At a glance
If you need a tow hitch (a.k.a. trailer hitch) installed on your car or truck, U-Haul, Pep Boys, and Amazon Home Services are our top picks because they offer service nationwide.
Local auto and repair shops provide installation services—it’s just a matter of finding one near you. (Yelp is our go-to for researching these local businesses.) Most car dealerships also offer hitch installation packages but at sky-high prices.
The whole picture
Most tow hitch installations are pretty straightforward, which is why U-Haul, Pep Boys, or Amazon will work for most jobs. Hitches fall into five classes (I–V) based on towing capacity. The greater the weight capacity, the higher the class.
For example, class I hitches can tow only small trailers (up to 2,000 pounds), while class V hitches have 10,000- to 20,000-pound capacities and can tow things like large campers and heavy construction equipment.
A few factors complicate tow installation: the make and model of your car, the amount of weight you’re planning to tow, and whether your vehicle is compatible with standard hitches.
We won’t get too in the weeds about each tow hitch type, but know that if your installation is on the complicated side, it might take more work to find an auto mechanic or hitch installer who can help (and who is familiar with equipment like wheel hinges and goosenecks, for example).
Where to get a tow hitch installed
U-Haul tow hitch installation
The good news: U-Haul has locations everywhere. Literally. The company has over 1,500 locations nationwide, and most offer tow hitch installation.
U-Haul’s hitch installation services cost anywhere from $100 to $150—not including the cost of the actual tow hitch and other equipment. U-Haul’s online pricing tool doesn’t cover tow hitch installation services, so you’ll have to call to get a quote.
Check out our U-Haul Review for our take on U-Haul’s services, customer experience, and pricing.
Pep Boys tow hitch installation
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You may already know Pep Boys as a household name for auto repair—and with an easy-to-use online appointment scheduler and a large lineup of tow hitches to choose from, it’s a reliable place for tow hitch installation too.
In our experience, Pep Boys has so-so customer service, but with locations nationwide and decent rates ranging from $50 to $250, we think it’s a solid bet. (Honestly, we’ll take a pro who knows cars like the back of their hand even if they’re not the biggest people person.)
Amazon Home Services tow hitch installation
Amazon Home Services’ marketplace is a hub for finding third-party professional tow hitch installers in your area.
We like that Amazon vets each auto mechanic and requires them to provide proof of insurance and a trade license before allowing them to publish a marketplace listing. The company also runs criminal background checks, so you won’t end up with some self-proclaimed car expert who’s looking to scam you.
When you request help via Amazon Home Services, mechanics will offer estimates for you to compare. This makes it easy to see which bids are best for your budget and your timeline.
The only caveat is that if you live in a smaller city or rural town, mechanics’ availability is not usually in your favor. City dwellers will have better luck.
Skip your car dealership’s tow hitch installation package. Their rates are usually higher than those at local auto repair shops and companies like U-Haul by hundreds of dollars.
How much does professional tow hitch installation cost?
Short answer: it depends on the make and model of your car, the type of tow hitch, and how much elbow grease the installation requires. For instance, some cars have no-drill installation, while others require drilling to make room for the tow hitch.
You can expect hitch installation to start around $100 and go up to $800. Keep in mind, that you’ll also have to buy the tow hitch and other parts separately (which can easily run you another $150–$200).
Here are the auto parts associated with tow hitch installation (plus our top Amazon picks for each):
The cost to install a tow hitch is separate from the cost of the tow hitch and its accessories. If your installation costs $100, the required equipment could add another $150 to your bill.
What does professional tow hitch installation include?
A professional tow hitch installer offers a one-stop shop for tow hitch parts plus the installation service itself.
Here are the services you can expect a professional to perform:
- Test and confirm hitch-to-car compatibility
- Mount hitch onto car and tighten bolts
- Drill holes during installation (if necessary)
- Test and review tow hitch safety post-installation
With professional installation, you’re paying to know that your tow hitch was installed right the first time (so you don’t have to risk your trailer carrying your boat or prized ATVs coming unhitched on your road trip).
KEEP IN MIND
KEEP IN MIND
Wiring your car to your tow hitch’s brake light and turn signal attachment generally costs extra (and likely won’t be included in your service estimate).
Can I install my tow hitch myself?
Yes! In fact, those who are willing to watch a YouTube tutorial or read an auto blog can save some serious cash. It pays to be meticulous in your research, though, as the process can get complicated depending on your vehicle and how familiar you are with working on cars.
Think of installing a hitch like doing your taxes. You can certainly figure them out yourself thanks to good ol’ TurboTax, but the more money you make and the more complex your taxes get, the more it makes sense to phone an accountant for help.
One more thing to keep in mind before going DIY: wiring and connecting your trailer’s brake lights and turn signals to your car can be trickier than you’d think. Don’t be afraid to call in a professional if you start to feel overwhelmed or confused.