It’s currently seven degrees and raining outside our Sheffield office window. Not exactly the warm sunny spring weather we would like it to be. However, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that soon, very soon, the clouds will part and we will all be heading outside for some much-needed vitamin D and some warm sunshine.

I realise that the cold weather isn’t putting everyone in the holiday mood but it soon will be and you might then need to get a tow bar fitted.

The thing is. many tow bar companies are booking up their calendars with fitting appointments and, from what I have heard, some are already booking appointments into June!

At Ultimate Towbars we try our best to only book appointments up to two weeks in advance.  This helps customers, they are not waiting weeks and weeks to get their tow bar fitted, plus it helps us as we don’t need to carry high levels of stock.  We don’t take risks with ordering parts just before they are needed.  When a customer books in with us we order the parts right then.

One change we have seen over the past week is the introduction of upfront payment for fittings.  This will have benefits for both customers and our fitting technicians.

We found that paying a deposit and the rest after the fitting isn’t ideal.  On many occasions the card machines used by the technicians fail to connect to the internet, resulting in payment having to be done over the phone.   Some people have had issues using the card machine or failing to remember their PIN. Also, paying everything upfront gives our fitters more time to explain how the tow bar and electrics work and answer any questions that you, the customer may have.

While on the subject of tow bar questions…  We had a call from a customer regarding 8-pin towing plugs.

Eight-pin plugs are designed to give full light function, without the power required for towing a caravan.

The 8-pin plug fits into a 13-pin towing electric socket and operates all lights, including reverse.

If you only have a 7-pin socket on your vehicle then you require a 7-pin to 13-pin adapter to use the 8-pin plug. (You will not get the reverse light function because the 7-pin wiring does not include a reverse light feed.)

If you do have a cycle-carrier or trailer that has an 8-pin plug then make sure you get the 13-pin tow bar wiring fitted.

Before signing off we must mention the dreaded car dealerships.

Yet again we have had customers who have been to dealers and been incorrectly informed about their vehicles, you really would think that main dealerships would have sales personnel who knew the vehicles they were selling.

A new Audi A3 Hybrid local dealership told the customer they couldn’t fit a tow bar as no one makes a tow bar to fit it. Wrong!  We fitted the customer’s car with an approved tow bar and dedicated approved wiring, plus coded the vehicle.  One very happy customer who can now enjoy the summer towing their caravan.

Again, incorrect information was given to the customer.  Even a car with zero tow weight can have a bike rack.   A weight on the rear of the vehicle is not classified as a towing weight as the vehicle is not pulling the weight.

If you have a tow bar question then you’re best talking to tow bar experts and not the sales guy at your local car dealership.


  • If you’re planning on having a tow bar fitted then book your appointment in plenty of time.
  • Payments are now taken in advance (simpler and better for all customers)
  • 8 pin plugs fit 13 pin sockets.
  • If you need tow bar information then ask us, not your car dealership.