A Guide To Buying A Roof Box For This Summer
All the roof boxes we checked will fit most cars that come with roof bars, but be sure to check at the shop whether a particular box fits your car.
In general, this means ensuring that your roof racks (sometimes referred to as roof bars) are not too thick for the mountings of the roof box.
Some cars already come with fitted roof bars; if your car doesn’t have roof bars, you have the option of buying them from an auto shop or a dealer. The prices can vary enormously, depending on the model of your car.
If you do not have a roof rack, then expect to shell out more or less £60 for a third party model. Most of the products we tested need a roof bar with a width of less than 80 mm and a height of between 18 and 35 mm.
The distance between the bars must also be taken into consideration; in general, larger roof boxes require the bars to be farther apart to guarantee stability and safe fitting.
Before you make your purchase, find your car’s handbook and look for information about installing a roof box and whether there is a particular model recommended for your vehicle.
While you are at it, also check the maximum roof load of your car so you do not go over it (roof boxes can usually accommodate loads of up to 50 kg).
Evaluate the size claims
In most cases, the storage space of the roof boxes is considerably lower than the actual usable space. The difference can amount to 130 L, so be sure to check the size claims. The measurements must be carefully evaluated before you proceed with your purchase.
Keep in mind that the amount of stuff you can put inside isn’t the only thing that matters. You must also consider measuring the amount of space you have if you plan on using it under a carport (usually, cars with a roof box installed won’t fit in a garage).
Skiers must choose roof boxes with great care
The roof boxes were tested in extreme temperatures, and we found out that snowboarders and skiers must be extra careful in choosing what box to use. There are roof boxes made of plastic that could be very brittle, meaning an accidental drop can cause it to crack in cold weather.
Think about the safety of your valuables
Unfortunately, it can be very easy to steal from roof boxes. Among the products we tested, only 3 models were able to resist lock picking.
And when additional thieves’ tools were used, only two were able to withstand them. Be sure to keep an eye on your valuables and remember that roof boxes may not be the best place to store high-value items. Here is a good article on the best roof boxes.
Safety is of utmost importance
The roof boxes have been tested to see how loose objects such as tent poles and skateboards can damage them in case of a low-speed crash.
When these items penetrate through the roof box, it’s possible for someone to be hit and get hurt seriously. Most products did relatively fine, but one model barely passed this test.
They may seem like inconspicuous boxes, but there are plenty of considerations before buying. One alternative is to rent a roof box similar to the products we tested for around £50 per week. In any case, be wise in your decisions and always keep an eye out for our list of Best Buy roof boxes.
Places to buy a roof box
Though buying something as big as a roof box online may not seem like a good idea, it’s actually a very reasonable and convenient way of getting the right product. The delivery charge wouldn’t put a dent in your pocket from the EQ Automotive website.
It is also recommended to check out the website of roof box manufacturers. Thule’s website provides you the option of checking whether the roof box you plan on buying is compatible with your model. It also comes with a MatchMaker tool, letting you see how the roof box will look like on top of your vehicle once installed.
If you are planning to buy one straight away, then your best option is to head to branches of Halfords, although they usually only offer Thule as well as own brand models.