What does it cost to buy Rims? (New & Used)

Sometimes you will need new wheels to replace worn out ones. Sometimes you simply want to improve the appearance and add style. Either way, you are asking – how much do rims cost?

A new set of rims will cost you between $30 to $1000. Price depends on how large the wheel is and what type of material it is made from. There will be varying prices depending on what car you drive, the brand of your wheel, and whether or not they are new. 

This guide covers everything you need to know about rim costs. The average price of top rims is also provided. We discuss how to measure your rims, and estimate the cost of installation. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. What is a Car Rim?
  2. Factors Affecting Rim Cost
    1. 1. Material
    2. 2. Size
    3. 3. Type/Model of Vehicle
    4. 4. Brand/Quality
    5. 5. New and Used
    6. 6. The color of the sky
  3. Rim Cost By Style
    1. 1. Steel
    2. 2. Alloy 
    3. 3. Chrome
  4. Installing Rims at a Cost
  5. How to Measure New Rims
    1. 1. Width
    2. 2. Diameter
    3. 3. Bolt Pattern
    4. 4. Take off
    5. 5. Backspace

What is a Car Rim?

It is often called the wheel. It houses the rubber tire material.

This rim is different than a standard plastic hubcap. The majority of rims made of some metal are instead of being made of plastic. 

Factors Affecting Rim Cost

1. Material

Material used is an important factor in the rim's cost. Steel rims are normally the cheapest option, but these are also plain and don’t do much to turn heads.

You might consider aluminum alloy if you're looking for something more modern. Just keep in mind that these will cost more and aren’t often suited for tight budgets.

2. Size

The size of the wheels is just like tires. Expect to pay more for bigger wheels. 

It’s important that you use the right rim and tire size combination. You don’t want to increase tire or rim size without ensuring that your vehicle can handle the adjustment. 

3. Type/Model of Vehicle

There will always be plenty of options for rims if your car is a popular one. This allows you to compare prices and find the best deal. If you are a rare car owner, it might be difficult to find a deal.

Classic vehicles can have a difficult time finding low-priced parts. There is more choice for older cars. 

4. Brand/Quality

OEM rims will cost you a bit more. But you know they are high quality and durable so you can depend on them. OEM replacement wheels are recommended if you have an OEM rim that is broken.

There are many aftermarket companies, which may keep their prices lower. Finding a high-quality brand is your only challenge when you go this route. There are many online retailers that carry both aftermarket and brand-new rims. You may also find local shops and dealers who can help you determine the right size.

5. New and Used

The last factor to consider is whether your rims were new or used. For top-quality rims, spend big.

However, if you need to replace damaged rims and don’t care much what they look like, you might prefer used rims instead. They are also much more affordable. Plus, you can find a high-end set of rims for much less if you are willing to take them off someone else’s hands. Reconditioned rims can also be found at tire shops. These rims are used but cleaned up and restored to their original appearance. 

6. The color of the sky

You will have to pay more if you wish to paint or coat the rims. This will create a more pleasing aesthetic and can prevent corrosion. It also prolongs the rim's life.

The most common finishes are chrome, polished and silver as well as gunmetal, bronze, gold, and black. To keep costs down, you can choose something simpler if you don't need any particular finish. 

RELATED : What Color of Rim Should I Use for a White Car's Exterior?

Rim Cost By Style

1. Steel

The most common type of rim is the steel rim, or "steelies". This was used for every kind of vehicle, whether it be a car with a motor or a car that is more sporty. 

The popularity of steel wheels has declined in recent years. These wheels are only found on vehicles with a low price, so they can be purchased in lower prices. 

Steel wheels are the most affordable option. You can often find new rims starting at $30 and a set for less than $120. You will experience a reduction in gas mileage and handling due to the heavy steel rims. That’s why you won’t find steel rims on most high-performance cars these days. 

2. Alloy 

Nowadays, aluminum alloy rims are a popular choice. These rims are light and affordable. You can finish them in any way you like to make your own style. 

It’s easy to finish the alloy wheels with a powder-coating, anodized finish or with a diamond-cut style. These wheels are usually more costly, but you still have options. You might find one rim that costs $50, depending on the vehicle.  

3. Chrome

Chrome rims can be among the priciest of the lot. That’s why they are found on luxury cars with higher price tags.

What you might not know is that the chrome wheel isn’t made completely of this metal. This would make the wheels too expensive so chrome is applied to them. The cost of a simple coating can range from $100 up to $1,000 for a wheel. Some coatings cost more. 

The chrome wheel doesn’t offer anything special in terms of performance. Its aesthetic appeal is the main focus.  

There are carbon rims available. However, these are typically extremely costly and only for race cars.

Installing Rims at a Cost

If you purchase your rims at the same location that’s installing them, you might be able to get a deal on the labor. The installation cost will be between $20 and $50. It’s also possible to install the rims yourself if you have the right tools and expertise. 

The tires must be balanced when you buy new rims. You will need to balance your tires during tire rotations, and sometimes when the suspension is changed. If you have a suspension lift you'll need to get the alignment and balance done again. 

Pre-paid maintenance plans that include many of these services are offered by some tire shops. Pay upfront for rotations, alignments, and balancing. You might want to prepay for your tire services if you have concerns about rising prices. You should make sure to find an experienced mechanic to do this job. It can be very costly and could cause serious damage.

If you're installing new tires or wheels, we strongly advise that you have a wheel alignment done. A poor alignment can quickly cause your tires to wear down.

RELATED: Average Wheel Alignment Cost (Front, Rear & 4-Wheel)

How to Measure New Rims

1. Width

If you want them to not rub against the body of your car, it is essential that the rims are the right width. However, many people don’t measure the width properly. 

The barrel section should be measured. You don't need to measure the whole rim. 

2. Diameter

You can find this measurement on the driver’s side door jamb if you are using factory wheels. You can also measure the distance yourself.

You can measure the diameter by moving from one lip to another on the wheel. But this measurement could not be exact. If you are seeing 19.5”, the rim could actually be 18”.

3. Bolt Pattern

There are two numbers that make up the bolt number. The first number indicates how many holes your car has. 

This measurement is used to determine the hole's diameter. To match the bolt pattern, you will need to have both these numbers. Keep in mind, however that different brands may use millimeters while some use inches. 

4. Take off

If you don’t have the right offset, it will be impossible for the tires to fit the rims. It is necessary to determine the distance between wheel centerline, hub mounting surface.

The measurement should be measured in millimeters. If the centerline and hub mounting surface are even, it’s known as a zero offset. It is positive if the surface lies near the rim surface, while negative if it's near the back. 

5. Backspace

Rim backspacing refers to how far the back lip extends beyond the hub surface. This determines the distance the rims extend beyond the fender.

If the backspacing of the vehicle is perfect, suspension can be installed. The backspacing allows the suspension to be adjusted without interfering with the steering or brake systems. 

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