the individual. Cargo carriers can be purchased separately to offer more protection and peace of mind when travelling with luggage or expensive equipment. Cargo carriers come in gear-specific forms to carry items like bicycles, snowboards, surfboards, or even canoes. Other types of car racks can also be found, should a roof rack not be sufficient for the vehicle or the needs of the individual.

All types of car racks can be found on the eBay site by using the search interface or navigating to the eBay Motors homepage, where motorists can find virtually anything they need related to automobiles. Thanks to the abundant selection found on eBay, the first step to embarking on an adventurous car trip just might start on the site.

Have something to share? Create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides