Are you thinking about buying new rims but don’t know how to choose the right ones for your car? Relax, it’s really not that hard! Just focus on a few key factors. Read our guide where you will find all the most important information on this topic.

Rims can radically change the look of your car

Rims can completely change your car’s appearance.

Rims have a significant impact on the look of your car. They can completely change its character, make it look more luxurious, or emphasise its sporty edge. The appearance of your car, however, is not everything. Rims also affect driving comfort and the feel of your vehicle. If you are wondering which rims to choose, start by paying attention to technical parameters such as the size.

How to check if the rims will fit?

When choosing rims for your car, it is necessary to pay attention to their parameters. These primarily include size (diameter and width), screw spacing, and ET. To choose the right rims, it is best to buy a model with the same parameters as the one you currently use. However, if you want to change something, be sure to check the relevant technical data in the vehicle owner's manual or other materials provided by the manufacturer.

Which rim size should you choose?

If you are wondering whether to choose aluminium or steel rims, first think about their size. The dimensions of the rims are important not only in technical terms, but also because they affect the appearance and driving of the car. 

Understanding this parameter is not complicated. All you have to do is familiarise yourself with the meaning of the individual numbers. The rim size consists of two numbers, e.g. 6.5x15. The first one is the rim width and the second is the diameter. Both values are expressed in inches.

Double five-spoke rimRims significantly affect the appearance of your car.

When choosing rims, you should also know how the size itself affects driving. Models with a smaller diameter allow for the installation of higher-profile tyres. This solution translates into better absorption of unevenness and greater driving comfort. Larger versions in combination with low profile tyres do not provide such comfort but make your car handle better. They also have a positive impact on the look of your vehicle.

It’s up to you. For some people the appearance of their car is more important, while others only care about the practical aspects.

In our opinion, the optimum solution is to install large rims and low-profile tyres in summer when the roads are in better condition and driving is easier. In winter, it is better to install smaller rims and tyres with a higher profile. Try to match the alu-rims to the car and your individual needs.

Other parameters determining the choice of rims

In addition to size, there are other extremely important parameters that determine whether a given rim will fit your car. Other technicalities:

  • screw spacing (pin spacing) – this is a very important factor which is crucial for proper installation of the rim. It is marked with a code, e.g. 5x110, where 5 represents the number of screws that fix the rim, and 110 is the diameter of the circle on which the mounting holes are located. You do not need to bother measuring the spacing of the screws because this information is usually stamped on the rim.
  • ET – also known as wheel offset (in German: “Einpress Tiefe”). This represents the distance of the mounting surface from the geometric centre of the rim. This value is expressed in millimetres. When choosing rims, pay attention to the permissible offset because, among other things, the position of the wheel in the wheel arch depends on this parameter.

Our ET calculator is a great help when choosing rims. It allows you to check the values suitable for specific vehicles. 

  • diameter of the central hole (Ø) – this is marked with the "Ø" symbol and its value is expressed in millimetres. Knowing this parameter allows for optimal centring of the rim if there is a difference between the size of the central hole in the rim and the diameter of the hub. In such situations centring rings are used to reduce the resulting discrepancy. They are usually used in the case of aluminium rims and allow you to match a specific model of rim to a given car.

Which rim material should you choose?

Two types of rims dominate the market at present – aluminium and steel. The optimum rims for your car depend primarily on your expectations. When selecting rims, take into account factors such as your budget and aesthetic preferences.

If you do not want to spend a large sum of money and you do not care so much about the appearance of your wheels, it is better to opt for products made of steel. Especially since they are cheaper to maintain. You will pay less for both seasonal tyre changes and rim repairs.

Steel rims on a rackSteel rims do not look as attractive as aluminium ones, but they are much cheaper.

However, if you can spend a larger amount on new rims and you mostly value their attractive design, it is worth focusing on alu-rims. They come in various designs and colours, so they can completely change the character of your car, making it look more elegant or giving it some sporty flair. Contrary to popular belief, rims made of aluminium are also slightly more durable than their steel counterparts.

 Other materials such as titanium and magnesium are also worth mentioning. They are extremely light and strong, though only few drivers can afford such a solution. Another interesting option are carbon models, which are very slowly entering the market and are installed on prestigious cars such as Porsche, McLaren, or Lamborghini.

How to choose alu-rims – pay attention to production methods

When choosing rims, it is worth paying attention to the methods used to produce aluminium rims. The vast majority of alu-rims available on the market are produced using low-pressure casting. This enables obtaining a structure that is more durable than gravity casting and which faithfully expresses the designers' intentions. 

More expensive models, on the other hand, use advanced flow forming and forging methods. This allows for greater durability with less material. These are quite expensive technologies. Therefore, this method is used only in producing the highest quality rims. They are exceptionally light and resistant to damage.

Seasons vs. rims – how to choose the right ones?

During the summer it is very important to ensure proper cooling of the brake system. Therefore, rims with a lot of open spaces will work well. This design translates into efficient air circulation, which contributes to the proper operation of the brakes. Most models currently offered have different types of openings, so finding the right product for warm days will not be a problem.

While all rims will work equally well in summer, it is worth thinking about which rims are suitable for unfavourable conditions. They will have to cope with such difficulties as low temperatures, moisture, and salt scattered on the roads. There are a lot of myths among drivers, including the theory that only steel models work well in winter – this is not true.

Rims with simple patterns that are easier to wash and maintain are most frequently chosen for the winter season. At the same time you should remember that, regardless of the design you select, the wheels should be properly cared for in order to ensure their longer life. Regular cleaning of rims is essential.

Visual aspects – how to choose rims for your car based on their appearance

When choosing steel rims for your car, the appearance does not matter much because they are most often used in combination with caps. In addition, most products look almost identical and there is no point in looking for sophisticated designs. A deviation from this rule are so-called structural rims. In the case of such rims, dedicated caps are also necessary to achieve the intended effect, i.e. an appearance resembling “alu-rims”.

This is completely different in the case of aluminium models. You can choose from a vast number of designs and rim colours. The most popular designs include:

  • five-spoke,
  • double five-spoke,
  • multi-spoke,
  • wire, and
  • mesh.

The most classic example of aluminium rims is the five-spoke design. Depending on their colour and finish, they can emphasise the elegance of your car or its sporty character. Thanks to the simple and easy-to-clean pattern, they are frequently chosen for the winter season.

In the case of double five-spoke rims, the situation is similar – they look good on many car models and ensure great versatility.

If you want a slimmer and more refined look, choose multi-spoke rims. They make the car lightweight and look good both when driving and while the vehicle is at rest.

Wire rims are also an interesting option, thus more and more drivers choose them. Due to their outstanding form, they can significantly change the character of your car. They are a solution for people who want their vehicle to look unique.

There are also mesh rims – they are a modern and effective solution for design lovers. Split arms arranged in the shape of the letter "Y" make the car look neat and dynamic. This option will particularly appeal to drivers who insist on unconventional solutions.

Recently, concave rims have also become popular. They are characterised by their concavity, which emphasises the car’s sporty character and makes it look impressive and unique. Drivers generally use rims with greater concavity on the rear axle of the vehicle, which adds to the exceptional visual effect.

The look of the rims also depends on their colour. The most popular colours include all shades of silver that look elegant and match most car bodies. Choosing graphite or black rims, on the other hand, makes the car look aggressive and dynamic. Current production possibilities do not limit the choice of rim colours. Many companies offer customisation, allowing for rims that are unique and emphasise the individuality of the user. When making a decision, choose alu-rims that not only look good but also emphasise your character.

Oponeo offers rims in various colours: black, graphite, gold, and even pink. For users who value original appearance and application, manufacturers offer twisted, concave, sport, and off-road rims and with an edge.