We regularly receive calls from customers requesting tow bar fitting quotes who have little idea of what’s involved in tow bar fitting or what they should be looking for when booking a tow bar fitting company, so here’s a quick guide on choosing a tow bar fitter.

The first thing you need to ask when requesting a quote is ‘Are you insured?’ Cars and vans are very expensive, the last thing you want is accidental damage or damage caused by an inexperienced tow bar fitter. Make sure they are insured for public and professional liability, many are not.

Are they experienced in tow bar fitting? Check they have plenty of experience and check for reviews on Google. Fitting a tow bar is not simple, in most cases, the rear bumper has to be removed, rear light clusters may need removing, exhausts may need to be released, fuel or ad-blue tanks may need moving. The interior panels may need to be removed to access the wiring, comprehensive knowledge of vehicle wiring and electronics is needed to fit the wiring.

What guarantee do they give you? We’ve found that many tow bar fitters give between zero and six months guarantee. This shows how confident they are at your tow bar and electronics being reliable. Go for a company that gives you a solid and reliable guarantee. Good quality tow bars and electrics should last years without any problems.

Do they supply you with written documentation? You should get a VAT receipt, a fitting certificate and a written guarantee, if not then ask yourself why?

What types of payment do they take? If they only take cash then walk away. The only reason a business takes cash only is that they are not traceable. No trace of the transaction and no guarantee. It may seem cheap but when you’re having to take your car to the dealership to be fixed it won’t be.

What brand of tow bar and electrics are they fitting? A professional tow bar fitter will normally only fit high-brand products. they aren’t cheap, but then what price do you put on safety? Ask what brands they will use for the tow bar and electrics and check out the brand’s reviews on the internet, is it a good reliable brand?

What type of electrics will they fit? Most vehicles now require vehicle-specific dedicated wiring, this type of wiring is a lot harder to fit than the old ‘scotch-lock to the back lights’ method. The vehicle-specific dedicated wiring is a lot more expensive, it is a wiring loom that has been specifically designed for your car, whereas the alternative is just a bunch of wires that are connected to your rear lights. The main difference is probably one of safety and reliability. a cheap Scotch-lock wiring kit will be unreliable and if it fails then the chance of damage to your vehicle’s electronics is high. If the tow bar fitter can only offer bypass or universal electrics then you need to seriously think if they are up to the job.

The biggest difference and the biggest telltale sign of which tow bar fitter has the experience and skill to professionally fit your tow bar is down to price. If your tow bar fitting quote is really cheap, then that’s exactly what you will get, a really cheap tow bar fitting. If you want a professional tow bar fitter doing the job then it will cost more, but at least you will have a reliable and safe tow bar that has been fitted to the legal requirements.

Our advice is to get a few quotes, ask questions and make sure what you are getting fitted is safe, reliable and legal.

Happy towing… Team Ultimate.