Bullbars are a popular accessory for those who use their 4WD primarily for outdoor activities or commutes outside the city. Anywhere the vehicle might see a bit of rough and tumble!
Bullbars don’t affect insurance so long as they meet certain regulations and you inform your insurer. Read on for more details…
Legal Implications of Using a Bullbar
Road users must follow several legal standards- including Australian Design Rule 42/04 - General Safety Requirements and Australian Standard AS 4876.1- before your vehicle can have a nudge bar or a bullbar fitted.
According to these regulations, the bullbar must:
- match the profile of the vehicle it is installed on
- cannot make the vehicle wider (aside from the mirrors)
- must have no sharp edges
- cannot have any open-ended frame members, and
- cannot have small parts (such as brackets) attached to the front of the bull bar.
You must ensure whoever sells and installs your bullbar is aware of the legal requirements of anything they add to your car. With any reputable firm, that shouldn't be an issue!
Do Bullbars Affect Insurance?
Almost all insurance companies will insure bullbars, assuming:
- They are compliant with the Australian design rule (stated above)
- They have been informed and have agreed to them
- They are not performance-enhancing
So, modifications like alarms, lighting and bullbars are fine, so long as they are compliant and you have informed your insurer; modifications like tinted windows and aftermarket turbo can be more problematic.
Benefits of Installing a Bullbar
A bullbar is a helpful accessory to your car if you frequently travel on rough, untreated roads. In addition, they provide excellent value for vehicles that mostly travel on rural roads. There is a popular misconception that bullbars are exclusive for 4WD vehicles, yet in regional and rural Australia, it is not unusual to see them installed on sedans and business utes.
It's hard to disagree with the cosmetic value of a well-equipped 4x4 sporting a shiny new bullbar up front, but practicality, security, and protection are the key arguments for having your vehicle fitted. Nudge bars are a cheaper option if you are looking purely for aesthetics and don't need off-road protection.
Bullbars are excellent protection for occupants of your 4WD in the event of an accident, whether with another vehicle or with an animal. In fact, in this respect they are often used as an ‘extra insurance policy’ for the vehicle and its occupants.
They also add a layer of protection to the front of your vehicle (including the engine compartment, cooling system, electrical components, and suspension) in situations where it is at risk from things like roadside debris or downed trees that you can't see in poor visibility.
Winches, LED spotlights/driving lights, antennae, and other useful off-road accessories can all be securely attached to bullbars.
How Much Does a Bullbar Cost?
Depending on the quality, brand, and engineering involved, a quality bull bar's price ranges from roughly $1,500 upwards.
Avoid buying cheap aftermarket bull bars without doing your research. They may not work with airbags, can invalidate your insurance and even increase the risk of severe injury or death in a crash.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Bullbar
Getting a bull bar for your car involves more than just picking one you like the look of and bolting it on.
You need to give a lot of thought to your vehicle, your budget, and the activities you intend to engage in with your bull bar.
Before investing in a bullbar, you should consider the following:
- The Material
- Vehicle Brand and Model
The bullbar can also have an impact on your front suspension. See your manufacturer regarding any modifications you may need to make.
Does Fitting A Bullbar Affect Warranty?
As long as the bullbar is suitable for its intended use, complies with the applicable design rules (ADR), and is installed by the manufacturer's guidelines, it will not invalidate your new car warranty.
- Under Australian Consumer Laws, the manufacturer cannot refuse to repair or replace a vehicle because the owner installed a custom bullbar or other aftermarket device.
- Adding frontal protection will not affect your vehicle's ANCAP rating.
- Get it in writing from the dealership if they tell you that installing a Bullbar or other equipment will nullify your warranty.
During the specified time frame, your New Vehicle Warranty will cover any problems with the vehicle's manufacturer. It's a different story if you modify your brand-new car in a way that compromises its safety or performance, and that modification is ultimately revealed to be the root cause of the car's defect.
Is a Bullbar a Modification?
Bullbars are important car modifications that prevent mechanical and structural damage from animal strikes and other impact crashes. Bull bars are a popular safety accessory for anyone who frequently takes their adventures off-road. In particular, they provide sturdy protection to the front bumper, cooling system and engine bay.
While a bull bar's primary function is to prevent damage to you and your car in the event of a collision with an animal, it can also provide the finishing touch on your 4WD's aesthetic, and it keeps your vehicle safe from the hazards of off-roading.
We always advise you to check with your insurance company before purchasing.
Jungle 4x4 bull bars are all airbag compatible and ADR-approved. Have a look at our collection here, and see for yourself!