The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) stipulates a fine of 200 euros if we do not transport bicycles correctly in our vehicle.
Transporting a bicycle in a car is not an easy task.. Although there are very diverse solutions for carrying the bicycle in the vehicle, in the end its size is considerable, so it is not easy to place it inside or outside the car. A question that is not trivial, since Moving these personal transport vehicles incorrectly can result in a significant fine..
To comply with current legislation, Transporting a bicycle in the car must always be done safely and complying with a series of premises, whether the bicycle is inside the vehicle or if it is transported outside of it.
How to transport a bicycle in the car
The two main options for carrying a bicycle in the vehicle are to do it inside or outside of it.. The first option becomes complicated if the car is not too big or if the bike is large, something that is increasingly common if we take into account that more and more bicycles have 29-inch wheels, causing their dimensions to increase. considerably.
For this reason there are a series of devices to transport bicycles outside the vehicle. They are bicycle racks and there are different types. depending on its final location. Among these systems, the roof, tailgate and trailer ball systems stand out, although there are also integrated solutions and specific trailers for the transport of this type of personal transport vehicles, which it should be remembered are subject to a series of obligations for its correct use.
What the Regulations say about bicycles
The Traffic Regulations do not have a specific chapter dedicated to the transport of bicycles inside the vehicle. However, its transfer conforms to the general rule that urges to secure the cargo so that it cannot invade the passenger space. It is recommended that there be separation from this area as much as possible, but whether it is possible or not, the bicycle must be immobilized with anchors, chin straps or any other element that prevents its movement.
For its part, if you choose to install a bicycle rack in the vehicle, different issues must be taken into account. This element and the bicycle itself cannot totally or partially cover the license plate or the pilots.. If you do so, you must carry plates and accessory lights. The maximum height of the vehicle with the bicycle rack and its load must not exceed 4 meters. Under no circumstances may bicycles exceed the width of the car. and only 15% of the length of the car is allowed to protrude from the rear.
It should be remembered that any installation that increases the measurements of the vehicle in the longitudinal axis must be indicated with the signal V20. In fact, the regulations indicate that two V20 indicators must be installed, one per side, in the event that the bicycle occupies the entire width of the vehicle. If this situation occurs, the V20 signal lines will have to be placed forming an inverted V.
Transport the bicycle inside the car
As we have already mentioned, to transport the bike inside the vehicle We must make sure that it is well fixed and cannot move. Ideally, the bicycle should be in the trunk or cargo space, something for which both wheels can be removed. If it still does not fit, you can fold down the rear seats, although the bicycle must be secured as much as possible so that it does not move.
In order for the bicycle to remain fixed, the use of straps or any other fastening element is recommended in order to avoid unwanted movements or it becoming a volatile element in the event of an accident. You must also ensure that the bicycle does not protrude excessively from the cargo space to prevent it from interfering with visibility. and this could be considered bad transportation.
Options to carry the bicycle outside the car
There is an increasing variety of bicycle racks to transport bikes outside the vehicle, thus responding to the growing demand and the need for diverse solutions. These are some of the options available:
Roof bike rack
The roof bike rack is a very common option, although little by little they are losing ground because they are the most uncomfortable to use. In the end, This type of device requires you to lift the bike up to the roof of the vehicle. and require that the car have a roof rack or roof bars.
Within the roof bicycle racks there are different types. The models in which the bicycle is placed on its wheels and held by the handlebars and saddle are out of use because they are more susceptible to damaging the bicycle. The most common are the rail oneseither with a guide so that both wheels rest on it or with an anchor point for the front fork tips, forcing the front wheel to be removed from the bicycle.
Tailgate bike rack
Bicycle racks for tailgates are gaining ground and They are increasingly the most popular option. They are easier to use, more convenient to install and cheaper. The accessibility for the user to place the bicycles is greater and does not require the disassembly of any part of the bicycle if it does not protrude from the width of the car. In addition, they can accommodate up to four bicycles in many cases.
These tailgate bike racks require the use of the V20 plate which alerts other drivers that we are carrying a load that protrudes from the rear of the vehicle. If this element and/or the bicycles cover the license plate and the drivers, it will be necessary to the bicycle rack equips a third license plate and signaling elements.
Trailer and trailer bike rack
Bicycle racks hooked to the trailer ball are the newest. They consist of a specific support that fits on the ball and do not require additional fastening to the chassis or body of the vehicle. The conditions and obligations for the use of this type of bicycle rack are the same as those with gates. Of course, one of its advantages is that These types of systems tend to tilt backwardseven with the bikes already loaded, to improve their extraction and allow the trunk to be opened.
Although the concept is different, There are also specific trailers for transporting bicycles. In this case it is not a platform or support anchored to the ball, but rather they have all the elements of a trailer, including its wheels. They come in different shapes and sizes, allowing the transport of several bicycles. We must take into account the weight and dimensions regulations to know which trailer is suitable for our car.
Integrated bike rack
This option is the most specific that exists and is limited exclusively to the Opel car brand thanks to its patented FlexFlix system.. The bicycle rack is hidden under the car and extends towards the rear as if it were a box that has the necessary anchors for the bicycles, but also for the accessory lights and the license plate. This type of bicycle rack is the most expensive as it is an original accessory from a manufactureris only available for new cars and eliminates the option of having a tow ball.
Carrying the bicycle in the car incorrectly
Transporting our bicycle inside the vehicle or outside it on any of the types of bicycle racks indicated incorrectly can be a serious blow to our pocket. The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has focused on this type of issue and stipulates that incorrect transport of a bicycle in the vehicle means a fine of 200 euros.
If it is transported inside the car, it is important to secure the bicycle well and, as far as possible, separate the load from the passenger seating area. If, on the other hand, you opt for a bicycle rack, you must take into account, depending on the type of device, the placement of the signage and in no case exceed the permitted height and length, nor exceed its width to avoid this costly financial penalty.