How Much Do Rims Cost: Everything You Need To Know

You’re probably reading this post to figure out how much money you’ll need to set aside whether you’re upgrading your rims for necessity or style. Keep in mind that when you buy rims, you almost always need new tires as well.

We’ll delve deeper into the cost of rims in this post, including why they’re so expensive and the elements that influence the price. We’ll also go through the distinctions between rim kinds, rim measurements, how to estimate rim size, how much a wheel rim costs, and how to find a good deal on tires and rims. Finally, we’ll look at which rims are the greatest to buy.

car rims

Types of Rims

Steel, aluminum, and chrome are the three most used materials for wheels and rims. Wheels made of aluminum or magnesium alloy are also available.

Front view of a steel rim.

Steel Rims: Steel rims are a bit of a throwback. Steel used to be the most common material for conventional wheels, but manufacturers are switching to lighter metals to improve fuel efficiency. Steel rims, which are most usually available as a 17-inch wheel, are around 80% less expensive than their counterparts.

Car aluminum rim.

Aluminum Rims: Aluminum wheels are significantly lighter than steel wheels. They’re frequently alloyed with nickel.

Alloy rims.

Aluminum or magnesium alloy Rims: Are strong, affordable, and widely used. They are the lightest rims on the market being lighter than aluminum-nickel alloys.

Polished chrome rims.

Chrome Rims: From the 1960s to the early part of the twenty-first century, chrome rims were popular. Chrome isn’t actual metal; it’s a coating that’s applied to the wheel of your choice. They’re a tad heavier than other rim options, but they’re rust-resistant. They can however, scratch readily and are vulnerable to extreme weather. Furthermore, because some chrome coatings contained toxic compounds, they have been outlawed in some U.S. states.

MG spinner.

Spinners Rims: First became popular in the 1980s and were popular until the early 2000s. They came in a variety of colors and spin motions, but they are no longer as popular as they once were. White, black, and red were the most common hues, which were often chosen to match the color of the vehicle.

How to measure the size of the rim

Step 1: Measuring a Rim’s Diameter

A.) Lay your rim on a flat, solid surface and acquire a measuring tape.

  • Put a clean blanket or fabric on top of a table and lay your rim on top with the spokes or centerpiece facing up.
  • Get a retractable measuring tape that has hash marks for both inches and millimeters. Use a measuring tape with a metal hook to make hanging it on the lip of a rim simpler.
💡Pull the measuring tape out before using it to examine it for bends or dents. If the measuring tape is destroyed, you won't acquire precise measurements. 

B.) Pull the measuring tape across so that it bisects the rim.

  • Place the hook of the measuring tape on the outside of the rim’s lip. Pull the measuring tape out across the rim to the opposite side.
  • Adjust the placement of the hook and the casing of the measuring tape until the blade crosses through the middle of the rim. Look at the measuring tape at the edge of the lip to ascertain your rim’s outside diameter.
  • The lips are the section of a rim that protrude out around the edge of the barrel. They help hold a wheel in position when a vehicle is in motion.The outer diameter only pertains to the rim’s measurement from lip to lip. The true diameter of a wheel doesn’t include the lip.

C.) Measure the distance from the external edge of the lip to the barrel.

  • The barrel refers to the flat area in the centre of a rim’s breadth. This is where the wheel rests when it is mounted on a rim.

D.) Subtract the height of the lip from the diameter twice to get the correct diameter.

  • Subtract the length of the lip twice from your outside diameter, once for each end of the wheel. This will reveal your rim’s true diameter. If the outside diameter of the wheel is 18 inches (46 cm), but the lip extends 1 inch (2.5 cm) out from the barrel, the actual diameter of the wheel is 16 inches (41 cm), because the lip is subtracted twice— once on each side.
  • If you want to measure from the inside of the lip to the opposite edge, you can do so. But it will be difficult because the measuring tape will not be precisely level over the rim’s surface.

Step 2: Measuring a Rim’s Width

A.) Raise the rim so that it rests on the lips. Turn the rim so it rests on the table like it would on a car.

  • To keep the wheel from rolling away, use two shims on either side of the bottom. The width of a rim influences what size tires may be used without compromising a vehicle’s performance, therefore you’ll need a precise measurement.
💡 Choose a tire that is no more than 12 in (1.3 cm) wider or narrower than the width of your rim. A tire that is too big or too tiny for the rim will not fit correctly on the rim and may be dangerous to drive on.

B.) Inside the lip, place the hook on your measuring tape.

  • Get your measuring tape out and stretch it out as far as you can. Place the end of the hook flat on the inside of the lip. Stretch your measuring tape to the other side of the wheel, holding the hook in place with your non-dominant hand.
  • Cross the measuring tape over to the opposite lip. Draw aline perpendicular to the rim’s center with your measuring tape. The width of your wheel is determined by measuring it from one side’s inside lip to the other side’s inside lip.
  • Wheel widths are usually measured in 0.5-inch (13-mm) increments, so double-check your measurements if the number doesn’t end in a full or half-inch. It’s improbable that the width of your rim doesn’t end in a zero or a five.

Step 3: Calculating the Bolt Pattern

A.) With the bolts facing you, lay the rim down.

  • Place your rim flat on the work area, bolts facing up. The number of studs that hold a tire’s lug nuts is called the bolt pattern (or bolt circle). If you’re going to install a rim on your vehicle, you’ll need to know the bolt pattern.
⚠️ Warning: Even if a tire fits on the rim and is the correct diameter and width for a vehicle, the rim will not be able to be mounted if the bolt pattern does not match the car.

B.) Determine whether the design has four, five, six, or eight lugs by counting the bolts.

  • Count the number of bolts that go all the way around your rim’s center. Only four configurations are possible: 4, 5, 6, or 8. The number of bolts determines the method for measuring the bolt pattern on your rim.

C.) If it’s a 4, 6, or 8-lug design, measure from the middle of two opposite bolts.

  • The method for measuring rims with 4, 6, or 8 lugs is the same. Place the hook of your measuring tape in the centre of any bolt if you have a rim with 4, 6, or 8 lugs. Pull it over to the bolt on the opposite side, then use your measuring tape to cover the middle opening. From the first hole’s center to the second hole’s center, measure the bolt pattern.
💡Millimeters are commonly used to measure bolt patterns.
  • Bolt patterns are written using two measurements: the number of bolts and the diameter of the bolts measured from center to center. A 4×100 bolt design denotes four lugs each measuring 100 mm in diameter (3.9 in).

D.) For a 5-lug rim, measure from the outer edge of any bolt to the outside edge of a bolt on the opposite side.

  • Symmetrical set of bolts will not be found on a five-lug wheel. Place the measuring tape’s hook in the centre of a bolt to measure a 5-lug rim. Then, on the other side, select one of the two bolts. To measure the bolt pattern, bring your measuring tape to the outside edge.
  • It makes no difference which of the bolts on the other side you use.

Rim Dimension

The distance measured across the face of the wheel is known as the wheel or rim diameter. Because that’s where the tire and the wheel meet, it’s measured this manner. The diameter in our case is 16 inches.

How much does a wheel rim cost?

Even if you don’t want your rims to be hydro-dipped or given a unique finish, you’re undoubtedly asking why they’re so pricey. After all, even $100 a wheel rapidly adds up.

Custom artwork and the age of your car, as previously said, are important considerations. It will cost substantially more if your wheels need to be custom-designed because you wish to include a brand or because your automobile is old.

The cost of rims is influenced by a variety of factors, including:

  • Craftsmanship: You pay for the hours of labor that go into making custom made rims. You’ll pay extra for a wheel if it takes a lot of time to build.
  • Alloy rims: Can be single-piece or multi-piece in construction. Multi-piece rims require the forging together of two to three sections, whereas single-piece rims are manufactured from only one piece of wheels require more metal, which raises the price.
  • Retailer: You can get aftermarket rims from any virtual source, such as online or from a friend, or you can buy them straight from the manufacturer (OEM). Because OEM wheels are safety inspected and controlled by auto manufacturers, they will cost more.
💡Aluminum in a specific machine according to Car Cody, the amount of work necessary to complete this raises the cost.
  • Size: The larger the rim, the higher the price. This may seem self-evident, but it’s crucial to remember that more metal is used for bigger wheels, therefore increasing the price.

What is a good price for tires and rims

Tire prices vary greatly depending on style, brand, and tire size as you might. Tires can be more expensive than a usual everyday expense, whether they are purchased in advance or as a last-minute necessity. Fortunately, most people replace their tires every four years or so, so once you have a new set, you won’t have to worry about them for long time.

The following are some general pricing parameters for new tires:

  • Tires that are inexpensive will cost between $50 and $150 each.
  • Tires that are moderately priced are usually between $100 and $300 per tire.
  • The cost of high-end tires (ultra-high performance or speciality off-road tires) can range from $300 to $1000 per tire.

While these tire prices may appear to be excessive, bear in mind that tires are a highly manufactured product that is designed to keep you, your vehicle, and your passengers safe on the road. Also keep in mind that, as with many other items, you get what you pay for when it comes to tires. Paying a little more for a higher-quality tire may result in a tire that lasts longer and feels better on the road.

Shop and buy tires online to save money and keep an eye out for promotions, rebates, and discount codes. You may be able to acquire a longer tire mileage warranty if you pay more. On the other hand, if you only plan to retain your car for a year or so, you might want to go with a less expensive tire because lengthy tread life and a long mileage warranty aren’t as important to you.

💡 However, bear in mind that choosing lower-cost tires may mean compromising traction, braking power, hydroplaning resistance, and other features.

Shop for tires online and look for deals, rebates, and coupon codes to help you save money. Manufacturers of tires frequently offer mail-in rebates and seasonal specials, and some online sellers offer special promotional coupons. You might be able to use an easy payment plan like PayPal Credit if you buy tires online.

How much does buying 4 alloy wheels cost?

The price of alloy wheels depends on the size and type you are looking to buy. Larger rim diameters typically cost more, and more complex designs with better alloys also increase the price. The extra money can be worth it to outfit your car with good-looking, high-performance wheels.

Smaller (around 15″) or cheaper alloy wheels typically cost around $200-$300 for a set of four, while a set of 18″ wheels can go for around $600. More expensive wheels cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 for a set, while high-end custom-made wheels can go for over $10,000.

Alloy wheels are stored horizontally.

When buying four wheels, look for a dealer that offers a discount on buying them together. If you are having them installed at a mechanic’s shop, it is also important to look at how much they charge for labor. Finally, make sure to check that the wheels are compatible with your car prior to buying.


A set of rims that are unusual or unique can help an automobile stand out. The comparatively high cost of rims is due to a multitude of variables. Special styles and sizes, as well as rims for ancient or uncommon cars, will cost more. Rims serve a crucial function for your car, so it’s worth you to invest not only in the rims but also in professional installation and alignment.

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About Matthew Webb

Hi, I am Matthew! I am a dedicated car nerd! During the day, I am a journalist, at night I enjoy working on my 2 project cars. I have been a car nerd all my life, and am excited to share my knowledge with you!

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