What is better alloy wheels or steel?
Alloy wheels are wheels that are made from an alloy of light metals such as aluminium, magnesium or both. This means that they incorporate a mixture of metals and other elements.
Most modern cars have alloy wheels as they’re stronger and more durable than wheels made from pure metal. Alloy wheels are often also significantly lighter, which makes it quicker to accelerate and stop while you’re driving and puts less strain on parts of the suspension.
How much does a wheel refurbishment cost?
In general, you can expect to pay between £80 and £135 to get your alloy wheels repaired. On the other hand, if your wheels need a full refurbishment, this will cost on average £133.94 based on WhoCanFixMyCar data.
Below, you can find the average price quoted for a range of popular car makes.
|Car Make||Average Price|
Which alloy wheel service do you need?
When it comes to your alloy wheels, there are few different services your car may need. A professional will help you understand which one is right for you, but it’s a good idea to get your head around the different options.
If you’ve seen a scratch or a dent that’s bothering you, you may simply need an alloy wheel repair. Instead of getting your entire wheel refurbished, a single repair could allow you to remove any visible damage quickly and efficiently.
If, on the other hand, wear and tear to your alloy wheels has built up over time, you’ll likely want an alloy wheel refurbishment. Getting your alloys refurbished is a great way to restore them to near perfect condition without needing a complete replacement.
In some circumstances, it might be necessary to replace your alloy wheels altogether. For instance, if the damage is extensive and involves large cracks or dents, it might be cheaper and more effective to replace the wheel with a new one.
Browse our list of common alloy wheel services to get a better understanding of which one might be right for you.
Alloy Wheel Refurbishment
The average cost of an alloy wheel refurbishment booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £167.58. Alloy wheels need to be refurbished over time due to natural wear and tear. An alloy wheel refurbishment can be done 2-3 times before a replacement is necessary.Can include
- Diagnosing the problem
- Alloy wheel refurbishment
Alloy Wheel Replacement
You don't have to replace an alloy wheel if a crack does appear, however, if an alloy wheel has more than three cracks, it is likely that you will need a replacement. Sometimes, depending on the level of damage to your alloy wheels, it may be necessary to replace them all together. A mechanic will be able to have a look at them and assess the extent of this damage, and carry this outCan include
- Damage assessment
- Alloy wheel replacement
Mobile Alloy Wheel Repair
The average cost of a mobile alloy wheel repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £67.33. Mobile alloy wheel repair specialists come out to your home to carry out the following services so that it saves you a lot of time. It may cost a little more than if you were to take your car to a garage, but that is the price you pay for convenience.Can include
- Damage assessment
- Mobile alloy wheel repair
Common alloy wheel repairs
Damage to your alloy wheels can vary from minor scratches to large cracks or dents, so there are many different types of repairs a mechanic may undertake on your vehicle. However, there are a few standard services you can expect.
Minor scratches and cosmetic repairs Small scratches and scuffs are considered cosmetic damage. These can be sanded to easily blend the damage into the surrounding areas to be no longer noticeable.
Medium scuffs and powder coated finishes For slightly more significant areas of damage, a mechanic will use a longer-lasting and intense technique that involves blasting the wheel to a smooth surface and then reapplying the finish using powder and paint.
Dent repair and straightening If your alloy wheels have been bent or distorted by a minor bump or accident, it is possible to get them straightened. Garages will use a high-pressure machine to get your wheels back to their original shape and condition.
Steps of alloy wheel refurbishment
Top warning signs your alloy wheels need attention
The most obvious sign that your alloy wheels need refurbishment is damage. Carrying out a quick visual inspection of your wheels is essential to monitor wear and tear and know when it’s time to get them looked at by a professional. Warnings signs to keep an eye out for include:
Scuffs & scratches
Stains and discolouration
If you notice sizeable cracks or dents in your alloy wheels, don’t delay getting them fixed as soon as possible.
What impacts the cost of alloy wheel repairs?
A few different factors can impact how much you end up paying for an alloy wheel repair, such as the extent of the damage and your car make. However, the biggest factor is the technique used to repair your wheels.
Diamond cut: This technique involves removing a thin layer from the alloy wheel to refurbish it. This can only be done a couple of times and is the most expensive approach to alloy wheel refurbishment because of the machinery needed to do it.
Powder coating: This technique involves stripping the paint and lacquer off the wheel before adding a powder type coating to refurbish it. It’s most effective to restore the paint and remove minor scratches.
Welding: If the damage to your alloy wheel involves a hairline crack, then welding is a great way to fix it without needing to replace the wheel. A wheel welding service will usually be much cheaper than a wheel replacement.
New alloy wheel costs versus refurbished alloy wheels
Deciding whether it’s better to get your alloy wheels refurbished or invest in brand new ones can be tricky. Ultimately, if the cost of a refurbishment is higher than that of a replacement, then the best route is usually to get some new wheels. Rather than expanding the lifespan of your current alloys further, you can start fresh on new ones and hope to make them last a lifetime. Other factors that come into play include whether you’ve had your alloy wheels refurbished before. Processes like diamond cutting, a common refurb technique, can only be carried out a couple of times. After that, it’s time to get new alloy wheels.
Get your alloy wheels repaired at home
Sometimes, getting to a garage is an inconvenience. Or perhaps your wheels are so damaged that you’re not able to drive. Luckily, mobile mechanics are around for precisely these reasons and will visit you to repair your alloy wheels at home. Mobile mechanics are often cheaper because they don’t have any overheads for their shop or dealership. However, if your problem is specific or needs specialist equipment or machinery, which is often the case with alloy wheel refurbishment, you might find there’s more that can be done at a fully kitted out garage.
Is refurbishing your alloy wheels necessary?
It’s crucial to keep your alloy wheels in good condition and get them refurbished when you notice visible signs of damage. Not only will this increase the resale value of your car, but it can also help you to avoid more extensive damage that can happen over time if your wheels become more and more worn. Refurbishing your alloy wheels is necessary, especially if the damage is extensive. Luckily, you can compare quotes and book a refurbishment easily using WhoCanFixMyCar.
How often should I refurbish my alloy wheels?
You should get your alloy wheels refurbished when you have visible or noticeable damage to them that might impact the resale value of your car. If you notice any cracks or dents in your wheels, they need to be repaired for safety reasons.
How does alloy wheel refurbishment work?
There are a couple of different techniques for alloy wheel refurbishment that a mechanic may use. Diamond cutting involves removing a thin layer of the wheel to get rid of scuffs or scratches. In contrast, powder coating involves adding a layer of powder to the wheels to hide and fill the damage. Both services will include repainting and lacquering your wheels to give them a quality finish.
Does alloy wheel repair come under your warranty?
Alloy wheel repairs may come under your warranty within the first twelve months for any significant damage. However, small scratches later down the line may not be covered. It’s essential to check your policy documents to find out whether an alloy wheel repair is covered under your warranty.
Is a mobile alloy wheel repair necessary?
Getting your car’s alloy wheels repaired can make your car look as though it has had a makeover. Alloy wheels can get dented and cracked over time, but a good mobile alloy wheel repair service can repair them to have them look good as new. While you may drive with damaged or scuffed alloy wheels, it takes away the aesthetic value of your car so it’s a good idea to book your alloy wheel repair soon.
Is alloy wheel repair covered by insurance?
The details of your insurance policy will tell you whether alloy wheel repairs are covered and the type of damage it includes. You may need to take out specific wheel or tyre insurance if you often park on the road to ensure an alloy wheel repair is covered.
Can I refurbish my own alloy wheels?
It’s possible to get an alloy wheel refurbishment kit to use at home. Still, it’s always recommended that a professional does the job to avoid causing any accidental damage to your wheels.
Do I need to repair alloy wheels for a leased car?
Minor scratches and scuffs to your alloy wheels are expected over time, and you won’t need to get them removed before returning your leased car. However, if the damage is extensive and bigger than the size of a credit card, you should get it repaired before returning your vehicle.
How many times can an alloy wheel be refurbished?
If the diamond cut technique is used to refurbish your alloy wheels, this can only be done one or two times. Other methods like powder coating can be done multiple times.