Do All New Cars Have Hitches Today? (We Checked)

Are you wondering whether all cars come with a hitch pre-installed from the factory?

Not all cars come with an already installed hitch, especially compact cars. However, they can easily be installed even in the smallest cars.

If you’re looking for an informative guide on why there’s a hitch or not on your car, read this article.

Here’s the short answer to whether all cars have a hitch:

Most cars, especially pickups and SUVs, come with factory-fitted hitches, as people use such vehicles for towing extensively. Compact and mini cars may lack hitches as standard equipment, but they are cheap and easy to install if you need one.

Do All Pickup Cars Come With a Hitch?

The vast majority of pickup trucks come with a pre-installed hitch. Hitches are essential equipment for pickups because many people buy these vehicles for their towing abilities. And you can’t tow without a hitch.

Can All Cars Be Delivered With a Hitch?

Most compact cars do not come with a hitch. According to the National Safety Commission, only about 40% of vehicles are equipped with it.

Apparently, all cars won’t be delivered with a towing hitch because the manufacturer might not consider the vehicle suitable for towing.

How Do I Know If My Car Has a Hitch?

A tow hitch is a strong metal device attached to the chassis of a vehicle. All you have to do is check the presence of the equipment at the back end of your vehicle.

If your car cannot tow you can also look into using a rental truck for towing.

Can You Put a Hitch On a Small Vehicle?

Most compact cars can allow the installation of a new hitch. Generally, the towing capacity of smaller cars ranges from 1000 to 1500 pounds.

It has, however, been researched that some certain cars like the KIA Soul and Subaru Impreza have higher towing capacities (2000 pounds).

Can You Tow Without a Hitch?

It is possible to tow without a hitch, but it is not generally recommended. Towing without a hitch is considered risky because the towed vehicle is not self-supported. 

It could cause problems for the driver and other road users.

Do Rental Cars Have a Hitch?

Most companies do not allow their rental cars to have hitches for liability reasons. Thus, you are fully responsible for any damage if you tow with it.

On the other hand, some rental companies that provide hitching services only do it when the trailer is from their company. Some may also provide such services only with specific trucks.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Hitch on a Car?

The cost varies according to the car model, and the hitch desired. They’re relatively cheap, depending on the hitch required.

For instance, the general ball hitch cost about $150-$450.

However, for all types, it ranges from about $100- $800, excluding labor and other necessary parts.

Can You Install a Hitch Yourself?

It is very possible to install a tow hitch yourself. So long as you have the necessary tools and knowledge to go about it.

If you don’t know what hitch to buy and the proper installation steps, we advise you to seek the opinion of an expert knowledgeable about your vehicle model.

Is Trailer Hitch a Standard On All New Cars Today?

SUVs and pickup cars are more likely to come with the trailer hitch because of the weight and capacity they carry.

Compact or smaller cars do not come with a pre-installed trailer hitch, because they are generally believed not to carry out heavy duties.

Is It Illegal to Drive With a Hitch?

It’s perfectly legal to drive with a hitch, so long as it causes no interference with your driving and other road users.

Furthermore, you are also free to drive with two or more hitches. However, it is important to make sure your license plate is visible on your vehicle because the hitch may cover them.

Are Car Hitches Generally Safe?

Apparently, a tow hitch has its fair share of benefits. However, there’s a major downside to it.

The vast majority of people do not think about their hitch while driving, thus appropriate care is not taken.

It has been researched that about 20% of people, especially women and children, suffer from whiplash (a severe injury on the neck) when there’s a collision at the rear end. 

Since back collisions are often the most common type of accident, having a tow hitch at your back can be considered dangerous.

Why Should You Have a Hitch?

There are several advantages to having a hitch, regardless of the car you have as they offer immense benefits. These upsides include:

Storage Capacity

Having a hitch attached definitely creates more space, as you can add a trailer at the rear end to accommodate and carry other loads.

Nonetheless, it is very crucial to check out your car’s towing capacity to avoid excess weight that can damage it. It is best to check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s towing rating.

Bike Racks

Another upside to having a hitch installed is that you can attach 1-5 bikes at a time. This makes traveling more comfortable because you do not have to worry about where such a load can fit into.

Fortunately, these bike racks come with most hitches. How convenient!

Trailer Towing

This is one major purpose of having a hitch. You can transport heavy equipment like furniture etc with an attached trailer at the back. This is a great way to optimize space in your vehicle.

Super Bumper

This is an attachment that comes with a tow hitch. It serves the purpose of guarding against back collisions as it creates a protective barrier between your vehicle and other road users.

You can use it to fight off reckless road users and ultimately protect yourself from accidents, especially whiplash.

Outdoor Functions

Asides from the relative uses of a trailer hitch, it also works well for outdoor functions. It could work with biking, canoeing, and even carrying a damaged car for repair. A tow hitch makes driving both long and short distances convenient.

Related: Are All-Terrain Tires Good For Towing? (Explained)

What Are the Different Classes of Hitches?

Generally, there are 5 major classes of hitches and the weight they carry:

Class 1

This class majorly works with compact and small cars. Their towing capacity ranges from about 1000-2000 pounds. They are suitable for carrying bikes, small boats, or canoes.

Class 2

This is similar to class 1, as they have the same 1¼ and 2 receivers. However, they can carry more weight that ranges from about 3000-3500 pounds. They are perfect for towing boats, jet skis, bike racks, etc.

Class 3

This class is majorly found on bigger vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks. Their towing capacity reaches up to 5000 pounds.

Luckily, the type of hitches that come with these vehicles also help to spread the weight to avoid excess burden on one part of the axle.

Hence, it is important to research the type of hitch desired, especially if you plan on carrying much heavier loads. This class is perfect for towing cargos, boats, and bike racks.

Class 4

This class is generally not meant for small automobiles. They are used on heavy-duty trucks because the hitch weighs around 1000- 2000 pounds and their maximum towing capacity is about 12,000 pounds. 

Weight distribution is very important for this kind of load. They are suitable for towing trailers and heavy boats.

Class 5

This class is majorly used for commercial purposes. They carry extra heavyweights as their towing capacity ranges between 18,000-20,000 pounds. They are perfect for carrying large containers and trailers.

Related: Are All-Terrain Tires Good For Towing? (Explained)

How Do You Install a Hitch On Your Car?

Installing a tow hitch is a relatively easy job. If you have the right tools and knowledge, you’re good to go. Below are some tips on how to install a car hitch:

Read the Instructions and Gather Your Tools

The first step to installing a tow hitch successfully is to carefully read the instructions written on the hitch manual. Afterward, gather up your necessary tools to work.

Jack Up Your Wheels

Jacking up your wheels is equally important during installation because it creates the proper space beneath the car to work. It also stabilizes the vehicle so that it doesn’t move during this process.

Remove Spare Tire, If Present

The next stage after jacking your wheels is to remove the spare tire beneath, as it can be a hindrance for you. You might also need to lower your exhaust during this process.

Remove All Necessary Fasteners

Certain nuts and bolts will have to be removed as well to allow the hitch frame to be mounted and put in place.

However, this method varies depending on the car model. Some require panel beating, some drilling, and some come with already installed hardware.

Place the Hitch in Its Position

At this stage, you might need help as some hitches are super heavy.

With the frame already prepared, carefully place the hitch in its position. Tighten the bolts afterward, so they don’t fall off.

Torque the Bolts

The last stage is to torque these bolts into their specific value. This value is written in the installation instruction. The amount of torque depends on the size of the bolts. Some require 100-foot pounds, others 150.

Related: Can Jeeps Be Flat Towed? Here’s The Data (With Examples)

What Do I Need To Know Before Installing A Hitch?

Here are important details to know before installing a hitch on your vehicle:

  • Your vehicle’s towing capacity
  • The weight of the load
  • The weight of the desired hitch

Is the Trailer Hitch Permanent?

Most times, a pre-installed trailer hitch is considered permanent and cannot easily be removed. On the brighter side, it also increases the utility value of vehicles.

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