How to Buy Universal Roof Racks

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Universal Roof Rack Buying Guide

Universal roof racks are convenient for loading, storing, and transporting items needed for travel, play, and work. eBay carries a wide selection of universal roof racks in the Car and Truck Parts section of the website as well as the fittings, mounts and hardware that may be needed to install a the roof rack.
Roof racks are sets of bars secured to the roof of a car. While many vehicles come with a set of factory-installed side rails, many do not, which is why universal roof racks are often so useful. Roof racks allow the user to carry large objects, secure items, and attach accessories to the roof of a vehicle without causing harm. Unlike model-specific roof racks, such as Toyota roof racks, which will only fit the make and model they were intended for, universal roof racks are adjustable and will fit a wide variety of different vehicles. There are many different types of universal roof racks available and, in order to purchase the proper one, the buyer should consider whether there are factory-installed side rails on their vehicle, in addition to their own personal preferences and plans.

Types of Universal Roof Racks

While all universal roof racks are meant to adjust in order to fit the width of many different vehicles, they vary in terms of size, installation technique, and dependence upon pre-existing side rails. Although the several different types of universal roof racks may seem exactly the same, it is important to note how they vary in terms of strength and installation.

Door-Mounting Racks

Door-mounting roof racks are for vehicles that do not have a set of factory side rails and will fit vehicles with hard-to-fit roofs (such as the sloped roof on a VW Beetle. Universal door-mounting racks will telescope in and out to accommodate the roof width of many different vehicles. Door-mounting racks install with the use of straps and rubber-coated clips that attach either to the door jamb or to the inside roof of the car. These racks are convenient and easy to use without damaging the roof of the vehicle, but they are unable to carry as much weight as other roof racks and are thus better for buyers who only intend to use the roof racks to transport light items.

Screw-Down Racks

Screw-down racks are designed for vehicles that come with factory-installed side rails. These roof racks are crossbars which sit on top of the side rails and secure to them with a screw-down key clamp that is easy to tighten and adjust. Universal screw-down racks are convenient, easy to install, and capable of securing a good deal of weight without moving or becoming loose.

Locking Racks

Like screw-down universal roof racks, locking racks are designed for vehicles with pre-installed factory side rails. Locking racks are secured using large, easy-to-turn knobs that secure to the side rails and are capable of safely carrying roughly 70 kg of weight, which makes them ideal for buyers who are interested in transporting heavy items or attaching roof rack accessories, such as cargo boxes or luggage rack trays.


How to Buy a Universal Roof Rack on eBay

Customers have many purchasing options when buying a universal roof rack system on eBay. From the eBay main page, locate the ‘Vehicle Parts and Accessories’ page. From there, click on Car and ‘Truck Parts’ and locate ‘Exterior’ from the menu on the left-hand side and choose ‘Racks’ from the pop-out menu. From there, the buyer can scroll through the menu and choose a type of rack that works with the factory settings of their vehicle. Many sellers offer next-day dispatch of their goods while others offer free postage. Although some sellers offer purchase insurance on their goods, others do not and concerned buyers can secure the benefits of PayPal Buyer Protection when the purchase transaction is completed through eBay. PayPal Buyer Protection reimburses the buyer the full purchase price and postage cost of items that were misrepresented at the time of purchase or those that arrive broken or damaged.



Roof racks are a nice addition to a vehicle for buyers who often find themselves without enough space - such as travellers or avid sports enthusiasts. Regardless of whether a vehicle has factory-installed side rails, it is possible to find universal roof racks that will fit and are easy to install in addition to being adjustable. Since there are many different types of universal roof racks, it is important for the buyer to consider what the roof rack will be used for. If the buyer is only looking to use the roof rack to carry light items, a door-mounting rack system will be suitable. If the buyer is interested in using the roof rack for carrying heavy things like bikes or adding an accessory like a cargo box or luggage rack, screw-down or locking roof racks will be stronger and safer to use.

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