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What are alloy wheels?

What are alloy wheels?

An alloy wheel is a type of wheel found on certain types of cars.  They are made from light metals - usually aluminum with various other elements. This improves performance and handling by increasing acceleration, reducing stopping distance and relieving pressure on the suspension. In extreme driving conditions, alloy wheels are much better at dissipating heat from braking components than steel wheels. Read on to learn more about the benefits and care of alloy wheels.

Definition of a wheel

The wheel is the metal part of a vehicle that attaches to a hub and supports the tire.

When the wheel is made of alloy or aluminum, it gains in aesthetic appeal. When the rim is made of sheet metal (usually black), it is covered by a hubcap for aesthetic purposes.

Common wheel sizes range from 12 to 17 inches, but can go up to 40 inches! A car is considered "well-shod" from 15 inches upwards. The car then gains in stability and road holding, which is no mean feat.

What are the benefits of alloy wheels?

Compared to conventional wheels, alloy wheels offer a number of advantages:

Weight reduction: 20% less than conventional steel wheels;

  • More durable;
  • More malleable;
  • Brighter;
  • Improved vehicle appearance;
  • Better acceleration and braking;
  • Faster tire cooling;
  • Maximize fuel economy;
  • Improved handling: less deflection when cornering;
  • Available in a variety of styles.

But alloy wheels aren't all benefits. Drivers may encounter a few disadvantages:

  • They cost more;
  • Not always covered by insurance;
  • They oxidize over time;
  • They require regular maintenance;
  • They don't withstand sudden acceleration and braking well.

Types of vehicles equipped with alloy wheels

Alloy wheels are particularly suitable for racing cars:

  • Formula 1 cars (magnesium),
  • Karting (composites),
  • high-end to very high-end sports cars.
  • They are also used on certain high-end cars and sports cars (aluminum alloy).

However, they are not yet as widespread as aluminum wheels, as a lot of research is being done to improve their performance.

How much do alloy wheels cost?

Alloy wheels are the most expensive wheels on the market. The average cost of an alloy wheel is $200. Multiply that by four and the average total for a set of four alloy wheels is $800. Alloy wheels can be purchased at auto centers, garages, parts or tuning websites. Alloy wheels are top-of-the-line accessories that enhance a car's appearance and performance. They are most commonly found in sports cars but are becoming increasingly popular.


A lighter set of wheels will also improve the handling of your vehicle. The reduced weight on the unsprung side will allow the suspension system to react more quickly and efficiently to corners and road imperfections.

In conclusion, a nice set of alloy wheels will not only improve the look of your car but will also save you fuel and give you better overall performance.

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