How Much Do Rims Cost?
If you're in the market for a new set of wheels, you might wonder how much bang you can get for your buck. It's only natural to wonder and question the cost. The answer to this question, however, is not a solid figure; it is more of a range.
How much a set of wheels cost honestly depends on various factors. The year, make and model of your car; the size of the rims; the type of wheels you want, and ultimately the finish all determine the final cost of your wheels.
To start in the simplest form, there are two types of wheels: steel and alloy. As the name implies, steel wheels are made from steel. Due to their simplicity, they are rather inexpensive to purchase and replace, when compared to alloy wheels. Alloy wheels are made from an aluminum alloy and come in different sizes and finishes. Compared to steel wheels, alloy wheels are more expensive to purchase. Generally, the bigger the size, the more expensive the wheels are. Although there tends to be a gradual price increase between 15"-18" wheels, there is a dramatic price increase for 20" and 22" wheels.
The next deciding factors are all the customization options. Once again, steel wheels are extremely limited in their finishes. They generally only come in black, white, and grey powder coat. This aids in their minimalism and inexpensiveness. On the other hand, the finishes available for alloy wheels are endless. You can purchase wheels that are powder coated, paint coated, clear-coated, chrome plated, PVD chrome plated, polished, and machined. The prices between finishes vary greatly, and some manufacturers have even combined finishes to get genuinely unique finishes. With the thousands of colors a wheel can be painted, the number of wheel finishes is limitless.
Although all steel wheels are manufactured the same, not all alloy wheels are made the same. How the wheel is made will also heavily dictate the price. The cheapest and most common type of alloy wheels are cast. Cast wheels are created by pouring molten metal into wheel molds. Once the metal has cooled, the wheel is more or less complete and ready for the road. The most complex type of wheels are the multi-piece wheels. These come in two and three-piece configurations. They can be a combination of cast and forged parts. These wheels are more expensive than cast wheels. The most costly type of wheels are single-piece forged wheels. These wheels come from a single piece of forged (billet) aluminum. The aluminum is produced into a cylindrical shape and then milled by a CNC machine. The durability, precision, and strength of forged wheels are incomparable.
Now let's talk about who makes the wheels. Wheels can either be OEM or aftermarket, but they cannot be both. OEM wheels are made by the car's manufacturer or by a contracted company. Aftermarket wheels are manufactured by a 3rd party that has no relation to the vehicle's manufacturer whatsoever. OEM wheels will be more expensive than aftermarket wheels for a variety of reasons. OEM wheels tend to go through extreme safety testing and have the seal of approval from the car brand. Aftermarket wheels are not regulated and thus tend to be of lesser quality.
The final factors are the type of car the wheels are meant for and where you buy them. If the wheels are highly sought after, then you will most likely pay a premium for them. More so if your car is a large SUV, truck, luxury car or sports car. Where you purchase them also matters tremendously. Most automotive dealerships will try to upsell wheels to you at a high mark up. You should avoid them and look elsewhere. Wheel distributors and wheel shops can provide new, used, and reconditioned wheels for a fraction of the cost.
When decided on which type of wheels to purchase, you are advised to take everything mentioned above into consideration. If you are ready to buy, please check out our online store. We carry both steel and alloy wheels for all makes and models.