Car Roof Rack: The Complete Guide

A car rack gives you lots of additional storage space for long drives, but you need to choose the right type, pack it well, and minimize safety risks.

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Car Roof Rack: The Complete Guide

When that long road trip is upon you, the last thing you want to do is try to stuff eight pieces of luggage for your family of four into your car, but you know it is going to happen. When it comes time to finding a way to make better use of your cargo area, consider the value of adding a car roof rack. This is an addition to the car that creates a safe and secure way to store a wide range of objects on the roof. Here’s how to choose the right one for safety.

Should You Add a Roof Rack to Your Car?

What is the value of adding a roof rack to a car? A roof rack, in all of its forms, is designed to provide you with a way to store additional items on the rooftop of the vehicle without any risk of those items falling. As long as you secure it properly and do not overfill it, these luggage racks can be vital to those long trips.


The key to them is choosing those that fit the make and model of your car and securing them properly. It is important to choose those designed for what you wish to carry in them. For example, some are hard-sided and designed to work well with luggage pieces. Others are designed to hold bikes or boats. You also want to make sure to buy a quality product that attaches properly to the roof. A simple strap is not always enough to ensure safety. Consider those that bolt to the car in a secure manner.

How a Car Rack Can Be the Best Option to Avoid Limited Vision

One of the key benefits of buying a car rack can be the added storage on top of your vehicle. If you are not sure if you need one, consider the amount of storage you have right now. The typical minivan or SUV has a small area in the back for a few pieces of luggage. This is rarely enough for all needs. Instead, many people need to consider additional options. If you cannot see past the people in the car and the luggage or cargo you are hauling out of the back window, it is time to consider the use of a car rack like this. It can improve your vision and help keep everyone safe.

Choosing the Right Rooftop Cargo Carrier

As noted, there are a number of options on the market to choose from in rooftop cargo carriers. If you are planning to add one, consider your most common use first. If this is for a truck or larger vehicle or for commercial use, consider purchasing a permanent fixture. These will offer the most security when it comes to wear and tear. They also are less likely to allow items to fall out.


For passenger vehicles, consider smaller options that fit the size of the rooftop. If your car is small, you may not be able to choose a larger system without creating a risk for it to tumble off. For SUVs and larger vehicles, there are more options. Be sure to buy what fits your car and the way you plan to use it in terms of carrying canoes, kayaks, bikes, or other items.

How to Safely Pack a Luggage Rack on a Car

It’s important to pack your luggage rack on your car properly. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations here. You never want it to be too heavy or lopsided. This can increase the risk of the system falling off your car when you are on a high-speed road. You also want to ensure you are securing any type of item to the racks properly to minimize damage to the car.

If Something Falls from your Luggage Rack, Will Auto Insurance Cover the Damage?

Even if you do follow all of the rules, there may be an occasion when something does not go right. You may notice something fall out of your car as you are driving. That item may even strike another car. When this happens, it can create a very dangerous situation.


If it occurs and you damage another person’s car with your belongings, your auto insurance’s liability insurance is likely to provide you with the financial coverage necessary. However, most policies will not cover damage to your own belongings. Be sure to tell your agent about this added feature on your car, too.


When it comes to using a car roof rack, they can be an excellent way for you to get ample storage. However, it is critical that you use them properly to minimize any type of damage to the car, to other people, or even to your belongings while on the road.