Bike Carrier Regulations - Victoria
Victoria has very specific rules regarding bike carriers compared to other states. Most are around safety when the vehicle is both static and in-motion but some are not entirely obvious so it’s important to ensure that you’re following all the rules.
If permanently affixed then a bicycle carrier is considered to be part of the vehicle. When it is not then the bicycle carrier is considered a load. Any load, including the carrier, as well as any bicycles or other equipment attached to the carrier must not project more than 150mm from the outermost part of either side of the vehicle.
The following general rules apply for all bike carriers:
- any bicycle carrier, fittings, hooks or attachments must not have any sharp edges, corners or protrusions, nor should it extend unduly beyond the side profile of the vehicle.
- all exposed sections of the bicycle carrier must be radiused and deburred.
- rear and side protruding parts should be designed to minimise the risk of injury to any person who may come into contact with the carrier.
In addition to these guidelines, any vehicle, including a bicycle carrier and it’s load, must comply with the general dimension limits set out by VicRoads which is:
- Cannot exceed 2.5m width and 4.3m in height including the bike carrier and any bicycles.
- Rear-mounted carriers must comply with rear overhang limits. It must not exceed 60% of the wheelbase or 3.7m, whichever is less.
Rear Mounted Carrier
Bicycle carriers should not project more than 1.2m beyond the rear of the vehicle. If it is not possible to stay within 1.2m, a warning signal must be carried on the outermost part of the bicycle.
A warning signal must be:
- During the day, a brightly coloured flag or piece of material, with each side at least 300mm long and
- If driving at, a red light that can be seen for at least 200m.
The rear number plate on a vehicle must be clearly visible from a distance of 20m from the number plate at any point within a 90-degree horizontal arc and a vertical arc of 45 degrees as shown in the diagram below.
If a vehicle is fitted with a rear-mounted bicycle carrier and the number plate is not clearly visible in accordance with the above requirements, you may do one of the following:
- remove the vehicle’s rear number plate and attach it to the bicycle carrier (you must re-affix the number plate once the carrier is removed from the vehicle), or
- order a bike rack number plate from VicRoads. For further information about bicycle racks and number plates visit the VicRoads website.
When using the bicycle carrier at night, the number plate must have sufficient lighting to ensure it remains visible in accordance with the above requirements
The bicycle carrier or any bicycles must not obstruct or affect the performance or visibility of any tail lights, parking lights, indicators or brake lights. If any of the lights are obscured, you will need to reposition the obstruction or fit portable rear lights. Portable rear lights must have a pair of red lights visible for 200m behind the rear of the vehicle.
When driving at night, or in hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility, the vehicle’s lights must be on and clearly visible. It is a requirement that a vehicle’s tail lights are visible for a distance of 200m behind the vehicle when in use, while indicator lights must be visible from 30 metres.
If you intend to use a rear-mounted bicycle carrier at night, you must ensure that the rear lights (tail and indicator) and number plate remain clearly visible. Portable rear lights must be fitted if any of the lights are obscured.
Removing the carrier when not in use
It is advisable to remove rear-mounted bicycle carriers from the rear of the vehicle as soon as it is practical to do so after use.