It’s not 2005 anymore, and wheel rims are not the center of the culture like they once were. But they are still stylish and can give your whip the sleek look you’re going for.
Whenever you consider customizing your vehicle, you should consider the effect those changes have on your insurance policy. It can be hard enough to find cheap car insurance for male drivers under 25, the highest-paying demographic group, without additional, expensive modifications.
There is a wide range of rim styles available, and some of the new technological advancements are downright exciting.
Rim style preference is subjective. What looks outlandish to a 45-year-old might be exactly what a 21-year-old wants to do with their second car. Conversely, what looks sleek to that 45-year-old may look boring to that 21-year-old.
We’ll look at some of the latest trends and style options and how those choices may impact your car insurance rates.
Lighter Wheels Improve Performance
Lighter-weight wheels help contribute to an overall lighter-weight vehicle. Why does that matter? It matters because of physics. It takes less work to move less weight, so therefore, lighter vehicles take less work to move, making them more efficient.
As manufacturing technology improves, these lighter alloy wheels are becoming less expensive to manufacture and more accessible for drivers on a budget. And on the other hand, the racing community is excited about lighter wheels because lighter cars also mean faster cars.
For those of you interested in rims because they look cool on your car, I’m sure this doesn’t mean much for you. There is nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you understand that the weight of your wheels matters to the overall performance of your vehicle.
Lighter wheels also usually mean a much smoother ride. That’s not to say that it will make your ride smoother on a dirt road compared to a freshly paved city street, but there is a noticeable difference in a car with freshly installed lighter wheels.
Three-piece or two-piece wheels (made of three or two separate parts) are often going to be lighter than cast wheels, which is the most common and cheapest way to make wheels for a car.
The cast wheels are usually more affordable but can be a drag on the overall performance of your car, so keep that in mind. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Thin and Split Spokes are Trending
There are some pros and cons to different styles of spokes, but your choice will boil down to personal preference. If you’re thinking about replacing the rims on your vehicle, you’ll want to read up on spoke styles below.
Thin spokes are taking the lead in the 2020s. Manufacturers are making more of these designs, and the ones coming out look really good. But the thin vs. wide spoke debate is mostly one held on aesthetic and ultimately subjective grounds.
If you like thin spokes, we have good news for you. Manufacturers are going to continue making more things for your preference. If you’re someone who likes “Choppin Blades” like the UGK song, you can still purchase them new. You just might not have as many options.
Thin multi-spoke wheels are the trend the industry is moving toward. Thin spokes usually, but not always, mean a lighter overall wheel which has several benefits already mentioned above.
The perfect example of this is the Cosmis Racing XT-206R. It has the thin spokes the industry is moving toward, and it comes in multiple finishes to match whatever color scheme you are running on your car.
The F1R F21 is another wheel that is following the thin spoke trend. It also comes in a ton of finishes. The big thing about this wheel is that it is affordable, coming in under $1,000 for a full set of wheels for your car. This wheel also fits multiple bolt patterns so it can go on quite a few different cars.
Split spokes are in. The designs look sleek, and whether you like a gaudy color finish or a more simple look, you can rock split spokes and be happy. The tuning fork style is in heavy production in multiple styles.
If you like a more sleek, simple style but still want something that is keeping up with the trends, try the Rohana RFX11. It has the tuning fork look but in a shape that is reminiscent of a five-spoke star.
Hate them or love them, split-spoke rims aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And they look so good that we don’t want them to leave us, but they may leave you in the dust. Or you can leave them in the dust if you catch an inexperienced driver with a set.
The Finish Customizes Your Look
The finish is the most subjective part of any wheel. It’s really up to your taste and what look you’re going for. Sure, some finishes are better than others at protecting your wheel, but other than this, the finish is mostly for show.
Chrome is a classic and is not going anywhere anytime soon. But newer types of finishes are popping up all the time and have a variety of looks that any owner would be happy to have offset their car.
Rodtana Designs released a new product titled the endless lip. It has a finish that includes a double racing stripe that is put on the wheel in a complex process that includes masking and adding a clear coat.
Multi-colored rims are also very popular right now. Wheels might have a chrome, aluminum, or alloy lip, and red or black spokes. The color combinations with these wheels are often complex, and the variety is beautiful.
Customized Rims and Car Insurance
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. If you assume that your car insurance will cover your investment in rims, you could be in for a big surprise when you need to file a claim.
First of all, make sure that your rims and any modifications you make to your vehicle comply with the law. Illegal car modifications could not only attract trouble with the law, but you’re almost guaranteed to be unable to get insurance coverage for them. So, make wise, legal choices.
Also, make your decision with the help of an expert because if the rims don’t fit your car, you’re going to be having a conversation with a mechanic that neither one of you wants to have.
Comprehensive and collision insurance is the type of coverage that pays for damages to your own vehicle. But, typically, they only cover your vehicle and parts as they come from the manufacturer.
Rims can cost a lot of money, and if you need your investment protected, you’ll probably need to get a specialized or custom addition to your policy. Many insurance providers offer modified parts add-ons to their policies, but you have to ask for it.
In some cases, they’ll even cover modification with their standard insurance policies, but once again, don’t assume that they will. Always ask.
Any time you purchase additional insurance, it will cost you more money. You may decide that if you purchase a cheap set of rims, the cost of the additional modification insurance isn’t worth the protection.
For an expensive set of rims, though, you’d be wise to pay the additional charge and make sure they’re covered in the event of damage.
Custom rims can really make your car stand out, but make sure you protect your investment in the look with the right kind of insurance coverage.
Melanie Musson writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, Insurantly.com. She is passionate about helping others understand their insurance needs and how the right policy can benefit and protect them.