Why do tow bars cost so much?

Every day we get calls requesting a tow bar fitting prices and every day we get people who are shocked at how much a tow bar costs to get fitted.

So, why do tow bars cost so much and what’s the alternative?

To start with, the actual tow bar costs anything from a couple of hundred pounds and upwards. This depends on the brand of the tow bar, the style of the tow bar, and the vehicle it’s being fitted to. Remember, tow bars are specifically designed and engineered for your particular vehicle, it isn’t a mass-produced generic part that fits multiple vehicles.

The cost of steel production has gone up significantly during the past two years, this has seen a considerable rise in the price of tow bar parts.

The tow bar electrics can cost nearly the same as the towbar. If your vehicle is manufactured after 2015 and older in some cases. then the electrics need to be specific to your vehicle and approved for use with that vehicle. (Fitting unapproved electrics can damage your vehicle’s wiring system. ) The approved wiring comes as a wiring loom that attaches to the vehicle’s CanBus wiring, having its own control module and fuses. Vehicle wiring looms have been affected by the shortage of microchips. The war in Ukraine decreased their availability and increased prices.

Once you have the costs of the tow bar and wiring you then need to account for the cost of tow bar fitting…

Before we can even start to look at adding several hours of labour to the cost we need to understand the unseen costs. For a small tow bar fitting company like ourselves, Ultimate Towbar Systems, the running costs of the business run into thousands of pounds every month. Office expenses, insurance, tools, vehicles, fuel, and wages, along with all the other expenses such as accountancy services, corporation tax, and VAT. All need to be accounted for when working out the cost of supplying and fitting a tow bar.

Once we do a bit of mathematics to work out the average costs of running the business. the price of the tow bar, the electrics, and any consumable parts we can then work out the price to supply and fit a tow bar.

Currently the tow bar supply and fitting market is seeing very competitive pricing. With the global scarcity of microchips and vehicle wiring affecting new vehicle sales, the amount of people wanting new tow bars has decreased. Which is good news for those looking to purchase a tow bar.

The current market price for a fixed tow bar with vehicle-specific dedicated wiring and mobile fitting starts at around £500 plus VAT. (depending on the vehicle and if tow bar coding is required.)

Remember, you are paying for a professional service that fits parts that won’t let you down.

What’s the alternative?

The alternative is to go down the route of getting the cheapest tow bar fitter to supply and fit your tow bar. This will normally be someone who isn’t registered as a business and has very little knowledge of how to fit a tow bar safely and legally. They won’t be registered for VAT and won’t be fitting approved for purpose tow bars and wiring. There will probably be no guarantee and your only contact information will be a mobile number scribbled on a piece of paper or a cheap business card. I

When it comes to tow bars, reliability, and safety should be the first priority.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Get your tow bar fitted by an industry-approved tow bar fitting company or choose the guy who can fit the cheapest tow bar, who isn’t insured, has little knowledge, and disappears never to be seen again, once they have taken your money.

Don’t be the person who has to phone us up because their caravan lights don’t work after plugging in the new tow bar electrics, or their new tow bar is making knocking noises while towing. We get the calls almost every week and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to help. Damage to the vehicle may have already been done, this stops us from carrying out any rectification work. The only option for the caller is to get back to the tow bar fitter to sort out the problems.

As you can see, there are a couple of options when getting the price of a tow bar. An approved company that employs highly skilled and experienced fitters, that guarantees the tow bar, wiring, and fitting. Or the cheapest option, lacking in skills, experience, and knowledge, who can fit you the cheapest tow bar, no guarantee, and no post-fitting support or contact.

Our advice is…

  1. Check out the tow bar fitting company’s reviews
  2. Check they are insured to fit tow bars (many are not)
  3. Check they guarantee their work
  4. Check they are using approved tow bars and wiring looms
  5. Make sure the price includes all parts and VAT

We are here to help and give advice, so if you’re unsure about what type of tow bar you need or if you need dedicated tow bar wiring then give us a call. We don’t bite and are more than happy to help you.

Contact us by emailing info@ultimatetowbars.co.uk or calling us on 0114 360 7080.

Your friendly neighborhood tow bar fitting company.

Team Ultimate