Mounting a hitch


I would like to mount a hitch on my car just to install a bike rack (no caravan or trailers...).

Is it possible to mount a hitch myself or do I have to go through a garage to have the installation approved? In that case, I imagine I'd have to redo the registration documents and pay a fee?

I would really use it occasionally for carrying bikes so would it be ok to mount one / remove it when I don't need it or it's completely illegal ?

Thank you

Whether you do it yourself or in a garage it would need to be inspected by the Strassenverkehrsamt, probably covered by the usual CHF 60 fee.

There is a scheme where some garages are allowed to repair faults found during the inspection without the need for a subsequent check, maybe they can also fit hitches?

Several options:

  1. This is the simplest alternative. A company that sells the parts and connects you with a mechanic that will do the installation. It may not be the cheapest one, but the offer is that the do all the work, from installation to updating the car registration

  2. I would have used option 1, but some car models are more difficult to work with. I ended up with this mechanic: The garage is cleaner than my office. The work quality is worth every franc paid. They also sell the bike racks and did all the paperwork for me. I just received the new car registration after 1 week by post.

  3. You may buy the parts and do it yourself. The mechanic that did the install told me 2 important points: (i) no car software is modified, only new cables care connected to make the lights in the bike rack work, and (ii) the Strassenverkehrsamt focused on the reverse, brake, blinkers and fog lights. So, you should be confident to do all the wiring.

About the hitch, there are some models where the only fixed part to the car is a square steel bar and the socket for the lights. The arm with a round ball where you connect the bike rack is a piece that you can mount/dismount as you wish.

Happy pedaling!

In ZH, you can install the hitch/towbar yourself and bring it to StVa for inspection and registration. Or, if you're not mechanically inclined, go to a garage who can install it for you. The garage may allow you to source the parts yourself or they source it. Once installed, you can bring it to inspection yourself.

Removable towbar - its only the "ball and neck portion" that is removable. The part that is fixed to the car remains.

Car software update - on my car, this simply means the car recognizes that a towbar is attached and automatically disable the rear sensors.

Thanks for all the tips.

Since I just wanted to use a bike rack. I thought I could do without the electronic part (as long as lights remain visible ?) but I can imagine StVa wanting a job fully done...

I've been twice to Mobilhotz garage and yes it looks like a surgery room

If you do it yourself, make sure you the the certificate to show the Strassenverkehrsamt

I don't know about ZH but in SG there's a scheme where certain garages are certified to do the installation and confirm it is OK without needing an inspection, which saves a step although of course the garages that can do this also charge more.