Can you Use a Car Top Carrier on a Rental Car? Need to Check First

If you want to go on a trip or vacation with your family with a rental car, you will need a roof cargo box to get enough space to carry all of your stuff. With a roof box, you will be able to get enough space for everyone to give them a ride with comfort.

Roof boxes and roof bags are sold by companies like UHaul, but they are not rented. Roof boxes are not offered by most major car rental companies either. To find a roof box rental, you’ll probably have to do some searching.

With a rooftop cargo box, you will be able to fit more people inside the car. And carrying your luggage or other stuff becomes much more convenient. If you want to use a roof cargo box with a rental car to get enough space for your stuff then, before renting the vehicle, you’ll need to check the rules and restrictions of the renting company. Every renting company has its own set of rules and regulations about the use of a roof box on the vehicle.

Some Basic Considerations

Before planning for the trip, you should decide if you want to buy a roof cargo box or if you want to lease one. Some car rental companies offer different necessary gear with the car such as child car seats, and bicycle racks, and some of them even provide roof boxes. But finding a car rental that rents roof cargo boxes is not as easy as finding a car rental that rents bicycle racks because renting a bicycle rack is common with car leasing companies.

There are two considerations to think about, and they are:

car top carrier rental

Will the leasing company allow you to put a cargo carrier on the roof of the vehicle, whether the carrier belongs to you or not?

Before you buy a roof cargo box for your trip, firstly, you should check the guide of that car rental about the rules and restrictions to know that if they allow roof boxes and secondly, if they provide roof cargo boxes with their car so that you don’t have to buy one.

If the car rental does not allow the roof boxes to mount it on the roof of their vehicle, then buying a roof cargo box will be nothing but a waste of money.

Does the company lease these Roof Box at all or do you have to bring your own?

If the car leasing companies have rooftop boxes that they will lease to you and you will not need a roof box in the future then renting the roof box will be better for you instead of buying one. It is a cheaper and much more convenient option for you.

If you lease a roof cargo box with your car, then you have to pay a little amount of money for that. Moreover, they will install the roof box by themselves so that you don’t have to take any hassle.

Each Car Leasing Company Is Different

If you want to go on snowboarding, skiing, or fishing trip, it is better to have a roof cargo box. Because a roof box can make the transportation of your gear more convenient. Whether you want to lease a roof box or buy one to use for your future trips, it is very important that you first check with the rental company so that you can learn their policy about leasing their vehicles and installing rooftop cargo boxes on the roof of their car.

There are different types of rental companies out there. So it will be better for you to contact more than one leasing company because each of them has its own rules and restrictions. Some of them provide you with a child car seat, and bike rack but not with a roof cargo box, some of them provide you with all of them and some of them do not provide any of these gear at all.

roof top carrier rental

You will not want to buy a roof cargo box and then find out that the leasing company you are going to lease a car from does not allow you to install a roof box on the roof of their vehicle.

To get enough information about a roof cargo box, you can check that online. You can get it through the companies’ websites. So checking online is the first and easy thing that you should do if you want a perfect roof box for the car you are going to rent. 

Sometimes, the bigger companies may not allow you to install a roof cargo box on their car while some smaller companies allow you to do that. So make sure which company allows a roof cargo box. Moreover, you can check that just in two minutes via a quick email or phone call, and this will save you from falling into a problem when you go to rent a car.

While renting a car, ask specific questions to the renting company. Tell them that you need a roof cargo box, and also ask them about their policy regarding roof boxes, rental vehicles, and rental costs.

Allowing Carriers in Certain Circumstances

If the car renting company allows you to use a roof cargo box or they provide you with one to use it with their rental vehicle, they may have some rules and restrictions that you have to follow. They surely do not allow every type of roof box. They will allow the soft-type roof boxes so that the box could not harm their rental vehicles.

Sometimes the renting company may allow you only to use a roof cargo box that can be installed on a roof rack so that their rental car does not get scratched or damaged. Moreover, some of the companies may allow a certain amount of weight on a roof box so that their rental vehicle does not get weighed down too much.

If the car renting company can provide you to rent a roof cargo box from them the renting process will not change, it will remain the same as the renting process of the car from them. And if unfortunately anything terrible happens or any damages occur to the vehicle or the roof box during the trip you will be responsible for that, even if you were away from those, the rule does not change. Because, according to the rules, the liability of any damage will always fall on the customer’s shoulders.

Sometimes the car renting company may not allow you to use a hard type roof cargo box. Because they do not have any roof rack installed on the roof of their car and hard shell roof boxes can scratch or damage the car. But hard shell roof boxes are more massive than soft type roof boxes. So the car renting company may not allow hard shell roof boxes because of their heavy weight. So if you want to take rent a car, then you have to abide by these types of rules from the company.

A Few More Considerations

roof top carrier rental

If the car renting company will allow the roof cargo box that you want to take with you on the next trip, then you have to confirm it. There are many kinds of roof boxes and roof racks on the market. So which type of roof boxes the car leasing company will allow is entirely up to them.

Most of the time the car renting company does not allow a roof cargo box because they do not want to damage their rental cars or they do not wish to have any hassle with the customers about the liability of any danger caused to the renting roof box.

So if you need a roof cargo box during your next vacation with a rental car, it will be better for you to lease the roof box from the same car leasing company. And make sure that they allow the type of roof box that you want.

-Our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.