Bike racks for cars - what about the License Plate?

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Bike racks for cars - what about the License Plate?

Postby glawrence2000 » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:20 pm

Hi guys,

I recently went through the torment of roof racks, towbar racks or clip on racks to cart bikes around for social family rides.

Weighing up the cost of a nice set of Rola or Thule racks for the wife's wagon and that of fitting a tow bar to it $700 ish and $1000 respectively, I opted for the $120 tailgate version which is a much better ROI option for the amount it will be used.

Additionally it will fit either my sedan or the wagon - which is nice flexibility.

Now, the tricky part. In either application, as soon as you add a bike to it, the rear plate is completely obstructed and it won't be long until the infringement notices make up the difference in savings :!: I dread having a homemade cardboard license plate hanging off the rack but haven't as yet found anyone who can knock out a tin one in the correct State colours.

Any ideas / pointers :?:
Thanks heaps.
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Postby BrettMac » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:43 pm

I thought you can buy these from the RTA for this exact purpose. It is a slightly smaller version of your plate. It was a while ago but I think my memory is serving me correctly in this instance.

Edit: here is the info here

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Postby Wrongway » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:56 pm

Same here in Victoria, if the rack obscures your registration plate you either have to purchase a bike rack plate from Vicroads for $27, or put the one off your car on the bike rack. Hand painted plates are not allowed.

You may also have to light it if you are driving at night.

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Postby RainForeverRain » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:00 pm

As BrettMac says, you can buy auxilliary numberplates from the RTA, who take a couple of weeks to make them up.

One thing to watch though - you need to specify which Registry you want them delivered to, otherwise they send the things to the closest one to your postal address, regardless of where you actually ordered them from.

Bit of a pain if you're nowhere near home during business hours.
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Postby X-wing » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:01 am

I made my own... sheet aluminium, cut to the right shape and size, painted yellow. I bought black letters and numbers from Bunnings. I tried to make it as clear and 'authentic' as I could for a NSW rego.

Cost me about $15 all told, and I have never had any trouble from the police. It sits high on the back of the rack, and is clearly visible.

Dunno if it's legal, but never had any hassles after 2 years.

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Postby superbarok » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:01 pm

in nsw, rta will issue (if you apply, that is - you can do it online) a smaller version of your number plate (as brettmac mentioned). it costs $30 and will take about 2 weeks to get picked up at your local rta.

(done mine about a month ago). here's the link: ... ikeRackNew


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Postby mikeg » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:28 am

Also take note of VSI 10 - Carrying Bicycles on Motor Vehicles (March 2008) Vehicle Standards Information Sheets.

In particular

    Guidelines for using a bicycle rack attached to the rear of a vehicle
    􀂄 Make sure the bicycle rack is strong enough to carry the bicycle/s and is securely attached to the vehicle.
    􀂄 Make sure the bicycle rack and its load does not project excessively behind the rear of the vehicle or protrude more than 150 mm beyond the extreme width of either side of the vehicle.
    ‘A’ must not be more than1200 mm.
    ‘B’ must not be more than 60%
    of the wheelbase.
    ‘C’ must not be more than 150 mm.

A= rear overhang of bicycle and rack beyond rear of vehicle
B= distance from centre of rear wheel
to rear most projection of bicycle from rear of vehicle

A lot of vehicles will result in a projection allowance of less than 600 mm (less than half of the maximum projection by the first condition.

Examples where I have found vehicle rear overhangs published in vehicle specifications

Falcon 2008 Sedan
Wheelbase = 2838 mm
Rear overhang = 1179 mm
Projection allowed = (60% of 2838) - 1179 = 524 mm

Falcon 2008 Wagon
Wheelbase = 2921 mm
Rear overhang = 1219 mm
Projection allowed = (60% of 2921) - 1219 = 534 mm

Mitsubish 380 2008
Wheelbase = 2750 mm
Rear overhang = 1116 mm
Projection allowed = (60% of 2750) - 1116 = 534 mm

This means that in a considerable number of cases you would not be legally able to carry more than 1 bicycle, if that on the rear of the vehicle.

Go figure :!: :!: :!: :!: :o :? :roll:
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Postby bracko » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:03 pm

many years ago we were on the way up to Byron Bay during the school hollidays. we painted a rego and fixed it to the back of the rack and still got booked!!

bike rack plate or move the original plate, they're your options.

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Postby 531db » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:04 pm

Just last week I was talking to a cyclist who had a strap on carrier with bike fitted to the rear of his car. No NSW RTA bike plate, he was done for $300 and 3 points (25% of your licence!)

In NSW, get the RTA plate!!!

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Bike racks

Postby JP-127 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:18 pm

I've been reading these forums for a while [Lots of Usefull advice]thought I better join.
I just went in to Qld Transport today to ask about accessory plates[after reading previous post on what you guys in NSW can get fined].
$59 to buy customised plates[standard plates,but yours to keep]then I'm assuming extra for the small plate.Bit of a rort I think,anyone know if this is the only way to go for Qld.
Cheers JP-127

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Postby lemmiwinks » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:24 pm

I just take the number plate (license plate = USA) off the boot and cable tie it to the rack when I'm using it. Adds about 2 minutes to the job of bolting the carrier on.
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Postby gorilla monsoon » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:27 pm

Gotta remember too that if you are carrying the bikes (obscuring the plate) after headlights-on time then you also have to have a numberplate light on your RTA-issued bike plate or moved numberplate.
No light = a fine (don't know how much).
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