Alloy wheels on a car

Alloy wheels vs steel wheels

If you are thinking of upgrading your car, especially the look of its exterior, one of the best places to start is with the wheels. A lot of drivers on the road will spend a good amount of money upgrading the wheels of their cars. So is this all cosmetic? Is it all about looks? Or are there actually some technical reasons for this? Ensuring that you choose the correct wheels for your vehicle is very important; you can choose between steel and alloy wheels. These are the two most common wheels used on cars. There are some other types like carbon fibre wheels; however, these are generally rare and often very expensive. 

Each type of wheel has its advantages and disadvantages. Entry-level, standard cars come with steel wheels as it is a go-to metal for most parts of the car and are a lot cheaper than alloy wheels. But with that being said, more and more cars new are coming equipped with alloy wheels from the get-go. These are much lighter and enhance the car’s overall performance and visual look. 

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between the types, and weigh up the pros and cons of steel and alloy wheels.

Pro’s and con’s of alloy wheels

Alloy wheels are created from a mix of aluminium, nickel and magnesium. Aluminium is used because of its lightweight characteristics. Due to being lightweight, alloy wheels offer better performance in handling; however, they are more expensive and slightly less durable. 

Pros include:

  • Lighter weight and better handling
  • Better fuel economy due to the lighter weight
  • Lighter weight wheels apply less pressure to the suspension and allow faster acceleration
  • Much more customisable and appealing to the eyes

Cons of alloy wheels:

  • The durability of the alloy wheels is the main concern; alloy wheels can sometimes bend or crack upon the impact of a large pothole or bump.
  • Alloy wheels are also more expensive.

Steel Wheels – Pros & Cons

Drivers that require a cheaper and more robust alternative than that of alloy wheels may be better suited to steel wheels. Due to the fact they are made of steel, they are much more durable than alloy wheels and are often a better choice for heavier vehicles or new drivers. 

Pros of steel wheels:

  • Steel wheels are an OEM favourite and very accessible
  • Very durable, affordable and often easily fixed if there is an issue
  • Can withstand a higher amount of shock and impact
  • More suitable for off-road or heavy-duty applications
  • Can offer increased grip in slippery conditions due to increased weight. 

Cons of steel wheels:

  • Worse handling due to the increased weight, decreasing agility and acceleration
  • Very few customisable options
  • Often don’t go above a size 16″

So to conclude, steel wheels are considerably more durable and easy to repair. They can absorb more shock and are more resistant to damage; however, alloy wheels are much lighter and allow for better handling. It can also enhance your vehicle’s profile and massively improve the look of your car. 

Don’t forget if you already have some alloy wheels that require a refurbishment; you could be eligible to take advantage of our wheel part exchange service. This allows you to have a like new, fully refurbished set of wheels very quickly, without the hassle of having to wait for your own wheels to be refurbished. All you need to do is swap your old, scuffed wheels for a set of our fully refurbished wheels, and the best part is, this will cost you no more than a refurbishment and we will fit and balance your tyres

Call us now for more information or take a look at our wheel exchange page.

Alloy wheels vs steel wheels