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Car hitches give your vehicle flexibility to mount or connect other attachments. They are especially useful for towing, making them a must-have for campers and businesses. However, there are different types of hitches, each serving a function only they can provide.

Can I Put a Hitch On My Car?

You can install a hitch on any type of car, no matter the size. However, there are different hitches and some only work on certain vehicles.

Different Types of Car Hitches

diffrent kinds of car hitch
You can install a hitch on any type of car, no matter the size. However, there are different hitches and some only work on certain vehicles.

There are seven types of car hitches, namely bumper, weight distribution, 5th wheel, gooseneck, pintle, front mount, and rear receiver. They’re all used for towing, but some have other uses and applications:

1. Bumper Hitches

A bumper hitch is one of the most basic types of car hitches. It attaches to the bumper and has a square receiver tube used for different purposes, such as towing and mounting a bike rack.

One downside of using a bumper hitch is its incapability to carry heavy weight.

2. Weight Distribution Hitches

Weight distribution hitches use long rods to disperse the tongue weight across the vehicle and what it’s towing. Tongue weight refers to the force the vehicle tongue exerts on the hitch connected to the car.

Too much tongue weight overloads the rear tires and makes it hard to control, while too little weight lifts the vehicle.

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3. 5th Wheel Hitches

A 5th wheel hitch mounts into the truck bed and is used to haul bigger trailers, as it can carry up to 24,000 lbs. Combined with pivoting abilities that let it absorb bumps, the 5th wheel hitch is perfect for campers that often traverse off-road paths.

One downside to this hitch is it’s only available for pickup trucks because it needs a truck bed long enough to sit on.

4. Gooseneck Hitches

Gooseneck hitches share the function and installation method of 5th wheel hitches. The difference is that they have a smaller frame, making them less invasive for the bed of the truck.

These hitches are often used to tow livestock trailers, car haulers, and large flatbeds.

5. Pintle Hitches

Pintles use a hooking system to connect to the truck. They also have a ring to attach the trailer to.

This type of hitch can tow anywhere from 10,000 to 60,000 lbs of gross trailer weight. As such, it’s often used in the construction industry.

6. Front Mount Hitches

Front mounts are different from other hitches because they’re attached to the vehicle’s front. You can use this type of hitch to install a cargo carrier or a snow plow. It can also function as a tire mount.

Because of their location, front mounts don’t use the same rating scale as rear hitches.

7. Rear Receiver Hitches

Rear receivers are the most common type of truck hitch. They’re directly mounted to the frame of the vehicle’s rear. It has a square receiver tube that makes it easy to insert different attachments, such as trailers, bike mounts, and camping equipment.

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How to Choose the Right Hitch for Your Vehicle

Besides how you intend to use the hitch, consider the following tips to find the right attachment for your ride:

Consider Your Vehicle

Some hitches only fit specific vehicles. For example, you can only install a gooseneck and 5th wheel hitch on pickup trucks.

Luckily, most hitches are vehicle-specific, making it easier to find ones that fit your vehicle. Include your ride’s year, make, model, and style in your search query when you shop online to filter your options to compatible hitches.

Pick the Right Hitch Class

Hitches are categorized into five classes (Class 1-5) depending on their towing capacity and receiver tube size. But because hitches are vehicle-specific, not all classes will fit your car.

Determine which classes suit your ride, and limit your choices to them.

Establish How You’ll Use the Hitch

All hitch types are for towing, but each has specific functions and uses. Consider what you’re going to use the hitch for and how often you’ll use it to pick the type that best suits your lifestyle and driving habits.

Think About the Aesthetics

Some hitches don’t match the overall design of certain vehicles, so it’s best to consider how potential hitches might look on your car. For example, a bumper hitch would look better on a small and sporty vehicle.

What Does Hitch Installment Entail?

black tow hitch installed on offroad car
You can take your vehicle to a nearby auto shop to have experts install a hitch on your car.

You can take your vehicle to a nearby auto shop to have experts install a hitch on your car. Here’s what installment usually entails:

  • Step 1: Your vehicle is jacked up to provide extra working space.
  • Step 2: A spare tire mounted beneath the vehicle is removed.
  • Step 3: Certain bolts and plugs are removed.
  • Step 4: The hitch is positioned and installed.
  • Step 5: The bolts are tightened to hold the hitch in place.
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The bolts and plugs removed in step three depend on the type of hitch being installed. Some require the removal of certain parts, while others don’t.

Can I Install a Trailer Hitch Myself?

You can install a trailer hitch yourself if you have the proper equipment and know-how. However, it’s best to leave it to professionals for complicated hitches and if you’re planning on towing heavy trailers. Doing so ensures the hitch is installed properly to avoid potential road accidents.

Here’s a tutorial video in case you need to install your tow hitch:

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Car Hitch?

Car hitch installation costs between $175 and $375.The price varies depending on the hitch’s brand, type, and other factors.

Closing Thoughts

The different types of car hitches have unique functions and varying weight capacities. So be sure to pick one that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Additionally, while you can install the hitch yourself, it’s best to seek professional help to ensure proper installation and avoid road accidents, especially when towing heavy trailers.

About The Authors
Lisa Conant, Automotive Features Reviewer at
Reviewed By Lisa Conant

Automotive Features Reviewer at

Lisa Conant grew up in Canada around a solid contingency of gear heads and DIY motor enthusiasts. She is an eclectic writer with a varied repertoire in the automotive industry, including research pieces with a focus on daily drivers and recreational vehicles. Lisa has written for Car Bibles and The Drive.

CarParts Research Team
Written By Research Team

Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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