Why Are Rims So Expensive? (Explained!)

When people buy cars, they often check out the interior, the trunk space, design, etc. Many often tend to overlook the wheels, particularly the rims.

Therefore, you might wonder, “Why are rims so expensive?” or “Is it worth paying a huge sum of money for a set of new wheels?”

As important as they may be, rims are also quite costly. After all, they contribute to the car’s looks and functionality.

Let’s cut to the chase and learn what makes car rims expensive!

Why Are Rims so Expensive?

Most car rims are constructed out of aluminum alloy, chrome, or steel, which are not cheap to get. In addition, rims require a great deal of craftsmanship to make. Couple that with the tools, equipment, and distributor markup, and you have the answer to why they are so pricey.

Many modern car rims cost anywhere between $200 to $500 per rim. At the same time, custom rims for luxury cars will cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Manufacturers use special equipment and tools to construct a single-piece rim.

Depending on the construction, rims are made of a single alloy or multiple pieces joined together.

On the other hand, we need to weld together several parts to make a multi-piece rim.

The work hours and labor required for these jobs affect the price. Furthermore, if the rims are larger than average, they will cost you more.

Adding custom artwork or logos is another factor that can increase the price. If you own sleek-looking sports or vintage car, you want the rims to match the overall aesthetic.

So, you end up paying extra for the additional detailing.

These are just the common factors that affect their price. The ridiculous prices are even more prominent with old models.

If you bring your old car in for a complete makeover, chances are you won’t find the exact rims for that model.

Thus, the dealer would have to custom order or make a new set, which can burn a hole in your pocket.

Are Rims Worth It?

Rims are worth the investment if you want to upgrade your car’s look and assure safety as well. Adding a new set of rims can affect the alignment and performance of your wheels. Plus, a nice set of rims can make your ordinary car look sleek or bulky, depending on what size you get.

However, most people usually alter their car rims for aesthetic purposes. Yes, they can make your car look ten times more expensive.

But we cannot deny other factors like leverage, fitting, braking, and friction.

A well-built rim will provide excellent leverage and keep your rubber tires in place. They are also essential in reducing friction while driving.

The more durable the rims are, the smoother your riding experience will be.

Most people will ignore the rims while going in for customization or repair. This is because of the high costs.

However, this is a mistake and should be reconsidered.

Those dents can affect how well your tires fit or “hug” the rims. This means that if they don’t fit properly, it can lead to accidents.

We cannot deny that a new set of rims can enhance your car’s looks.

The average person will notice the wheels first when checking out a vehicle.

In addition to that, the “hot-looking” rims are bound to catch everyone’s attention.

That said, the topic is entirely subjective. Different people have different preferences. Most people usually ignore or repair them to cut back on costs.

How Long Do Rims Last on A Car?

The car rims usually last you a lifetime or get damaged in a few years, depending on how well you treat your car. Most rims last even longer than the car itself, provided we avoid excessive speeding and potholes. On the other hand, they also have expiration dates and wear out due to environmental conditions.

A lot of people will switch out their rims for a fresh set. Some people do this primarily for looks. But others are looking to replace them because of wear and tear.

If your tires are leaking, it is high time to replace your rims. The initial signs of a bad rim are when your tires cannot hold the pump for long durations.

You could also experience unwanted vibrations and drifting issues if your rims are faulty.

How Much Do Rims Cost at A Junkyard?

The average price of rims at junkyards starts at around $25, but they can cost less if there are significant damages. The materials and design of the rims can also affect the price, even if they are salvaged parts. Nonetheless, the cost of salvaged rims depends on what vehicle you drive and the wheel size.

Most people look for aluminum rims in salvage yards because of their lightweight.

You will also find most of them in good condition as they are corrosion-resistant.

Sellers will usually demand 50 cents per pound or more for a pure aluminum car rim.

However, there is no guarantee that you might find a matching rim set for your car.

Moreover, there will be a ton of undetectable damage on these parts.

When Should I Replace My Rims?

When you face problems like unwanted bumps, braking efficiency, constant tire deflation, you might want to check your rims. Often, you’ll meet the above issues due to a damaged rim. The rims have dents and don’t align properly. Those are signs that a replacement is necessary.

However, such problems are difficult to spot by yourself. So, you can take your car to a mechanic for a checkup. They will suggest the best solution.

On the other hand, you can repair them at home if you have the knowledge of how to do without help from a specialist.

Rims do not go through much damage except for minor dings and corrosion.

If you have the proper skills and tools, you can quickly fix them.


Buying new stuff makes us happy. For many, purchasing a new set of rims is like buying a new dress or suit.

When your car looks great with those new wheels, you feel that same satisfaction.

Many people still wonder why rims are so expensive. Unless you don’t mind the cost, go ahead with the upgrade.

That said, if you drive around carefully, avoiding potholes or bumping on objects, rims will last you for ages.

Plus, you can quickly fix the most common rim problems like corrosion by sanding or repainting.