Understanding Why Roof Racks are so Expensive

It is difficult to understand why roof racks are so expensive. They seem like such a simple thing, and many of them are just two pieces of metal welded together.

So why are they so costly?

The answer is that they are not just two pieces of metal welded together, and the key difference between the relatively inexpensive roof racks and the top-of-the-line roof racks can be seen in their function.

And what makes them so much expensive is the engineering of the roof rack with so many features and capabilities.

Why Roof Racks are Expensive

The simplest roof racks have a specific function: they are used to carry things from one place to another.

In essence, they are a simple frame with a platform on which you can load and unload your cargo.

The platform may be made of metal, aluminum, or other materials, but it is generally flat and holds many objects at once.

On the other hand, Top-of-the-line roof racks are far more complicated, offering much more versatility.

They are Aerodynamic, made of high-quality materials, and give you more functionality to work with.

What Makes Roof Racks Expensive?

Roof racks aren’t just some metal bars sitting on top of your car as you might think.

Roof racks are designed to be Aerodynamic for reducing drag and to support a large amount of weight on top of your car while looking appealing.

Let’s discuss the features of roof racks that make them expensive-


One of the most important attributes a roof rack needs to have is the aerodynamic look. Normally when the wind goes past the roof rack it makes noise.

And that’s where the aerodynamic crossbar comes in. They make the wind get past them evenly between both sides.

Aerodynamically designed roof racks also help your gas mileage by reducing the drag, therefore saving more gas.

And it also reduces the overall weight of your load because the wind pressure pushes down the rack and magnifies its weight at high driving speeds.

High-quality material

Most manufacturers make roof racks from high-quality materials like lightweight aluminum to make them more durable and aesthetic.

Even with an amazing design, a roof rack will not be strong enough without high-quality construction.

This also adds up to the expenses of making a roof rack.

Weight Distribution

Distributing the weight of the load evenly is also one of the important works a roof rack does.

When the rack is loaded and you are driving at a high speed, it puts pressure on the contact points of the roof rack.

As it has only four contact points, it needs to evenly balance the load weight, or else it will damage your roof rack or your car.

How much does a roof rack cost?

The cost of a roof rack varies depending on the construction, quality, features, etc. There is a wide range of prices available.

Most of the Crossbars cost between $40 to $240 while the roof racks may cost between $50 to $500, with some costing even more.

As the rack costs are different for each product, it is wise to find out about your needs before you buy.

A lot of factors come into play when considering the price of the roof rack. Just focus on what features you need.

Are Roof Racks Worth It?

Roof racks are worth the money because it is an investment that can help you load your car with heavy loads.

They also provide safety and convenience, which is another reason they are worthy of investing in.

You may want to make your own roof rack or carry the load on your car with some tie-downs, but they are not as secure as a roof rack. So, roof racks are definitely worth it.

Are Expensive Roof Racks Worth the Price?

Price typically correlates with quality for new products, and roof racks are no exception. Purchasing expensive roof racks can save you money in the long run and ultimately be worth it.

Do expensive roof racks make sense to you financially? What features do I need? If I buy a roof rack for a certain feature with the expense, will it be worth it? What alternatives do I have?

You need to ask yourself these questions before buying. Typically, expensive roof racks tend to have more useful features and reliability. So, if you need to use the rack regularly, you should go for it.

Should I Buy a Cheaper Roof Rack?

Many people have a dilemma with purchasing a cheaper roof rack. Many times the price is very appealing but it does not last as long as a higher-quality one would.

These budget racks typically do not come with a warranty or guarantee, making them a very risky purchase. Should I Buy a Cheaper Roof Rack? You should buy it if you will use it occasionally.

Usually, cheaper racks don’t allow that many features, quality, and stability. But they might work well enough to fill your necessary needs. If you have the money, always look for high-quality products.

How Can I Save Money on a Roof Rack?

No matter if you use your roof rack just for trips out of town or for carrying bulky objects to and from work, it can be tough to know how much to spend on an item you’ll only use rarely.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a roof rack to keep your things safe. You can always go for a used roof rack.

Used roof racks make a great deal for those looking to save. They are significantly cheaper.

People tend to sell their roof racks for many reasons. One of them is when they get a new car or they buy a more advanced roof rack.

There isn’t much of an issue when buying a used roof rack. But if you don’t like the idea of using used products, then you can always make your own.

DIY Roof Rack

If you are handy and crafty, you can always build your own roof rack. For this, you may need some special tools and skills. Check out this awesome tutorial on the DIY roof rack.

Or watch this video…

The materials you need-

  • Miter saw
  • Table Saw
  • Metal cutting saw
  • Drill and various sized drill bits
  • Linseed oil
  • Aircraft cable
  • Various sized bolts and U-bolts
  • Salvaged material – oak pallet wood, the aluminum channel, and square tubing, broken deck swing, armrests from broken office chairs, plywood scraps
  • Sander
  • Router with various bits

There is no single solution to making your own roof rack. There are many ways you can do it.

Visit our kayak roof rack section for more kayak rack guides.