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Can You Put A Bull Bar On Any Car?

Installing a bull bar is a great way to minimize damage to the front of your vehicle in case of collision. You have probably seen them on many trucks and SUVs. But can these be put on any car? We researched this piece of equipment so you'll know for sure if it can be installed on your car.

Bull bars are made for specific models of trucks and SUVs. However, there are some universal fits that might work for your car. If you cannot find one, you can always have one custom built.

Now that we know that customization makes it possible for a bull bar to be put on any model of car, we'll take a closer look at the pros and cons of these add-ons. You might also be curious if bull bars make cars safer or who should consider having a bull bar installed. For the answers to these questions and more, keep reading this post to see what our research has uncovered.

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4WD truck with bull bar parked in a driveway front view, Can You Put A Bull Bar On Any Car?

Getting A Bull Bar For Your Car

Stand for demonstration of car body elements reinforced for off-road and made of metal, such as bumper, steps and black grille in the workshop for the installation and tuning of SUV vehicles.

Bull bars can be model specific or be constructed as a universal fit. As these accessories are most generally used for trucks and SUVs, the model-specific ones will only be available for those vehicle types.

Ones that are engineered for a universal fit can be outfitted on some larger model cars. Like the model-specific ones, these bull bars will not require any drilling or welding to be installed.

Getting a bull bar for a car might require you to have one custom made, however. These can be fabricated out of steel or aluminum and can be done by anyone who has the right equipment and tools. Some companies can do this for you, but you'll find that they will cost more money than a pre-built one.

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of The Bull Bar

Stand for demonstration of car body elements reinforced for off-road and made of metal

Every add-on for your vehicle will of course have its pros and cons. Bull bars are no exception. Let's take a look at the major reasons why you should (and should not) have a bull bar installed on your vehicle.

Benefits Of A Bull Bar

The bull bar will keep your vehicle safe from small collisions, acting as a protective barrier whether on the highway or when off-roading. When traveling at slower speeds, a bull bar will keep damage from striking unexpected obstacles from destroying your radiator and other vital parts under your hood.

Bull bars also give a rugged and tough look to the vehicles they are attached to. As a bonus, some accessories can be mounted to bull bars that will work to enhance aesthetics (such as LED lights) or are there for more practical purposes (like a winch). 

Drawbacks Of A Bull Bar

Bull bars will only protect your vehicle from minor collisions. While this is a good thing, it can sometimes lend a false sense of security to some drivers.

The bull bar will bounce smaller animals off it, saving damage to the vehicle and the passengers. But it won't do a lot of good if you hit a large deer while going 70 on the interstate.

While you can have a bull bar custom-made and installed on any model of car, there would be limited reasons why you would want to do this. Most people won't take a car on an off-road adventure.

Though a bull bar would provide a bit of protection at low speeds from animal collisions, they generally aren't worth the cost of customization and installation for a car.

Do Bull Bars Make Cars Safer?

Pickup truck Toyota Hilux in the city street.

With the idea that bull bars can repel certain objects away from your front end, you might believe that they make your vehicle safer to drive. Whether or not this is true will depend on a few factors, however.

A bull bar will indeed keep the middle of your front end safe from minor collisions. As we'll discuss later in this post, neither a bull bar nor a brush guard will keep your vehicle from crumpling if it hits something while traveling at a high rate of speed.

When it comes to a bull bar, it's more about making the vehicle more protected from minor damage than it is making you safer in your vehicle.

Who Should Consider Having A Bull Bar Installed

Bull bars are used for several reasons as mentioned. Though not for everyone, these devices can decrease the likelihood of damage to your vehicle in case of collision and should at least be considered for certain drivers.

Those who off-road with their vehicles should consider having a bull bar installed. This will work to give the radiator and grill extra protection from the brush, and it will also serve as a barrier against animals that it might come into contact with.

Bull bars also make a great access point for a winch. If you are planning on moving heavy lumber, other vehicles, or any larger and cumbersome object with one of these machines, a bull bar serves as a great tool to attach them to.

Steel wire rope winch on car

What Is The Difference Between A Bull Bar And A Brush Guard?

Like bull bars, a brush guard will offer protection to any vehicle that it is attached to. Though they do share some similarities, there are some stark differences between these two devices.

A brush guard, also known as a grille guard, covers the entire front end of your vehicle. A brush guard even wraps around your vehicle's headlights. It also covers the entire area beginning underneath your bumper to the top of your grille. 

These can be attached to your vehicle without any drilling whatsoever. They can be purchased for as little as $300. 

Bumper of white vehicle with black grille guard against building and cloudy sky

Do Brush Guards Work?

People attach these devices to the front of their vehicles in hopes that they can save their investment from collision damage. The tough frame of these guards should act as a solid barrier against road obstacles. But do they work?

As their name implies, brush guards are the most effective against any trees or brush that your vehicle might encounter. If you drive your truck or SUV across rugged terrain, a brush guard will certainly be a protective agent against these sorts of barriers.

At slower speeds, collisions with animals will be minimized if you have a brush guard attached to the front of your vehicle. Keep in mind that the laws of physics won't keep extensive damage from happening if you hit a deer or other animal at high speeds, brush guard or not.

If your only motivation for installing a brush guard is to protect your vehicle against damage from hitting deer on a highway, it's not worth the investment.

Deer in Headlight

What State Has The Most Deer Hit By Vehicles?

During certain times of the year, you don't have to drive far to see dead deer littering the sides of the highway. These critters seem to leap from out of nowhere during the early evening hours and throughout the night, often leaving motorists with some pretty extensive damage to their cars and trucks. 

While deer are in every state, some states have substantially more auto collisions with these animals than others. West Virginia has been the number one riskiest state in this category for more than 10 years standing. The odds of colliding with a deer in this state stand at 1 in 46.

Damage from deer costs an average of more than $4,500 per incident. Other states with higher than average deer collisions are Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, and Montana.

A mule deer's last moment.

Final Thoughts

Bull bars are a great attachment for your truck or SUV and can be custom built to be added to any model of car. As these devices are mainly used to protect the front end of a vehicle that drives off-road, it is probably not necessary to consider having one made for most models of cars, however.

Brush guards are also a great consideration for off-roading, but don't expect them to allow your vehicle to take a high-speed collision with a deer or other large animal. Drive safe!

We hope this post on bull bars answered all of your questions. For more helpful automotive information, we suggest reading the following posts:

Can You Mount A Winch On A Brush Guard? [And How To]

How To Install A Brush Guard On A Ford F-150

Are Grille Guards Universal?

Beckie Cox

Wednesday 17th of August 2022

I live in a rural community and hit at low speeds two to three deer a year. Would y’all recommend a heavy duty bush guard for my 2021 Subaru Forester? My deductible is $1000 each time I claim my insurance. I think it would be worth it. Tell me what you think.