How Much Does Trailer Hitch Installation Cost?

By Jessica Wimmer | May 10, 2023

Trailer hitch on a SUV for towing a trailer

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If you’re moving soon and plan to haul your belongings without the help of professionals, consider installing a trailer hitch to your car. A trailer hitch is a device that attaches to your vehicle and enables you to tow a trailer behind it. While some top moving companies offer hitch installation services, you can do it yourself or visit a local mechanic. In this article, we’ll discuss how much trailer hitch installation costs and walk you through the installation process.

 


 

Trailer Hitch Installation Cost

The average cost for professional installation of a trailer hitch is around $437, with a price range of roughly $175 to $700 or more.* These prices assume you are purchasing a receiver hitch; gooseneck and fifth-wheel hitches may cost significantly more. Expect to pay around $130 for installation alone; parts incur an additional cost.

The exact cost of trailer hitch installation depends on several factors, including the class of hitch and which company or individual installs it. U-Haul cites a total cost of $100 to $600, depending on the price and availability of parts. AutoZone estimates a cost of $150 to $400 for the receiver hitch itself and an additional $75 to $150 for installation. CURT, a leading trailer hitch manufacturer, charges $150 to $700 for a receiver hitch and suggests that labor will cost $50 to $250.

When you pay for professional installation, your final bill will include the cost of parts and a labor or service charge. DIY installation costs less but requires the right tools and some mechanical expertise. If you aren’t confident in your abilities, it may be worth paying an extra $100 or so for professional installation at an auto shop or dealership.

*These figures are based on price ranges provided by AutoZone, CURT, and U-Haul. We used their estimates to calculate a price range and average cost.

 


 

Factors That Impact Trailer Hitch Installation Cost

Below are the top four factors that affect trailer hitch installation costs.

Type of Trailer Hitch

Installation costs depend heavily on the type or class of hitch you need. Every hitch has a maximum gross trailer weight and tongue weight, and the higher the limits, the more the hitch will cost. Here are the most common types of tow hitches:

Type of Vehicle

Larger vehicles with higher towing capacities may require pricier heavy-duty hitches. Additionally, vehicles with unique designs or modifications may require specialized installation. Here are some common vehicle types and how each one affects trailer hitch installation:

Complexity

The complexity of the installation process can impact the cost. Here are some common complications that may increase the cost of trailer hitch installation:

In addition to the factors above, you may find yourself in a unique situation that requires a specialized hitch, custom parts, or additional safety features. Any modifications or extra parts needed will increase the overall installation cost.

Labor

Labor costs can vary significantly from one installer to another, as well as from one installation to another. Here are a few things to consider as you estimate labor costs:

 


 

How to Install a Trailer Hitch

If you opt to DIY your trailer hitch installation, you will need a few basic tools, including a socket set, ratchet, ratchet extension, swivel socket, and torque wrench. Read the installation instructions carefully before you begin, and recruit an assistant to help with heavy parts and difficult maneuvering.

Here are the basic steps for installing a trailer hitch:

By following these steps and the manufacturer’s instructions, you should be able to install a trailer hitch safely and securely. U-Haul has a YouTube channel dedicated to trailer hitches and towing, with video topics ranging from general tips to model-specific tutorials.

 


 

Our Recommendation

Ultimately, the cost of trailer hitch installation depends on several factors, including the kind of hitch you need and the installation method you choose. Professional installation is safer, but you can save money with a DIY installation if you have the right tools and follow the instructions carefully.

Regardless of which installation method you choose, towing a trailer behind your vehicle is handy when planning a move. Since most long-distance movers charge based on size, weight, and distance, you can save money by installing a trailer hitch and transporting some of your belongings yourself.

 


 

Trailer Hitch Installation Cost FAQ

Does adding a trailer hitch increase value?

Adding a trailer hitch can increase the value of a vehicle, but not necessarily. It depends on market demand and the type of vehicle you have. Some buyers may be willing to pay slightly more for a vehicle with a trailer hitch, but others may not care.

What is the best trailer hitch to install?

The best trailer hitch to install will depend on your towing needs and the towing capacity of your vehicle. CURT and U-Haul have tools on their website to help you find the right trailer hitch for your vehicle model, whether you have a Honda SUV, a Toyota pickup, or a Subaru hatchback.

Is it worth it to install a trailer hitch?

Installing a trailer hitch can be worth it for people who frequently need to tow recreational equipment or heavy loads, such as a camper, a boat, bikes, or work equipment. It can also be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck.