The answer is yes and no. They are relatively easy to remove. However, some can be a pain in the butt if you don’t know what you’re doing. Two types of bike racks are commonly used.

The process of taking a bike rack off a car is as follows:

  1. Open your trunk or hatchback and find the bar attached to the frame of the vehicle. It is usually at one end of your trunk/hatchback.
  2. Remove all bolts that are holding it on. Some cars have bolts that are easier to remove than others, but they should come off without much hassle.
  3. Once the bolts are taken care of, you need to line up your bike rack with the bar in your vehicle. If you put it on wrong/crooked, it’s going to be a pain when trying to take it off.
  4. Make sure it’s secure and not going to fall off when you drive. If possible, use a ratchet strap to hold the bike rack on securely. Then take your bikes out and start cycling!

If done correctly, removing a bike rack from a car should be relatively painless for those with experience; however, if done improperly, it can be a nightmare to draw the wrong rack.

What bike racks are easiest to remove?

The easiest bike racks for taking off are roof-mounted. There are only two bolts to undo, and the rack comes right off without any real effort.

As long as you know what you’re doing, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to take your bike rack off your car. Just make sure that when buying a new one that you know how to put it on, so you don’t have to take the old one-off.

The process is always easier than explained in instructions, but it should be pretty easy to do with instructions if installed properly. Most of the time, people just install them wrong or don’t know what they’re doing.

Different types of racks are the easiest to take off.

  • Roof racks are the easiest to take off of your car. It has two bolts that you undo, and then, voila! No more rack on your roof.
  • Hitch mounted racks are also very easy to get off. You remove the straps or pins holding it on, then lift up on the arms, holding it onto the frame of your car. It falls off very easily.
  • Trunk racks/hatchback racks are usually harder to take off because more bolts are holding it on most times, and you need to make sure it is screwed in tightly. There may also be an extra bar that goes across your trunk or hatchback, which can be a pain to get off.

If you’re not confident in removing your bike rack and reinstalling it yourself, then I recommend giving a professional installer a call to see what they can do for you. If your rack is just too difficult to take off, they might be able to remove the old one and replace it with a new one for you.

Yes, most racks are easy to take off, but if not done correctly can be a nightmare to remove a roof rack. This is because it requires trial and error with the measurements in order for it to fit properly on the car. Most times, they just put them on crooked or don’t know how to install them so that it is the easiest to take off.

How long does it take to take a bike rack off a car?

It takes 15 minutes if the person taking it off has to experience and knows what they are doing. If not, it could take up to an hour, depending on how difficult it is to get off. They have to undo the bolts that hold it in place and then put them back on when finished with a ratchet strap holding everything together tightly. However, it takes anything between 10 minutes to an hour if the person doesn’t have experience.

If done properly, removing a bike rack from a car should take less than 5 minutes. Just undo the bolts holding it on, and you are good to go! If not done correctly or without experience, then be prepared for it to take longer than usual. 15-30 minutes is a good estimate for this.


It is not that hard to take bike racks off your car. If done correctly, it should be no big deal and take less than 5 minutes. It takes longer if not done right or with knowledge of how to do it. It takes anywhere between 10-30 minutes, depending on the type of rack you are taking off. Roof racks are the easiest to take off. Hitch mounted racks are a bit difficult but still easy. Trunk racks/hatchback racks are the most difficult to take off as they require more work with tightening and loosening bolts to make them fit snug onto the car. If you’re not confident in taking your bike rack on and off, I recommend hiring a professional installer to do it for you. It takes them around 5 minutes or less unless they aren’t experienced and don’t know what they’re doing.