When you see a car driving by, a set of snazzy rims is sure to catch your eye! Many drivers choose to replace their car rims to improve the aesthetic and performance of their cars. After all, rims are a crucial component of your car’s wheels! However, how much will they cost to replace?
There are many different factors that impact the price of car rims, from the materials used to manufacture them to the make and model of your vehicle. There are two main rim options: steel rims or alloy rims. Steel rims are inexpensive, starting at $30 per rim. Depending on the color and finish, alloy rims will typically cost between $50 and $300 per rim.
In this article, we’ll look at why car rims are important and how certain rims can even elevate the performance of your vehicle. Following this, we’ll break down the various factors that impact the cost of car rims and what prices you’re looking at. Using this information, you’ll be able to make the best decision for yourself!
Why Are Car Rims Important?
Most people, if asked to, would be able to point out the rims on a vehicle. Of course, the rim is a part of the wheel – one that plays an important role in how your car functions. Essentially, the rim of your car’s wheel is used to fasten and seal your tire to your wheel.
When purchasing new rims for your car, you’ll have to decide between two materials: steel or aluminum alloy.
Aluminum alloy has become the popular choice here as it is more appealing than the steel alternative. There are many various colors and finishes available for aluminum alloy rims.
Steel has long been the cheaper, more durable option for many drivers. Steel rims are inexpensive and cosmetic damage isn’t as big a factor as with their aluminum alloy counterpart. Furthermore, steel rims are known to be highly durable and nearly impossible to crack.
However, many drivers prefer to focus on the aesthetic quality of their rims. After all, the right rims can really elevate the appearance of your ride! For this reason, many drivers prefer to splurge a little more on aluminum alloy rims for their vehicles.
There are more benefits to this than just the aesthetic possibilities! For one, there is better heat dissipation with aluminum alloy rims than with their steel counterpart. This results in better overall braking performance in your vehicle and a reduced risk for brake failure.
In fact, aluminum alloy rims can boost the overall performance of your car! Aluminum alloy rims are known to transmit less inertia to your vehicle’s springs, which allows your suspension to follow the terrain you’re driving on more easily. This means you’ll notice an improvement in the steering and handling of your vehicle.
The better heat dissipation offered by aluminum alloy rims also means that your tires remain cooler, reducing the rate of wear and tear on your tires. Couple that with aluminum alloy’s resistance to rust and corrosion, and you have a tire that’s lasting longer overall.
Ultimately, the material you decide on will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each to find the right type of car rim for your needs.
Another aspect to consider here is the price, of course! The material used to manufacture your car rims will play an important role in determining the cost of your rims. However, that’s not the only factor that determines how much car rims will cost you.
Keep reading as we break down the various factors that determine the price of rims.
8 Factors That Impact the Cost of Car Rims
Before we tell you how much car rims cost on average, it’s important to consider the various factors that influence the overall cost. By understanding these factors, you’ll be able to make an informed decision when purchasing new rims for your vehicle. Here are the eight factors that will determine the price of your new car rims!
1. The Materials Used
One of the most important aspects that will determine the price range of your chosen car rims is the material it’s made from. Aluminum alloy is perhaps the most popular material used for car rims, while steel rims would be your cheapest (and likely the plainest) option.
When it comes down to selecting new car rims, the material your rims are made from is an important consideration to make. As discussed earlier, there are many benefits to using aluminum alloy car rims. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you can always settle for steel.
2. The Finish or Color
Many aluminum alloy rims are painted or coated. Not only does this play an important aesthetic role in how your car rims will look, but the coatings are designed to prevent the components from rusting over time.
Whether you get painted aluminum alloy rims or rims that are chrome plated, there are countless options for you to consider. Popular car rim finishes include chrome, bronze, black, gold, graphite, gunmetal, polished, silver, and more.
Ultimately, your selected finish for your rims plays an important role in determining how much they’ll cost you. For a basic finish, the cost of the rims won’t be too greatly affected. However, for brushed or custom finishes, the price could go up quite a bit.
3. The Size
Ultimately, the size of the rims you purchase will depend on the width of your tire. The width of your car’s rims closely correlates to the width of your tire. To figure out the appropriate rim width range, you’ll need to know the size of your tire.
There are two ways you can find out the size of your tire if you don’t already know. On the inner frame of the driver’s side door, there is typically a sticker that will list the sizes of your tires. Alternatively, you’ll find the size of your tire listed on your tire’s sidewall. The size will look something like XXX/XX R XX, where X refers to the relevant digits.
Once you have the size of your tire, you can use an online wheel/rim size calculator. This way you’ll be able to determine the appropriate rim size for your tires. In terms of how this affects the price: the bigger your rims need to be, the more they will cost.
4. Your Vehicle’s Make and Model
Another factor to consider when getting new rims for your vehicle is availability. This ultimately depends on the make and model of your vehicle. The more common your vehicle is, the easier it will be to find the right set of rims for your car – you’ll likely also have more options.
The reverse is true, too, unfortunately. If you’re looking to buy new rims for a rare or unique vehicle, you might struggle to find many options available. This leads us to our next point…
5. The Year Your Car Was Manufactured
If that unique or rare care isn’t just a Corvette but a Corvette from the 60s per se, it’ll likely be a lot harder to find rims for your vehicle. As a general rule of thumb, the newer a car, the easier it will be to find rims for it. Likewise, the older a car is, the harder you’ll find it to locate rims for it.
Furthermore, with older cars, if you manage to find rims, they’ll likely cost more than rims for a modern, more common car would. Getting rims custom-made for older vehicles can also be quite costly.
6. The Quality
Quality is a major consideration to make when purchasing aftermarket rims for your vehicle. Rims that were manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will typically provide high-quality rims for your car.
While there are plenty of high-quality aftermarket rims that you can purchase, finding the ones that are actually quality can seem tricky. Besides taking brand and retailer into account (which we’re about to look at), reading product reviews is crucial to finding quality rims for your car.
7. The Brand
With any purchase, the brand of the item being purchased plays an important role in determining the price of said item. After all, brand name is often closely connected to aspects like aesthetics and quality. Doing research into different brands is a crucial aspect of finding the right rims for you.
When it comes to the best car rim brands, you’ll want to check out brands such as Vossen, Enkei, Konig, SSR, Forgiato, and OZ Racing. These brands offer a wide variety of rims for your vehicle – and possibly the rims you’re looking for.
8. Why You’re Replacing Your Rims
The last factor that will impact the cost of your rims is why you’re looking to replace them in the first place. Ultimately, your motivation towards replacing the rims on your vehicle will guide your purchasing decision and, thus, how much you spend on replacing them.
If you were in an accident and your vehicle’s rims were damaged, you may not even be looking to replace all of them! You might be able to get a replacement from the Original Equipment Manufacturer. Furthermore, you might not be looking to spend a lot of money in this instance and might opt for steel rims, should you replace all of them.
However, if you’re purchasing new car rims to boost the appearance of your vehicle, you’ll likely be looking to spend a little more on your rims than the person in the above scenario. In this instance, you’d likely be opting for aluminum alloy rims with some type of finish.
How Much Do Car Rims Cost?
Earlier in this article, we looked at the different factors that impact the cost of car rims and how much you end up spending on them. Now that we’ve covered these aspects, it’s time to look at how much different car rims cost on average. This will allow you to budget appropriately for the type of car rims you’re looking for.
As discussed earlier, steel rims are the most inexpensive rim option available on the market today. These rims are simplistic in nature and highly durable. With this type of rim for your car, repairs are easier and cheaper when compared to other rim options that are available.
Of course, the price of steel rims ultimately depends on the specifications of your vehicle, as outlined in the previous section of this article. However, if you’re looking to buy steel rims for your vehicle, you’re looking at $30 and upwards to the rim. Replacing all four rims would set you back at least $120.
Alloy/Aluminum Alloy Rims
A vast majority of cars utilize alloy or aluminum alloy rims. With these rims, as discussed earlier, there are many great benefits, from aesthetics to performance. Luckily, depending on the factors we broke down in the previous section of this article, getting alloy rims for your car won’t bankrupt you!
Typically, alloy rims for your vehicle will start at roughly $50 per rim. To replace all the rims, you’re going to need to spend at least $200. However, this price increases depending on the color or finish you’re looking for.
For black, bronze, gold, gray, or polished finishes, you’re looking at an average price range of $100 to $300 per rim. For a chrome or gunmetal finish, you’re looking at an estimated price range of $150 to $300 per rim. For silver or graphite finishes, the starting price is typically around $125.
Whether or not you splurge on certain finishes is up to you! All of these finishes can increase the overall look of your car, but some can do even more. For example, chrome-coated car rims are protected against oxidation, which is a great advantage to those living in colder climates where driving in the rain is a frequent occurrence.
How to Install Your New Rims
If you’re splurging on new car rims, you might as well spend a bit more to have a qualified mechanic install it properly. After all, installing them incorrectly can result in issues like unwanted vibrations, which will have you consulting a mechanic anyway.
However, if you have the right equipment and knowledge, it’ll only take a few minutes to replace your rims on your own! To do this, you’ll need a car jack, a tire lever, an air compressor, a wrench kit, and a rag cloth.
If you happen to have the required items, you’ll be able to replace your rims in no time by following the simple instructions in the below YouTube video. If you don’t have the right equipment, a mechanic will be able to do it for you in a jiffy!
You might also want to read: How to Find the Right Tire Pressure
In this article, we considered the importance of car rims and the different benefits rims can provide you with. We also broke down the various factors that impact the price of your rims, from the material used to manufacture it to the finished applied to it.
Using this information, along with the starting prices of different types of car rims, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your budget and needs. Regardless of your reason for replacing your rims, you’ll have your new rims installed in no time!