Are you put off buying a car with a tow bar

Posted on May 20th, 2015 by Rob Marshall

towbarWhen looking to buy a car, clues about the vehicle’s past life will influence your purchasing decision. While scratches, dents and poor paint work are obvious signs of abuse, tow bars attract a mixed blessing. Should you need to pull anything, then buying a vehicle thus equipped makes sense. However, many people consider that a tow bar’s presence translates into extra wear on the engine, transmission and even rear suspension.

However, the real risk is buying a car that has had its tow bar removed. On many models, fitting the equipment dictates that the rear bumper’s crash beam, which is a large metal pole, or metal section, that is bolted to the vehicle’s crumple zones on each corner, is removed and replaced by the safety-approved kit of parts that are supplied with the tow bar.

However, as the presence of a tow bar carries negative connotations, many vendors choose to remove them but tend not to replace the crash beam. Therefore, in the subsequent event of a rear-end collision, the impact absorbing properties of the bodyshell will not work as designed.

You need to look for any evidence of a tow bar being fitted in the car’s past, especially if you are looking to buy an SUV, or estate model. Cut-outs in the bumper are obvious clues and the vendor should be questioned carefully, if it is revealed that the car had been fitted with a tow bar.

Phil Tyson, from Lincoln Tow Bar and Mobility centre confirmed our findings and highlighted that,

“This is a common occurrence and buyers must always ask the seller if a tow bar has been removed properly. In some cases, you can check, by looking behind the bumper, to see if the crash bar has been refitted. If plastic covers are fitted, ask the seller to confirm in writing that the crash bar has been reinstated.”